Every year, brandhouse hosts awards for responsible reporting on alcohol-related matters. Fienie Grobler asked its corporate relations manager, Heather Noble, about the awards, and the company’s view on proposed laws that are set to ban alcohol advertising.
1. In a nutshell, what is the Responsible Drinking Media Awards and why was it conceived?
The brandhouse Responsible Drinking Media Awards is the first initiative of its kind in South Africa. brandhouse believes that journalists play a vital role in informing and educating South Africans about responsible drinking and decided to create this recognition initiative to encourage journalists to use their individual approach and messaging influences to proactively gain traction with their readers and shape perceptions and behaviour around drunk driving, as well as other alcohol-related issues such as under-age drinking, foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and binge drinking, to help South Africans make better decisions in terms of the responsible use of alcohol.
2. What factors are considered when deciding on a winner and who were the past winners?
Journalists entering the 2012 brandhouse Responsible Drinking Media Awards will be judged on:
Ability to highlight, profile and engage with the issues around responsible drinking
Approach to the various campaigns (proactive/unique/relative)
Level of support (balance between quality and frequency)
Level of influence (creating awareness/challenging target audience/encouraging change)
3. Could you tell us more about who the judges are?
The judges for 2012 are prominent Cape Talk presenter Kieno Kammies, chief director of the National Liquor Authority (NLA) Thezi Mabuza, and marketing guru, Chris Moerdyk.
Each judge was specifically approached because they are specialists in their particular fields, understand the importance of creating awareness around responsible drinking, and understand the crucial role that media can play in shaping public perception. They are also highly regarded amongst their peers.
4. What are the different categories for entries?
The entry categories for the 2012 brandhouse RDMA include:
- Journalist of the Year (Prize money of R10 000)
- Best Magazine (Prize money of R10 000)
- Best Newspaper (Prize money of R10 000)
- Best Broadcast -Radio/TV (Prize money of R10 000)
- Best Online (Prize money of R10 000)
- Best Blog (Prize money of R10 000)
- Best Community (Prize money of R10 000)
There will be three finalists per category.
5. When is the closing date for entries and when will the winners be announced?
The closing date for entries is 12 noon 30 April 2012. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 30 May 2012 at the One and Only hotel in Cape Town.
6. What in your view should the media do different in terms of its coverage on alcohol-related matters?
brandhouse recognises the important role that journalists and writers, including bloggers, play in supporting, promoting and contributing to the Responsible Drinking agenda which can ultimately help to change consumer behaviour in South Africa. We would hope that media also understand how important their role is, and that they will continue to use their positive messaging, creating awareness around responsible drinking, throughout South African media.
7. The national health department this week said it was considering a draft bill on alcohol advertising. Business Day newspaper reported the bill would prohibit the advertising and promotion of alcoholic products. What is Brandhouse Beverages’ view on this?
brandhouse engages directly with government to promote responsible drinking programmes and find effective measures to tackle alcohol abuse. We do not believe that the proposed ban will be effective in reducing alcohol misuse, as it is complex issue which needs to be addressed on many different levels in society. brandhouse wants to be at the forefront of working with all stakeholders to find meaningful ways in which to curb the misuse of alcohol.
On advertising and promotion, our engagements with government have focused on improving the effectiveness of responsible marketing codes.
In these platforms of engagement with government, we were not given a reason to believe that a total ban of advertising and promotion is currently under consideration.
Fienie Grobler is news editor at the South African Press Association.