Kenya: Three Major Alcohol Producers Targeted By Advertising Regulator KFCB

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to East African Breweries Ltd, Keroche Breweries, and Africa Spirits Ltd to ensure their adverts only run between 10 pm and 5 am.

Chief executives of three major alcohol producers in Kenya face a maximum five-year jail term and a fine of Sh100,000 after their company’s marketing practices have come under scrutiny by the KFCB, the regulator for advertising alcoholic products on TV.

EABL’s parent company is the world’s largest liquor producer, London-based Diageo.

Exposing children and youth to alcohol commercials

Allegedly, the alcohol companies have been deliberately placing alcohol commercials when under-age viewers are deemed to be awake.

The agency’s chief executive, Ezekiel Mutua, in a letter to the three brewers, said the adverts they are running on TV were produced without a license from the regulator, which is contrary to the law.

Additionally, the KFCB alleges that the alcohol adverts had not been classified by the regulator, as required by law. Therefore, in airing their adverts, the alcohol companies were posing a threat to audiences such as children.

They have been airing during the watershed period, especially during the holidays when children were at home and were at a higher risk of being exposed to unsuitable content.”

Failure to conform to the law, KFCB will have no other recourse than to prosecute all violators in line with the laws of Kenya,” Mr Mutua said in a statement.

Violations of KFCB Guidelines

The agency’s regulations provide that alcohol advertisements are classified as unsuitable hence must only be aired during the watershed periods. The law assumes that children are asleep between 10 pm and 5 am hence will not be exposed to adult material broadcasted during this period.