Sanral defends celebrity e-tolls campaign - TechCentral

Sanral defends celebrity e-tolls campaign

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The freedom of commercial expression is being attacked by those who have slammed the e-toll celebrity endorsement campaign, Vusi Mona, GM of communications at roads agency Sanral, said on Monday.

Activist group the Justice Project South Africa accused the Gauteng provincial government of wasting money on the campaign, while the Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance slammed the ads as a desperate tactic by Sanral “to emboss the failed e-toll system”.

The organisations also criticised celebrities Tbo Touch, Minnie Dlamini and Khanyi Mbau for endorsing e-tolls in the campaign.

Mona, however, responded by quoting sports promoter Gerrie Swart, who has said “celebrity endorsements have become the very foundation of many brands’ success, and the relationships between campaigns and celebrities grow ever more complex”.

Michael Wood, founder and director of business consulting company Aperio, has said a lot of African consumers, especially the emerging middle class are very aspirational.

“So if you can provide them with someone that they want to aspire to, then some kind of celebrity endorsement or recommendation can work,” explained Mona.

He emphasised that there is no prohibition on Sanral making use of celebrity endorsements.

“The fact is, like it or not, those paying are not alone. Those lauding the system are not alone. How else to explain the positive trend in e-toll income?” asked Mona.

“There are a number of South Africans who support the system, particularly following the announcement of the new dispensation which addressed what we understood to be the concerns of most motorists.”

Mona explained that the celebrity endorsers are part of a campaign to identify some of those compliant South Africans that could lend their voice in support of the revised e-tolling system.

“In choosing this approach, Sanral has simply exercised its freedom of commercial expression. This may be an unfamiliar concept in South Africa, but one well established within other jurisdictions,” he said.

“Sanral stands by the campaign, and would like to thank the hundreds of thousands of compliant Gauteng motorists for their continued support.”  — Fin24

10 Comments

  1. CharlieTango on

    If you want a celebrity to endorse your product then you need to attract a real celebrity and not some “wannabe”. At least they will have their five minutes of fame now.

  2. norman cummins on

    Exactly. Who the hell are these people? Definitely not on any programs that I watch. Sanral could have invested in a few buckets of tar and fix some potholes rather than paying some unknown who wants to get their face on TV for a few minutes.

  3. Gauteng Trekker on

    Thanks to these brave celebrities for standing up for what is right! As for Outa and the rest of ungrateful middle class, how much longer can they expect the ANC government to be patient when every concession have been granted to them? Wayne’s unreasonable viewpoint is anti-majorterian,finished and klaar! By voting ANC, South Africa’s people have endorsed the user pays principle.

  4. Andrew Fraser on

    These brave celebrities that were paid to appear in the ads. So credible.

    “By voting ANC, South Africa’s people have endorsed the user pays principle.” Er no, or Zuma would be paying for Nkandla… you can’t have it both ways.

  5. We will stop complaining when 100%of the money raised goes towards the construction and maintenance of the road network. 55% being paid to those running the organization is a fantastic waste of public funds.

  6. Ever few persons vote ANC, certainly in the urban areas.
    A rural voter in Limpopo has no clue what the E tolls are all about.
    BTW, E tolls are the user pays TWICE principle, as he/she also pays fuel levies, which are not even ring fenced for new roads or maintenance.
    You are a totally brainless and spineless ANC follower.
    I am residing outside GP, 300 kms from Joburg, but totally opposed to e tolls, because they do not make sense.
    In the Final Analysis, IMHO, what the etoll saga has made clear, when you think a bit longer and harder about the issue , is that we should actually get rid of all toll roads in SA. And use the fuel levy for roads and traffic safety, nothing else. Only the equivalent of 35% of fuel levies is actually used for this purpose, that is why so many roads are in disgusting condition.
    There should be reasonable alternatives to toll roads acc to official regulations, but in general they are not available, and we are often forced to use toll roads.

  7. hundreds of thousands of compliant Gauteng motorists for their continued support…. I think its just all the rental cars and company cars? I personally don’t know one person who has anything nice to say about etolls. I wonder what the stats would be???