By Ian Neubauer
TheShout has revealed that inaccuracies were contained within data used by the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) and influential journalist Laurie Oakes to show the liquor industry intentionally misled the public to believe the RTD tax hike had backfired.
“I’m not sure where the figures came from but it contains inaccuracies,” said a spokesperson for AC Nielsen, the prominent market research firm attributed as the author of the data, adding that at no stage did it make the data public.
The data showed RTD sales had plummeted 36 per cent and very little substitution to straight spirits had taken place since the tax hike came into effect in April. It contradicted data produced by the Liquor merchants Association of Australia (LMAA) and published by the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA) that showed straight spirit sales had skyrocketed 46 per cent as a result of substitution attributed to the tax hike.
The ADF said it is unaware of any inaccuracies in the AC Nielsen data it published. It refused to reveal the source of the data.
Contacted today, Oakes also refused to identify the original source of the data.
In his column published August 2 in the Courier Mail, Oakes referenced a 13-page document prepared by “one of the companies affected by the tax change” and collected by “AC Nielsen for corporate clients”.
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