South African Breweries’ (SAB’s) dominant position in the South African beer market might, over time, give it an advantage if the government went ahead with a ban on alcohol advertising, but SABMiller chief executive Alan Clark said it was hard to predict exactly what would happen.
“If there’s an advertising ban, and the market goes dark, in theory the established players do better,” Clark told Business Report.
But he added that there was not sufficient experience of alcohol markets “going dark” to be confident of knowing what would happen. He said that it was difficult to draw any conclusions from what happened to cigarette sales after the ban on cigarette advertising because of the addictive nature of cigarettes.
Clark said he felt that the ANC’s attention had shifted to the upcoming elections and the advertising ban was not currently a priority for the ruling party. “It’s impossible to predict whether or not it [the interest in a ban] will revive.”
The only countries where there is a ban on alcohol advertising are India, Russia and Turkey.