Author Archives: Michael Thorn

Michael Thorn

About Michael Thorn

Michael Thorn is a public health consultant and adviser to WHO Europe and was Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Policy and Research from 2011 to 2019.

Is the Darwin Dan Murphy’s Woolworths a Juukan Gorge moment?

As time has passed, opposition to Woolworths’ plans for a massive alcohol store near three dry Indigenous communities in Darwin has strengthened and become more vociferous. Even with the assistance of a pliant Northern Territory Government, approval of this shocking … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Public Policy, Top 5 | 14 Comments

Cricket Australia continues to feast on unhealthy product advertising

The advertising of alcohol, gambling and junk food, especially in sport and during children’s viewing times, has been contentious. With summer upon us, cricket is again swamped with these ads, exposing millions of kids to them and threatening their health … Continue reading

Posted in Public Policy, Top 5 | 2 Comments

Lobbyland. The alcohol industry lobbies furiously in the pandemic.

Alcohol industry representatives have been furiously lobbying for concessions to the efforts by governments to restrict the movement of people – the primary tool in fighting the virus.

Posted in Lobbyland, Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL THORN,- The cricket trifecta-booze,junk food and betting.

Cricket Australia’s gift to fans this Christmas was an unhealthy serving of booze, betting and junk food ads.

Posted in Health | 5 Comments

MICHAEL THORN. Alcohol industry calling the shots on Australian health policy

Shocking scandals continue to roll through the media cycle, featuring abuse of power and influence by the addictive industries, and alleging corruption and worse. Who hasn’t read or heard about Crown Casino’s high roller operation or the ABC’s investigation into … Continue reading

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MICHAEL THORN. Dry July Sobriety Stunt is Unethical

There are many dimensions to the controversy around the shocking decision by cancer charity and fundraiser Dry July to partner with Australia’s biggest alcohol retailer Woolworths, but fundamentally it is unethical.

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MICHAEL THORN. Writing on the wall for unhealthy advertising

Regulation in this country around the advertising of unhealthy products – alcohol, junk food and gambling – is a hodgepodge of black letter law; codes of practice; industry voluntary schemes; and policy-led arrangements variously administered by the Commonwealth, states/territories and … Continue reading

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MICHAEL THORN. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept – sports’ addiction to alcohol, gambling and junk food advertising.

No ad breaks, declares Fox Sports of its coverage of the Boxing Day cricket test in Melbourne. Well none, if you don’t count the scoreboard endorsements, perimeter branding and other in-game adverts promoting one brand or another.  All of them … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Sport, Health | 1 Comment

MICHAEL THORN. Cricket Australia: Culpable without consequence

Australia’s disgraced cricket trio, Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, may have engineered the ball tampering scandal in South Africa this year, but the damning cultural review released yesterday has found an arrogant and controlling Cricket Australia essentially to … Continue reading

Posted in Drug Reform, Health | 2 Comments

MICHAEL THORN. Who’s in the room? Access and influence in Australian politics. The revolving door.

Those searching for remedies to the parlous state of Australian politics and public policy-making might dwell on this claim by the Grattan Institute: “…more than one-quarter of politicians go onto post-politics jobs for special interests, where their relationships can help … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL THORN. Corporate power unchecked: Time to redress a dangerous imbalance

Are corporate interests too powerful? Are vested interests beyond democratic control? Are our political institutions even concerned to do so?

Posted in Health, Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL THORN. Cricket Australia crisis is an opportunity to remove the booze culture.

Australia loves to cut down its tall poppies. Just a few months ago, Australian cricket captain Steve Smith was being compared with the Don himself, Donald Bradman. In the aftermath of the weekend’s ball-tampering controversy in Cape Town, the Australian … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Sport | 4 Comments

Michael Thorn. Will a sugar tax drive you to drink?

Imposing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages has become the go-to policy for health and medical advocates wanting an effective population-wide intervention to deal with the world’s growing problem of obesity and poor diet.

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MICHAEL THORN. Countering vested interests A REPOST

That corporations wield enormous power is not news. That this power is wielded to benefit the corporation and its agents is not news either. Neither is seeking to counter the power of these corporations by public interest organisations, like the … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL THORN. More about rent seekers and lobbyists.

There is nothing new in stories about ‘jobs for the boys’ .Both sides of politics are equally guilty. What is surprising is that the practice endures despite the frequent media stories and the public’s obvious disgust.  Behind the appointment of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL THORN. The cricket pay dispute and how broadcast deals drive unhealthy product marketing

After the series of serious drug and alcohol incidents involving rugby league players and officials in May, some quite reasonably made the argument that sports that so closely embrace alcohol brands can hardly be surprised when the behaviour of players … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Sport, Media | 2 Comments

MICHAEL THORN. Cricket Australia throw Aussie kids to the Lion

Alcohol and sport sponsorship is a toxic marriage, an ill-fitting and dangerous partnership. Like sport and tobacco sponsorship before it, it is anachronism; a throwback to a less enlightened era.  

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Michael Thorn. Caught Out: How Cricket Australia maintains Aussies high drinking average.

  The runs are coming thick and fast in the current Victoria Bitter One Day International Series between Australia and India, bested only by the onslaught of alcohol advertising both on and off the pitch as well as in the … Continue reading

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Michael Thorn. The Australian cricket captain says its about the brand and not alcohol.

Repost from 24/09/2015 Premier Mike Baird’s public comments at last week’s Thomas Kelly Foundation event in Sydney wasn’t the first time he has questioned the extent of alcohol advertising in this country, particularly its strong association with big sport. Baird … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Sport, Health, Media | 1 Comment