What you need to know:
- The Kenya Film Classification Board has issued a seven-day ultimatum to East African Breweries Ltd, Keroche Breweries, and Africa Spirits Ltd to ensure their adverts only run between 10 pm and 5 am.
Chief executives of three breweries face a five-year jail term and a fine of Sh100,000 after they were fingered by the film regulator for advertising alcoholic products on TV when under-age viewers are deemed to be awake.
The Kenya Film Classification Board has issued a seven-day ultimatum to East African Breweries Ltd, Keroche Breweries, and Africa Spirits Ltd to ensure their adverts only run between 10 pm and 5 am.
The agency’s chief executive, Ezekiel Mutua, in a letter to the three brewers said the adverts they are running on TV were produced without a licence from the regulator, which is contrary to the law.
Further, Mr Mutua reckons that the alcohol products’ adverts are not classified by the film agency as required by law, posing a threat to audiences such as children who have been on a two-month Christmas break.
“They have been airing during the watershed period, especially during the holidays when children were at home and were at a higher risk of being exposed to unsuitable content,” Mr Mutua said in a statement to newsrooms.
“Failure to conform to the law, KFCB will have no other recourse than to prosecute all violators in line with the laws of Kenya,” he added.
The Films and Stage Plays Act, which sets up the regulator, provides that all films produced must be licensed by the agency and later submitted for examination and classification before being aired to the public.
“Any person who is guilty of an offence under this Act shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both such fine and imprisonment,” reads section 32 of the Films and Stage Plays Act.
The agency’s regulations further provide that advertisements on betting, alcohol and select contraceptives are classified as unsuitable hence must only be aired during the watershed periods.
The law assumes that children are asleep between 10 pm and 5 am hence will not be exposed to adult material broadcasted during this period.
KFCB’s guidelines also restrict billboards from placing offensive images that are nude or semi-nude or appear demeaning to gender, race, religion, culture or tribe.
Mr Mutua has been aggressive on content regulation with Coca-Cola being forced to edit out a kissing scene on a TV advert following the film board’s order.
The board claimed the scene was offensive to family values and prompted the organisation to either have it edited or banned.
YouTube has also faced Mr Mutua’s wrath when it was ordered to remove a music video with a strong same-sex relationship theme on “moral grounds”.