Kenya: Increase in Advertising Regulation
Kenya is seeing an increase in advertising regulation with the County Outdoor Advertising and Control Bill, 2018 (the Bill).
The Bill was passed by the Senate and sent to the National Assembly for the second reading. This Bill aims to,
- ensure advertisers utilizing outdoor advertisement respect the environment and the structures upon which the advertisements are displayed, and
- bring a balance between the need to advertise and the need for public safety.
If the Bill is adopted into law, advertisers will have to obtain a license for outdoor advertising. Those who break the law will be punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months and/or a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings.
Possibly, this law can be used to control alcohol advertising as alcohol is a threat to public health and safety.
Advertising regulations are one of the alcohol policy best buys recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce alcohol consumption and harm. Another best buy measure – increasing alcohol taxes – should come into effect in 2020 in Kenya as part of the resource mobilization efforts towards universal health coverage (UHC). However, the tax increase is facing heavy lobbying by the alcohol industry. Civil Society Organizations called for the president to continue the tax increase as planned to better the lives of all Kenyans.