Drink wisely Australians, but keep drinking: does the alcohol industry in Australia frame the discourse on alcohol to maintain hegemony?
Sage Publications Ltd
Place of Publication
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Public health literature proposes that the Australian alcohol industry-funded organisation DrinkWise is a Social Aspects Public Relations Organisation (SAPRO) that favours industry over public interests by deploying ineffective alcohol harm reduction strategies. This research addresses a gap in the critical public relations literature by investigating these claims through an examination of DrinkWise's source media content. Content and rhetorical framing analysis revealed how the organisation framed the alcohol issue, as well as identifying the messages and message audiences of their media releases. Results supported extant research suggesting that DrinkWise is insulating the alcohol industry against evidence-based public health harm reduction strategies, by engaging in agenda building through industry-friendly framing of the alcohol issue, and dissemination of information subsidies to elites and policy-makers. We discuss the conclusions through a lens of hegemony and develop an argument that DrinkWise media relations is a strategy to maintain a hegemonic individual responsibility ideology.