A global winner
THE CONTROL of Marketing of Alcohol Beverages Bill was approved by cabinet midSeptember. In its current form, it seeks to ban the advertising and promotion of alcohol. As expected, there are divergent views on the proposal, but the one which I’m particularly interested in is the creation of monopolies if the bill goes through in its current form. Smaller and new brewers would be unable to thrive as they couldn’t advertise their offerings. This would make the likes of SABMiller untouchable.
From a developmental perspective, I am against this notion as it also significantly stif les entrepreneurship. From an investment perspective, though, it’s another thing. SABMiller is the only big JSE-listed beer brewer, with the exception of traditional beer brewer Awethu. It’s also listed in London and is the world’s second-largest brewer.
Advertising can be banned but people know and trust SABMiller products. Further, there is no empirical evidence that says people drink less when alcohol is no longer advertised.