Alcoholic beverage ban case: I’m disappointed in Supreme Court ruling, says Darlington Osae

On Wednesday (19 June), the Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit challenging the Food and Drug Authority's (FDA) guidelines for using celebrities to advertise alcoholic products

Mark Darlington Osae, the plaintiff in the case against the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), which sought to overturn the ban on celebrities promoting alcoholic beverages, expressed disappointment with the verdict.

On Wednesday (19 June), the Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) guidelines for using celebrities to advertise alcoholic products.

Reacting to the verdict, Osae told Nana Akua Obomengniibaa, host of The Juice on Asaase 99.5 Rush Hour, “I am obviously very disappointed. We are disappointed at the outcome. We were expecting a different outcome.”

Unfortunately, it did not go our way. Two of the Supreme Court judges voted in our favour, whilst the other five voted in favour of the FDA and the AG office, which is quite unfortunate,” Osae said.

“We still believe… [that] the directive by the FDA is still discriminatory against a certain group of people based on their occupation, and I’m talking mainly the creative space here.”

In a ruling Wednesday 19 June 2024, a seven-member panel of the apex court held that the FDA guideline is not unreasonable, nor does it contradict Article 17 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.

Osae added that other laws that hinder the progress of the creative sector should be contested in court.

“We were also seeking clarification on what they mean by well-known persons in their directive, because what happens if someone unknown advertises today, and within a few weeks, they blow up and they become huge, everyone recognises them. They are still allowed to advertise for the rest of the year.”

The FDA had previously issued a directive prohibiting celebrities from advertising alcoholic beverages.

The FDA’s directive, which barred the use of celebrities in advertisements for alcoholic beverages, was aimed at protecting minors from being influenced by celebrities into alcoholism.

However, the plaintiff in the case, Mark Darlington Osae, manager of hip-hop artists -Reggie ‘N’ Bollie and Skrewfaze, was seeking an order from the apex court to rule the FDA’s guideline as unconstitutional as it violates the right to non-discrimination as guaranteed by Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

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