Regulatory Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa and Marketing Malpractices of “Big” Tobacco

Regulatory Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa and Marketing Malpractices of “Big” Tobacco

Nnamdi O. Madichie (Centre for Research and Enterprise, UK) and Promise A. Opute (Independent Researcher, Germany)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7906-9.ch005

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the implications of the marketing activities undertaken by tobacco companies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and especially as it pertains to vulnerable groups such as children. Using illustrative cases of two SSA countries—notably Malawi and Nigeria—with disparate economic sizes but nonetheless critical for the discussion in question. Consequently, the chapter posits that the marketing practices of tobacco giants (i.e., Big Tobacco), exploiting the weak regulatory environment in SSA, is worthy of scholarly and policy attention. The chapter focuses primarily on the promotion element of the traditional marketing-mix (which also includes the production and its packaging and branding attributes, pricing strategies, and distribution/place elements) as well as the public policy implications of these four Ps. It also touches upon some of the institutional elements that handicaps governments from undertaking necessary corrective measures/action such as in the case of Malawi where tobacco accounts for a substantial part of the GDP.
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Introduction

Consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-greater amounts. Early criticisms of consumerism are present in the works of Thorstein Veblen (1899). Veblen’s subject of examination, the newly emergent middle class arising at the turn of the twentieth century, comes to fruition by the end of the twentieth century through the process of globalization. In this sense, consumerism is usually considered a part of media culture – a subject that resonates with the cool exhibited in the marketing of tobacco companies. In the domain of politics, the term “consumerism” has also been used to refer to something quite different called the consumerists movement, consumer protection or consumer activism, which seeks to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices such as ‘honest packaging’ and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards. In this sense it is a political movement, or a set of policies aimed at regulating the products, services, methods, and standards of manufacturers, sellers, and advertisers in the interests of the buyer.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Consumer Protection: Also sometimes referred to as consumer activism, is a political movement or a set of policies aimed at regulating the products, services, methods, and standards of manufacturers, sellers, and advertisers in the interests of the buyer. It seeks to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices such as “honest packaging” and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards.

Big Tobacco: The “big 6” global tobacco producers and/ or marketers who constitute over 80% of the global market – notably (1) China Tobacco, 37%; (2) Philip Morris, 17%; (3) British American Tobacco, 12%; (4) Japan Tobacco, 10%; (5) Imperial Tobacco, 5%; and (6) Altria, 3%.

Consumerism: A social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-greater amounts.

Sub-Saharan Africa: A term with both geographical and political explanation. Geographically, it is the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara Desert. Politically, it consists of all African countries that are fully or partially located south of the Sahara (excluding Sudan, even though Sudan sits in the Eastern portion of the Sahara Desert).

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