Menu

Soda Tax Debates: A Case Study of Berkeley Vs. Big Soda’s Social Media Campaign

  • Berkeley Media Studies Group; John Snow, Inc.
image: woman drinking soda

In 2014, voters in Berkeley, California, were asked to decide whether to place an excise tax on sugary drinks sold within city borders. Berkeley vs. Big Soda, the city’s pro-tax campaign, turned to social media to communicate with residents and other audiences. The city made history in November 2014 when it passed the nation’s first tax on sugary drinks, despite the beverage industry spending more than $2.4 million on an anti-tax campaign.

Social media is changing how communities and groups communicate and rally to build capacity in election campaigns. Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter can support citizens’ civic action and have the potential to drive news and political agendas.

To better understand the pro-tax campaign’s social media efforts, John Snow, Inc. and PHI’s Berkeley Media Studies Group conducted a content analysis of Berkeley vs. Big Soda’s Twitter and Facebook posts and examined their social media analytics. Advocates and stakeholders in other communities can use this case study to strategize about using social media in their campaigns to pass sugary drink taxes, fight chronic diseases and protect public health.

See the case study, download the infographic, and read the full study: Soda Tax Debates in Berkeley and San Francisco: An Analysis of Social Media, Campaign Materials and News Coverage

Originally published by Berkeley Media Studies Group


Work With Us

You change the world. We do the rest. Explore fiscal sponsorship at PHI.

Bring Your Work to PHI

Support Us

Together, we can accelerate our response to public health’s most critical issues.

Donate

Find Employment

Begin your career at the Public Health Institute.

See Jobs

TTH volunteers, United Against COVID

Close

Achieving Vaccine Equity: Resources & Best Practices to Bring Down Barriers

To stop the spread of COVID-19, we must ensure easy, equitable access to vaccines—starting with communities that are made most vulnerable due to systemic inequities. Find tools, resources and best practices to support vaccine equity in your community.

See resources, tools, videos & more

Continue to PHI.org