This company profile of Suntory reveals the unethical practices of one of the world’s largest alcohol producers. It provides examples of harmful methods across the categories of political interference, promotion, sabotage, manipulation, and deception – the Dubious 5 strategies.

LOBBYING
PROMOTION
SABOTAGE
MANIPULATION
DECEPTION

Introduction

The Suntory Group is based in Tokyo, Japan and is one of the largest alcohol companies in the world. They produce spirits, beer and non-alcoholic drinks and operate restaurant businesses. The president and CEO since 2014 is Kazuhiro Saito. 

Suntory involvement in front groups:

  • International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)
  • Spirits Europe
  • Ibec
  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)
  • Portman Group

BIG ALCOHOL IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Whisky brands are very reliant on a small number of heavy, and increasingly ageing, consumers, to provide the majority of volume [...] in the longer term we had to attract more younger drinkers—the heavy- using loyalists of tomorrow [to avoid] the potentially disastrous implications of losing heavy drinkers”.

Source: Research article

“If Miller Lite was to be a large profitable brand we had to attract these young heavy drinkers”.

Source: Research article

To the extent [that laws or regulations or actions against us to substantially curtail the consumption of alcohol, including beer] gain traction, they could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results. For example, the European Union published its Europe Beating Cancer Plan. As part of the plan, by the end of 2023, the European Union has indicated it will issue a proposal for mandatory health warnings on alcohol beverage product labels."

Source: Molson Coors Annual Report 2022

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