Framing the alcohol policy debate: industry actors and the regulation of the UK beverage alcohol market
This article explores alcohol industry attempts to frame the debate about pricing and promotions policy in the United Kingdom.
Framing theory, it is argued, offers us important insights into the dynamics of the policymaking process as a contest between competing conceptualizations of both problems and solutions. Drawing on a documentary analysis and a series of interviews with policymakers, public health advocates and alcohol industry actors, it argues that industry actors framed the policy debate in ways which were consistent with their underlying commercial interests.
A clear challenge was posed to the industry by the shift towards whole-population interventions favored by the Scottish government. This led to a reassertion of the industry frame in which alcohol-related harm is limited to a small minority of the population and which advocates targeted interventions.