How personal responsibility arguments help industries avoid regulation: Lessons from Big Tobacco and Big Food

printer friendlyprinter friendly

Tobacco control shines as a beacon of success in public health -- one that has informed advocates from many fields in their efforts to protect the public from harmful products. But just as advocates have learned from tobacco control, major industries have learned from the tobacco industry itself. The food and beverage industry's opposition to recent regulatory efforts, for example, has gotten a lot of attention for resembling the counter-regulatory "playbook" established by the tobacco industry to fight tobacco control policies.

What does this playbook look like and how do Big Food and Big Tobacco's tactics compare? At this year's meeting of the American Public Health Association, we'll dig into these questions and share findings from a content analysis we did of media coverage of both industries.

We started by exploring media coverage of the tobacco industry from 1966 to 1991. We also analyzed news coverage of the food and beverage industry from 2000 to 2011, when obesity emerged as a public health concern. We found that both Big Tobacco and Big Food have shifted responsibility away from themselves and their harmful products by drawing on the deeply held American value of individual responsibility. However, their strategies for doing so differ. Unlike tobacco companies, which placed blame for smoking-related diseases explicitly on consumers, food and beverage representatives primarily have used the news to deflect responsibility by creating costly "corporate social responsibility" campaigns and claiming to be "part of the solution" to nutrition-related diseases.

Our work offers advocates from both tobacco control and obesity prevention a more complete understanding of how two industries use the news to forestall regulation across shifting political landscapes. In addition, our analysis suggests that as the food and beverage industry uses the media to bolster its image, public health advocates must focus their efforts on undermining these self-promoting arguments to change the public's perception not only about harmful foods and beverages themselves, but also about the companies that produce and market them.

Please join us at session 43810 (Getting the message across: Manipulation or education?) on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 4:30 p.m. to learn more!


diabetes (1) values (1) water security (1) childhood obesity (1) FCC (1) Happy Meals (1) Berkeley (2) Twitter (1) language (6) HPV vaccine (1) media analysis (6) news (2) obesity prevention (1) summer camps (1) food marketing (5) children's health (3) food industry (4) government intrusion (1) American Beverage Association (1) Nickelodeon (1) social math (1) Connecticut shooting (1) election 2016 (1) health equity (10) food swamps (1) adverse childhood experiences (3) liana winett (1) Aurora (1) childhood adversity (1) Let's Move (1) Oakland Unified School District (1) SSBs (1) racism (1) ssb (1) news analysis (3) gun violence (1) Citizens United (1) soda tax (11) institutional accountability (1) sexism (2) junk food marketing to kids (2) Pine Ridge reservation (1) sexual health (1) SB 1000 (1) violence prevention (8) community health (1) sandusky (2) Texas (1) george lakoff (1) Black Lives Matter (1) food justice (1) authentic voices (1) child sexual abuse (5) physical activity (1) gatorade bolt game (1) alcohol (5) mental health (2) Food Marketing Workgroup (1) ACEs (2) cosmetics (1) food deserts (1) built environment (2) Tea Party (1) framing (14) violence (2) Twitter for advocacy (1) white house (1) cancer prevention (1) Bloomberg (3) news coverage (1) new year's resolutions (1) race (1) Jerry Sandusky (3) suicide prevention (2) Community Coalition Against Beverage Taxes (1) advocacy (3) Proposition 47 (1) regulation (2) corporate social responsibility (1) Bill Cosby (1) nonprofit communications (1) junk food (2) media bites (1) diabetes prevention (1) suicide nets (1) democracy (1) Penn State (3) cervical cancer (1) personal responsibility (3) gender (1) autism (1) Michelle Obama (1) sexual violence (2) tobacco industry (2) cancer research (1) media advocacy (23) childhood trauma (3) PepsiCo (1) Merck (1) front groups (1) beverage industry (2) health care (1) suicide barrier (2) messaging (3) women's health (2) healthy eating (1) El Monte (3) sugary drinks (10) apha (3) journalism (1) soda warning labels (1) Donald Trump (2) Sam Kass (1) Wendy Davis (1) indoor smoking ban (1) social change (1) digital marketing (3) tobacco (5) Chile (1) prison system (1) political correctness (1) california (1) water (1) junk food marketing (4) gun control (2) SB 402 (1) campaign finance (1) auto safety (1) sports drinks (1) strategic communication (1) public health data (1) San Francisco (3) personal responsibility rhetoric (1) food and beverage marketing (3) inequities (1) naacp (1) food access (1) collaboration (1) Sandy Hook (2) SB-5 (1) Proposition 29 (1) communication (2) Dora the Explorer (1) emergency contraception (1) community safety (1) structural racism (1) marketing (1) tobacco control (2) environmental health (1) chronic disease (2) abortion (1) Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (1) seat belt laws (1) beauty products (1) sugar-sweetened beverages (2) equity (3) soda (12) sanitation (1) paper tigers (1) reproductive justice (1) Richmond (5) nanny state (2) safety (1) Big Food (2) Amanda Fallin (1) Marion Nestle (1) youth (1) industry appeals to choice (1) tobacco tax (1) Measure O (1) news monitoring (1) soda taxes (2) education (1) communication strategy (1) cannes lions festival (1) Oglala Sioux (3) cigarette advertising (1) choice (1) privilege (1) community (1) childhood obestiy conference (1) Big Tobacco (3) soda industry (4) food (1) Telluride (1) default frame (1) vaccines (1) weight of the nation (1) snap (1) cap the tap (1) media (7) Gardasil (1) Whiteclay (4) breastfeeding (3) product safety (1) stigma (1) Golden Gate Bridge (2) prevention (1) public health policy (2) Joe Paterno (1) Johnson & Johnson (1) Coca-Cola (3) Catholic church (1) community violence (1) social justice (2) obesity (10) target marketing (9) childhood lead poisoning (1) Big Soda (2) Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (2) elephant triggers (1) news strategy (1) social media (2) public health (71) online marketing (1) world water day (1) paula deen (1) Colorado (1) food environment (1) genital warts (1) community organizing (1) Newtown (1) sexual assault (1) McDonald's (1) Rachel Grana (1) prison phone calls (1) measure N (2) filibuster (1)
  • Follow Us On Facebook
  • Follow Us On Twitter
  • Join Us On Youtube
  • BMSG RSS Feed

get e-alerts in your inbox: