Ondanks Europese wetgeving tegen tabaksreclame heeft Ferrari een nieuwe deal gesloten met Philip Morris waarin ze hun relatie uitbreiden tot 2011. De Philip Morris merken zullen in races in landen waar tabaksreclame niet is verboden nog steeds op de bolides prijken en dus ook op de Europese TV verschijnen!
A Philip Morris International spokesman said the Marlboro brand would stay on the car in those countries, such as Malaysia and Bahrain, that still permitted tobacco advertising.
“It (the sponsorship) is going to comply with the rules and regulations wherever we do business,” he said.
“There are countries where tobacco sponsorship is obviously not allowed. In those countries we will continue to support Ferrari without branding.”
Di Giovanni would not comment on future commercial activities with the team, such as speculation that Marlboro could put Ferrari branding on cigarette packets as a way around the legislation.
Four of the 10 teams in F1 have tobacco sponsorship, with the others being Renault, Jordan and BAR, who are co-owned by tobacco giant BAT.
Tobacco companies in F1 believe that there may be promotional value even in running the cars unbranded.
The thinking is that simply having the colours of well-known brands like Marlboro on the cars may be enough to link the two in TV viewers’ minds.