The Supreme Court witnessed a significant hearing on November 15, 2023, for the case of Mark Osae Darlington versus the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA). This legal battle, initiated by Mark Darlington Osae, the manager of Reggie ‘N’ Bollie and Skrewfaze, centers on the prohibition of celebrities endorsing alcoholic beverages, a rule imposed by the FDA.
Exactly a year ago, Mark Darlington Osae took legal action against the FDA and Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame, challenging the regulations that restrict celebrities from participating in alcoholic beverage advertising. The lawsuit argues that the FDA’s 2015 rules unfairly target the creative arts industry, depriving them of an additional source of income.
Celebrities showed solidarity by attending the hearing, with notable figures such as rapper Sarkodie, members of King Promise’s team, Wendy Shay, and her manager Bullet present in court.
In a writ of summons dated November 11, 2022, Osae asserted that the FDA’s guidelines from February 2016, which state, “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising,” violate constitutional principles of equality before the law and non-discrimination.
Among the reliefs sought in the lawsuit is a declaration that the guideline is discriminatory and inconsistent with Articles 17(1) and 17(2) of the 1992 Constitution, which guarantee equality before the law and prohibit discrimination based on social or economic status, occupation, and more.
The Attorney General is also named as a defendant in this case.
Both parties have filed their pleadings, and the hearing has been adjourned to January 17, 2024. The outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications for the entertainment industry in Ghana, potentially influencing the guidelines and regulations that govern celebrity endorsements in the country.