In 2023, Movendi International published more than 290 stories on our Alcohol Issues News Center, covering alcohol policy and scientific developments around the world and throughout the years, as well as more than 80 stories exposing alcohol industry misconduct.
In our review of the biggest stories in 2023 we have identified 22 case stories of unethical and predatory practices of alcohol companies that reveal the harm Big Alcohol is causing to people, communities, and society.

Welcome to the Special Edition 2023 Review of the Alcohol Issues Newsletter.

We reveal the unethical and often predatory practices of Big Alcohol through a unique overview of 22 case stories of misconduct by alcohol companies in 2023 – exposing Big Alcohol’s unethical business methods across the Dubious 5, including an alcohol marketing case study and 4 conflict of interest case study. In addition, we also expose five cases of alcohol industry exploitation of people and societies:

  1. 4 Conflict of interest case studies from 2023
  2. The Dubious 5 – Exposing Big Alcohol’s Political Interference, Promotion, Sabotage, Manipulation, and Deception in 2023
  3. 5 examples of alcohol industry exploitation of people and societies.

4 Conflict of interest case studies from 2023

In 2023, communities and researchers experiences and documented many examples of conflicts of interest concerning the alcohol industry. We share four remarkbale case studies that reveal and add to the evidence base about the direct, fundamental, and inherent conflict between the private profit maximzation interests of the alcohol industry and achieving health and development for all people.

  1. UK: Big Alcohol Earns £11bn From Higher Risk Alcohol Use Yearly, Government Action Needed
  2. New Diageo CEO Hails from Big Tobacco
  3. Heineken Takes Over Competitor in Aggressive Push for African Markets
  4. Exposing Alcohol Industry Framing and Conflict of Interest in Discussion of Alcohol Mortality in the UK

The Dubious 5 – Exposing the unethical business practices of Big Alcohol in 2023 

The alcohol industry engages in unethical practices systematically, mimicking Big Tobacco strategies.

These unethical practices can be divided into the areas of lobbying or political interference, promotion, sabotage, manipulation, and deception – the Dubious Five.

For the purpose of the 2023 Alcohol Issues review we include 18 stories across the Dubious Five to illustrate how and where alcohol companies and their front groups are causing harm while pursuing profit maximization.

Political interference (lobbying)

The political interference (lobbying) strategy among the Dubious Five is corporate political activity and interference by the alcohol industry to eliminate or minimize any alcohol policy effort that threatens their sales and profits. Examples are attempts to delay alcohol policy development, to derail alcohol policy making processes, to divide the community supporting alcohol policy development, and to destroy existing, effective alcohol laws and policies.

We expose how Big Alcohol interferes politically with six case stories, from five different countries. They each represent an array of similar activities around the world and they together paint a picture of alcohol industry lobbying activities in 2023.


The deception strategy among the Dubious Five is any alcohol industry activity to hinder and obscure public recognition of the real effects of alcohol. Examples of the deception strategy are the alcohol industry conducting their own research, or funding research, or activities to pressure and undermine objective and independent research and researchers, or activities to sow doubt about evidence regarding alcohol harm and alcohol policy.

We expose how Big Alcohol deceives people, politicians, and the public with two high-profile examples from two different countries in 2023.


The sabotage strategy among the Dubious Five is any alcohol industry activity to avoid, violate and undermine society’s rules, laws, and institutions. Sabotage is Big Alcohol’s strategy to deliberately destroy, damage, or undermine the rules and proper functioning of central institutions of society and democracy. The Sabotage strategy is about Big Alcohol attempting to undermine that public institutions respond to alcohol harm in the public interest. Prominent and highly prevalent examples are alcohol industry tax schemes (evasion and avoidance), price fixing schemes, breaching of existing alcohol marketing rules, as well as bribery and corruption.

We expose how Big Alcohol sabotages existing rules, laws, and institutions with three examples from two different countries.


The promotion (marketing) strategy among the Dubious Five is any alcohol industry activity to drive alcohol availability, in all four dimensions (psychological, physical, social, and financial), to perpetuate the alcohol norm, and place alcohol at the center of people’s thoughts, communities’ activities, and societies’ customs. Examples are hyperpalatable products that target youth or women, using Pride to incite alcohol use in the LGBTQIA+ community, or No- or Low-Alcohol content beverages (NoLos).

We expose how Big Alcohol promotes their products and brands and incites consumption with three stories and one case study from the Super Bowl in 2023. The three stories represent different activities that the alcohol industry at large deploys.



The manipulation strategy among the Dubious Five is any alcohol industry activity to control its image. Big Alcohol companies engage in manipulation to protect and cultivate their image and brand value and to appear as “good corporate citizens”. Examples are Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), green-washing (sustainability, water), pink-washing (gender equality/ feminism, cancer prevention/ research), and white-washing.

We expose how Big Alcohol manipulates people, politicians, communities, and societies with three examples from two different countries.


The products and practices of alcohol companies and their front groups are causing serious and extensive harm. Each of the Dubious Five strategies is harmful and their cumulative effect engender dire consequences for people, communities, and societies. The alcohol industry is extracting precious resources from societies for private profit maximization, at the same time as the alcohol industry is externalizing the costs of the damage their products and practices are causing.

We expose how exploitative and ruthless Big Alcohol conducts its business with five examples from three countries.

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