The National Media Commission (NMC) has called on advertisers to commit themselves as agents of social change and help transform the consciousness of the people.
It said although specific brands would have to market their products their own way, there should be a collective responsibility by advertisers to build trust in local culture and products.
The Executive Secretary of the NMC, George Sarpong, made the call at the 16th Gong Gong Awards of the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) last Friday.
“The struggle to redeem the youth from the hegemonic preference for foreign products requires a collective effort, spearheaded by those of us in the media and advertising industry. The plight of the mass of unemployed youth must energise our search for social change in a Ghana beyond aid,” he said.
The event was on the theme: “Advertising as an agent of social change."
The awards, the premier advertising awards scheme in Ghana, were organised by the AAG, the industry body and professional institute for Ghana’s advertising and marketing communications sector, to honour industry players who excelled in the year under review.
Mr Sarpong said it was necessary for the industry to help curb the youth’s preference for foreign products.
Aside from selling and promoting brands, he noted, advertising also fed on concepts of identity, ideology, myth, art and religion.
“We must understand that how we frame Ghana, its life, politics, economy and culture in advertising will have implications on how the world sees us,” he said.
Mr Sarpong noted that in modern society, advertising played a huge role in moulding people’s perceptions, thoughts and actions and remained essential for the formation of social norms, value systems and public consciousness.
“We are not saying you should abandon your clients in search of some abstract notion of social change. The suggestion here is that in serving our clients, there is a way we can align for profit and for good. There are ways advertising can help us forge a sense of social identity and cultural community,” he said.
EXP Ghana, Echo House and Primetime won the most awards in the night: five each.
EXP Ghana won four Gold and one Platinum awards, while Echo House and Primetime won three Gold and two Silver awards each.
Social Ghana and Media Reach won two Gold awards each, while Digicraft Company Limited won one Platinum and one Silver.
Lyme House Solutions also won one Gold award, while Apex Ghana won one Platinum.