Ferrari once again to remove completely tobacco-free Mission Winnow logos from its F1 cars
Cigarette ads have been banned in Formula 1 for over a decade. Since 2006, no car can carry advertisements for cigarettes, tobacco or tobacco products. And again, in 2021, a division of one of the biggest tobacco companies in the world is the title sponsor of Scuderia Ferrari. Last weekend, the team announced that they were once again removing the sponsor’s logos from their cars for all races in the European Union. Doing it voluntarily allows the brand to avoid being banned by regulators.
It comes as yet another blow to tobacco maker Philip Morris International’s controversial involvement in F1 through its “Mission Winnow” campaign. From day one, the intent of the program has been evident. Although PMI cannot put its flagship Marlboro brand on a car, nothing prevents a separate company – which is actually owned by a tobacco giant – from putting its logo on F1 cars, as well as on motorcycles. Ducati factory race. For example, a tobacco company might launch a new brand that describes itself as “[an] unconventional communication platform to share our journey and create a stage for constructive dialogue. This is how the Mission Winnow website describes the company. Then he could design a logo with many subliminal nods to the Marlboro brand. Of course, that’s not what happened.The company’s Frequently Asked Questions page beats this theory:
Who designed the logo that appears on the car and on the bike, and is this yet another effort by PMI for subliminal cigarette advertising?
The Mission Winnow logo was designed by Italian architect and designer Fabio Novembre. It is based on the concept of an advancing arrow. It sums up the principle of continuous innovation, improvement and change. As Fabio Novembre says: âIt is an arrow, a vector, a symbol of science and change, a spectacular symbol that can distinguish fiction from reality. The design is in no way intended to reflect our brands or products, and we will not use our partners to advertise our products. In fact, since 2007, we have voluntarily removed all brands of tobacco from cars, bicycles, driver and racer uniforms and race track signage, even in countries where such brand was or is permitted.
Despite this, regulators appear to misunderstand the efforts of Philip Morris International, a company that has repeatedly been fined or investigated for smuggling tobacco into Europe to avoid taxes and has been involved in the largest tobacco colony in US history. On the contrary, Philip Morris’ long history of trying to suppress and undermine studies of the health risks of tobacco makes Mission Winnow’s “goal” of “Helping Scientific Transparency” all the more ironic. Yet governments do not always understand. Australia’s strict advertising rules have prevented the ‘Mission Winnow’ brand from Ferrari cars at every Australian GP; the team voluntarily removed the logo from all European races in 2019 and did not use it in any races in 2020.
It’s fair to wonder why a business would spend tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars sometimes to advertise a brand that doesn’t offer any good or service for purchase. Some would argue that this is the only way left for a tobacco giant to advertise to an international audience, relying on subliminal messaging in countries and sports where explicit ads are illegal. These people must be wrong. After all, the Mission Winnow site says directly that this is not a subliminal advertising campaign. Do you really do you think Philip Morris International would lie to us?
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