Table 1

Strategies (and examples) commonly employed by unhealthy commodity industries (UCIs) to promote their interests within public health policies

UCIsUltra-processed food and drink productsAlcoholGamblingTobacco
Shaping the evidence
 Lobbying for example, via front groupsThe Center for Consumer Freedom126 (CCF)
International Life Sciences Institute127
The CCF126
Competitive Enterprise Institute128
Alcohol industry directly lobbying government about minimum unit pricing (MUP)129
Competitive Enterprise Institute130
Gambling industry funds Republican campaigns131
The CCF126
Big Tobacco funds Republican campaigns131
 Shaping research and funding prioritiesDiet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC)89
The International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment and Coca-Cola132
International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)133Industry sponsors’ annual National Association for Gambling Studies Conference in Australia. Gambling industry part of consultative process to decide on Australian government funding priorities for gambling research134Centre for Substance Use Research in Scotland135 136
 Financing university programmes and chairsUnilever Graduate Scholarship in the Sciences, St Cross College, University of Oxford137Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (ie, Diageo, Bacardi, etc) sponsors a $3.3 million endowed chair at Harvard Medical School’s Cambridge Health Alliance92University of Nevada International Gaming Institute, includes research on ‘responsible’ gambling138RJ Reynolds Chair of Medicine at Duke University91
Employing narratives and framing techniques
 Focusing on youth, often directly in schoolsCoca-Cola’s The Real Experience ‘flagship education programme for secondary schools, colleges and universities in Great Britain’139‘Smashed’—educational plays in schools funded by Diageo140
Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs)141
GamCare’s ‘Big Deal’ website (eg, ‘Are you feeling lucky?’)142Philip Morris (PM) International Youth Smoking Prevention143
British American Tobacco’s (BAT) cooperation with night clubs144
 Focus on the individual for example, ‘problem’ behaviours, individual responsibility, personal choice and ‘nanny state’ rhetoricConsumer choice145
‘Tackling obesity: choice and information’146
‘Is your drinking a problem?’ (Drinkaware)147‘Problem’ gambling33
Institute of Public Affairs’ (IPA) 10 worst nanny state policies: increasing gaming rates148
IPA’s 10 worst nanny state policies: plain packet cigarettes148
Hands off our packs campaign149
 Being ‘part of the solution’The Obesity Awareness and Solutions Trust (lobby group financed by weight loss industry)150SpiritsEurope (industry group) ‘Reducing alcohol related harm in Europe’151GamCare, Gambling Therapy and Gordon Moody Association, supported by industry-funded GambleAwareTobacco industry funded youth smoking cessation programmes152
Foundation for a Smokefree World153
 Focus on ‘sustainability’ and strategic use of corporate social responsibility (CSR)Coca-Cola Company’s commitment to sustainability154Diageo’s commitment to sustainability155
ABInBev, Stella’s buy a lady a drink programme.156
Strategic use of CSR by gambling industry for example, the Senet Group, a voluntary watchdog set up by the industry to ‘promote responsible gambling standards’ and the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG)157PM International’s commitment to sustainability158
BAT Sustainable Tobacco Programme159
Constituency building
 Promoting or sponsoring efforts beyond their core businessThe Coca-Cola Cycling Club160
McDonald’s sponsorship of the 2012 Olympics
National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) (supported by Diageo)161
Large spend on legal challenges to Scottish MUP legislation
In the 2019–2020 season, gambling companies sponsor the shirts of 10 out of 20 teams in the Premier League and 17 out of 24 teams in the Championship.162PM contributes to alleviating hunger and extreme poverty163
Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation164– BAT, PM, Imperial and other tobacco companies are members
RJ Reynolds’ sponsorship of Nascar Winston Cup Series and Vantage Gold Championship165
 Financial and non-financial partnerships with charities or health-related/education-related foundationsUNICEF and McDonald’s (Ronald McDonald Foundation)166
Britvic and Diabetes UK167
Addaction has undertaken alcohol misuse projects funded by Heineken168GamCare,142 GambleAware
Young Gamblers’ Education Trust169
PM China partnership with the China Youth Development Foundation to build schools170
Policy substitution, development and implementation
 Partnerships or voluntary agreements with governmentMore industry-led voluntary pledges than government regulations worldwide on food advertising to children171
Public Health Responsibility Deal (RD)172
IGRG voluntary codes on advertising.176
Voluntary levy paid by bookmakers to GambleAware, the charity which funds education, prevention and treatment services and commissions research.
Voluntary agreement on sponsorship on sport by tobacco industry177
 Contributing to health policy consultations and participating in drafting relevant policiesSugar industry contributes to European Food Safety Authority nutrition guidelines (suggests no link between sugar and obesity)178IARD and SABMiller influence on several African countries’ alcohol policies179 180Levy Board, government-appointed bodies from horseracing and betting, collect funds from bookmakers, use to improve horseracing, and veterinary science and education181Action on Smoking and Health’s ‘The smoke-filled room: How big tobacco influences health policy in the UK’182
  • Source: table design adapted from Savell et al,39 ,38 Ulucanlar et al,43 Mialon et al,40 Scott et al,45 Capewell and Lloyd-Williams46 and McCambridge et al.97