Public Opinion of Alcohol Industry Corporate Political Activities
This study explores Australian public awareness and attitudes towards political donations from the alcohol industry and the ‘revolving door’ of politicians into industry or lobbyist positions.
Data were collected via a nationwide online panel.
In total, n=1,044 participants completed the survey. More than half of the participants agreed that donations are made to influence government policy and to support the interests of the industry. More than half of the participants did not believe that it is appropriate for political parties to accept donations from the alcohol industry or for politicians to attend alcohol industry-hosted events. One-third of the participants agreed that public officials (including politicians) with a role in health policy should never be allowed to work or lobby for the alcohol industry (31.7%) and one-third endorsed a waiting time of 4–5 years.
There were demographic differences in the views that participants held of the alcohol industry and the relationship between the government and the alcohol industry. The findings suggest that the laws and controls governing industry–government relationships should be reviewed to ensure they are in line with public expectations, accompanied by education programs including a focus on corporate political activity by the alcohol industry.