Monday, 23 September 2013

ban on booze adverts - a worthwhile experiment

As with the stupid argument that "scientists should stop worrying about getting to Mars and start worrying about cancer" - which misunderstands that different scientists do different studies.... this argument, that "the government" should "worry about more important crimes" fails to understand (a) that we're in a federal system, so the provinces do whatever they like, and (b) that the health ministry has nothing to do with department of justice and constitutional development. That's like saying, "Oh, the minister of health should stop worrying about booze ads and start worrying about the matric pass rate".

The only connection between DoH and DoJ is that most violent crimes apart from hijacking and robbery are booze-induced, e.g. murder and spousal abuse and rape. If these crime stats go down then the Government WOULD be doing something about more serious crimes. 

The fact that the minister is trying to ban alcohol adverts suggests that the minister is far from corrupt, since no amount of 'incentives' from the alcohol industry has prevented this action.

The mandate of the department of health is to ensure south africans don't get unhealthy, and what to do when they do. Preventing booze advertising is just one example of a step or attempt to do so. If the ad ban fails, ie alcohol abuse does not decrease, then the ad ban is not justified. If however alcohol abuse does decrease after the ban, then the ban worked. The only way to find out is to enact the ban and see what effect it has, if any.

People talk about job losses: well, you know who will lose their jobs? The 30 or so rich people who place adverts for alcohol companies who have the hundreds-of-millions-of-rands "account" to manage placing adverts for these companies. The ad industry will lose some revenue. Big deal. They're all rich white-collar workers. This is a pro-poor action to discourage poor people from seeing booze as glamorous. Have you not seen that ridiculous advert for whiskey which says "one day this will be you" or words to that effect with a Learjet??

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