‘Celebration of triumph’: Windhoek Lager TV ad sends wrong message, says traffic watchdog

2013-03-15 00:00

THE Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has taken issue with an alcohol television advert that features physically impaired poet Mak Manaka.

It says that associating alcohol with success sends the wrong message to the public.

The corporation argued that the image created by the latest Windhoek Lager advertisement could mislead viewers into believing that alcohol played a positive role in achieving one’s goals against all odds.

However, Brandhouse, the agency responsible for the advert, said the campaign celebrated the triumph over adversity by various individuals, including Manaka.

“Our official position on this Windhoek advert in particular and our brand campaign on Windhoek in general depicts stories of strong characters, celebrating the triumph over adversity by various individuals, including Mak Manaka,” said spokesperson Michael Mabasa.

He said they believed Manaka’s story of overcoming paralysis and achieving his goal of becoming a celebrated poet was in line with the story of strong characters overcoming adversity.

Collins Letsoalo, acting CEO of the RTMC, said statistics released by independent research institutions reflected that alcohol played a major part in more than 65% of road fatalities.

“Given the statistical reality of the impact of alcohol, it goes without saying that alcohol advertisements that depict glory, success and fame can be considered irresponsible and impressionable, particularly among the vulnerable youth,” said Letsoalo.

Mabasa said the company regretted the negative interpretation that the RTMC had drawn about the advert.

“He [Manaka] is indeed ‘made of the right stuff’ and this is why he is associated with our ­storyline,” he said.

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