Publication Details

Jones, S. C. & Robinson, L. 2011, 'Saving lives or raising revenue: Analysing media coverage of the alcopops tax in light of the evidence on its effects', Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, pp. 1-7.


The Australian Government increased the tax on ready-to-drink (RTD) alcohol beverages in 2008, in order to address concerns about increasing alcohol consumption among young people. This decision resulted in significant debate and discussion in the media, and in academic circles. The aim of the current study was to examine media coverage of the debate – and particularly the arguments posed in favour of and against the tax – now that we have objective evidence of its impact. We find that business owners and industry groups were vocal in the media, raising a number of arguments in opposition to the tax; and that this opposition dominated media coverage, potentially misleading consumers as to the rationale for, and effectiveness of, the „alcopop tax‟.