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Research

In the period of 16 till 20 October 2013 the content of the various online and social media platforms of the five most popular brands in Madagascar was analyzed.

The placement of outdoor alcohol advertisements were monitored in four urban areas in Antananarivo and another suburb. Alcohol points of sale and schools were also mapped including a statistical analysis to see whether there were significantly more alcohol ads found near schools. Print media was also monitored. Sponsored events were also monitored with a clear increase in alcohol promotional events in the country where free alcohol and gifts are given out to crowds.

Click here to access an overview of the identified alcohol marketing instances.

Policy recommendations

The country is in the early phase of a comprehensive advocacy campaign. More research will be conducted around the country on different aspects of daily living affected by alcohol. The following recommendations will be included in forthcoming discussions with government:

  • Recognizing that a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship would reduce alcohol–related harm, and that self-regulation is an ineffective mechanism to reduce alcohol-related harm, effective legislation remains necessary to strictly regulate alcohol marketing activities
  • The total volume of alcohol marketing should be restricted as much as possible. Alcohol marketing tools that are difficult to monitor (e.g. alcohol advertising on the internet) should be prohibited
  • This preliminary monitoring of alcohol marketing showed that many alcohol advertisements refer to values that are highly appreciated by large groups of Malagasy. Suggestions to sexual and economic success and a glorious, western lifestyle are often used in alcohol advertisements and are absolutely unethical. Just as Art 10/06/73 and Art 10/06/74 of the ‘Code Général de Impots,’ state, alcohol advertisements should be restricted to information of the product only; which includes that the product is not to be exhibited in a setting with people or any other context glamorizing the alcoholic product
  • The use of direct or indirect incentives that encourage the purchase of alcohol should be prohibited
  • The practice of articles 10/06/73 and 10/06/74 show that having regulations on paper is not in and of itself sufficient. Effective policy depends strongly on its enforcement. The adherence to alcohol marketing regulations should be monitored regularly by the government or a board independent from economic interests of the sale of alcohol. The monitoring method described in this paper can be a starting point of monitoring systematically by non-economic operators
  • In order to provide governments with adequate information, alcohol companies should be obliged to disclose alcohol marketing expenditures to appropriate governments