Thursday, December 24, 2009

Malawi BBA Revolution Finalists sparks cigarette-advertising debate

Malawian finalist to the Big Brother Africa Revolution Mzamose Chibambo has sparked a cigarette advertising debate following her recent advertising deal with newly formed Malawian cigarette manufacturer Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC).
The controversial debate comes barely a few days after the BBA Revolution finalist started appearing on beautiful advertisements of the company’s cigarette brands.
This is not the first time the BBA housemate has raised a serious debate in Malawi on tobacco.
She was recently in the media spotlights when some members of the Malawi council of Churches condemned her for her heavy smocking in the BBA house which they described as ‘un African and un Malawian’ for ladies.
“Mzamose is not behaving as a good role model in the BBA house,” said Agness Mkoka leader of the women grouping.
In the latest development, the Malawi ministry of health and the consumers association of Malawi are condemning the cigarette manufacturing company for placing beautiful adverts featuring Mzamose who has controversially become very popular as opposed to previous Malawian BBA housemates.
Acting Principal Secretary for the ministry of health Yusuf Hassan said cigarette advertising was illegal in Malawi and condemned NMC for placing the beautiful Mzamo adverts in the local press.
“The country’s laws do not allow cigarette advertising as Malawi is a signatory to the World Health Organisation conventions that make it illegal to advertise cigarettes,” he said.
Consumer Association of Malawi Executive Director John Kapito said it was not only Malawi’s laws that bared cigarette advertising.
“This is not only against local laws, but even international laws. It is even against media ethics,” said Kapito.
Media council of Malawi Executive director Baldwin Chamwaka said public interest has to be considered before publishers accept adverts.
However, despite all this noise over the Mzamo adverts, British American Tobacco (BAT) has been promoting its cigarette brands in the Malawian media but no one ever raised concern over the adverts.

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