SAB recently decided to pull out its “grootman of laiaitie” advert after an outcry regarding its message, below is a copy of the detailed complaint that was sent to SAB.
The “Groot man of laaitie? Vra vir die volle 750ml” ads link excessive
drinking with masculinity and being a man. The campaign very clearly implies that moderate drinkers are weak and like laaities/children and that “real” men drink large quantities of alcohol.
Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for many health and safety problems in South Africa including sexual and domestic violence, homicide, assault, road traffic accidents and injury, HIV and AIDS and alcohol related chronic illnesses, including cardio-vascular diseases. Given the clear relationship and these health and safety issues it is unacceptable that SAB should choose to run an ad that encourages heavy drinking by linking alcohol consumption to negative stereotypes of masculinity and manhood.
The following statistics make it unambiguously clear just how destructive
alcohol abuse is and how much it costs South Africans in terms of lives
lost, injury caused, safety violated and health compromised:
- South Africa has the highest per capita alcohol consumption levels per drinker in the world.
- The link between alcohol abuse and violence of all sorts is indisputable. UNISA reports that blood alcohol analyses were conducted in 20, 279 homicide fatalities and just over half of these had blood alcohol levels over the legal limit.
- NIMMS report that more than three-quarters of homicides perpetrated with a sharp object are alcohol related.
- The Medical Research Council’s National Trauma Research Program reported that 67 per cent of domestic violence in the Cape Metropolitan area was alcohol related. In another study of women abused by their spouses, 69 per cent of women interviewed identified alcohol or drug abuse as the main cause of conflict leading to the violence.
- A recent study conducted by Project Concern International and the Western Cape and KZN Networks on Violence Against Women revealed that 76% of all respondents said “the abuse of alcohol causes violence in this community”
- The link between alcohol and unintentional injury is equally clear. Half of all road accidents in South Africa are the result of drunkenness and almost 60% of fatally injured pedestrians had drunk alcohol.
- Studies also show a correlation between alcohol consumption and the likelihood of men and women engaging in unprotected casual sex, particularly in spaces associated with alcohol consumption such as shebeens or taverns. The link with HIV infection, moreover, is strong – a CADRE study in South Africa found that people who regularly had five or more drinks at a time were more likely to be HIV-positive. Alcohol is also linked to lower levels of treatment adherence and treatment efficacy amongst those on anti-retroviral treatment.
- South Africa has amongst the highest levels of fetal alcohol syndrome in the world. Fully one in ten children in the Northern Cape have clear signs of alcohol exposure in utero.
In this context the “Groot man of laaitie. Vra vir die vol 750ml” which equates manhood with consuming large quantities of alcohol and denigrates as “laities”/children those who choose to drink smaller amounts or not at all is irresponsible and dangerous.