By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

"Using information to shape perception": tobacco industry documents study of the evolution of Corporate Affairs in the Miller Brewing Company

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Full text download(s)

Published copy (DOI)

Author(s)

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalGlobalization and Health
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Jan 2022
DatePublished (current) - 21 May 2022
Issue number1
Volume18
Number of pages14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Miller Brewing Company (MBC) was wholly owned by Phillip Morris (PM), between 1970 and 2002. Tobacco industry document studies identify alliances between the alcohol and tobacco industries to counter U.S. policies in the 1980s and 1990s. This investigation sought to study in-depth inter-relationships between MBC and PM, with a particular focus on alcohol policy issues. We used the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents library to trace the evolution of corporate affairs and related alcohol policy orientated functions within and between MBC and PM.

RESULTS: MBC was structured and led by PM senior executives from soon after takeover in 1970. Corporate Affairs sought to influence public perceptions of alcohol to align them with business interests. Alcohol education was specifically designed to prevent the adoption of policies inimical to those interests (e.g., raising excise taxes). Strategic consideration of alcohol policy issues was integrated within company-wide thinking, which sought to apply lessons from tobacco to alcohol and vice versa. PM directly led key alcohol industry organisations nationally and globally, which have successfully delayed the adoption and implementation of known effective policy measures in the U.S. and worldwide.

CONCLUSIONS: PM has been a key architect of alcohol industry political strategies. This study builds on earlier work on alcohol companies in the tobacco documents, and offers historical data on how tobacco companies have used commercial involvements in other sectors to influence wider public health policy. We are only beginning to appreciate how multi-sectoral companies internally develop political strategies across product categories. Global health and national governmental policy-making needs to be better protected from business interests that fundamentally conflict with public health goals.

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Commerce, Humans, Perception, Taxes, Tobacco, Tobacco Industry, Tobacco Products

Projects

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations