F1’s Heineken sponsorship deal criticised in letter to Todt

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Formula One’s $150 million sponsorship deal with Heineken has been criticised for “linking a popular motor sport to one of the major killers on our roads, drink driving”.

The claim was made by Mariann Skar, secretary general of the, European Alcohol Policy Alliance in a letter to FIA president Jean Todt. The body, also known as Eurocare, represents 57 public health organisations concerned with reducing alcohol-related harm in 25 European countries.

“We have previously written to you about this concern,” noted Skar, “and in your response you declare yours and FIA’s commitment to road safety, referring to your work with the ‘Action for Road Safety’ programme, in addition to yourself being a UN Special Envoy for Road Safety.”

Heineken’s anti-drink-drive branding
“We would like to remind you that drink driving is one of the key killers on the road. It is therefore worrying that F1 is now bringing the link between alcohol brands and motor sport even closer together.”

Formula One Management and Heineken announced the multi-year deal on Thursday at an event attended by Bernie Ecclestone, Jackie Stewart and David Coulthard. A statement issued by the company claimed “consumers will be left in no doubt that Heineken and Formula One are both clear: ‘If You Drive, Never Drink’.”

“Some time ago I started a ‘Think Before You Drive’ campaign at F1 events,” said Ecclestone. “I am pleased that this important initiative now has such strong and committed support from Heineken, through its ‘If You Drive, Never Drink’ campaign.”

In her letter to Todt, Skar claimed F1 is “close to becoming more an event for granting the global exposure of alcohol brands than a sporting event”. She pointed out that even before the Heineken deal was announced the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix broadcast featured alcohol brands 11 times per minute.

Skar urged Todt to “take this issue seriously and consider moving away from these sponsorship agreements, as you did with tobacco sponsorship”.

Eurocare claims that driving while under the influence of alcohol contributes more than 10,000 deaths per year in the European Union.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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94 comments on “F1’s Heineken sponsorship deal criticised in letter to Todt”

  1. Funny how nobody seemed to complain at McLaren’s Chandon deal, Force India’s Smirnoff deal, Williams’ Martini deal or going back a few years – when Fosters used to sponsor a number of Grand Prix…

    Seeing Heineken advertising around the track doesn’t make me immediately want to go out and drink-drive.

    1. @craig-o This same group raised complaints in 2014 and 2015 which is what they were reminding Todt about in their latest letter:


    2. Seeing Heineken advertising around the track doesn’t make me immediately want to go out and drink-drive.

      This is a non-starter of an argument @craig-o. It’s been used to support smoking, drugs, guns and any number of things that data prove are trends among people as a whole. Even if you could know that you as an individual are not influenced at a subconscious level, other people are. That’s why Heineken are spending all that money: to link their brand with the glamour of motor racing. In people’s minds.

      Not that it’s a huge deal for me. I’d prefer it not to be happening, but it’s not as bad as Philip Morris. Still, the European Alcohol Policy Alliance have a valid point I think: it’s the opposite polarity from the FIA road safety efforts.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        14th June 2016, 11:13

        I still think @craig-o has a valid point there @lockup.
        If Heineken is allowed to sponsor UEFA events, then why not FIA/FOM events. The fact that F1 is motorsports and Football is a ball sport does not make a difference in my opinion. The advertising is towards the fans, and in neither case are they participating in the sporting activity themselves.

        I must say though that it is very hypocritical of BE & JT to claim that they are promoting Road Safety and at the same time take alcohol money. But we would not have expected anything more moral from those guys; so therefore, no surprise there!

        1. Yeah I wouldn’t say it should be banned @coldfly, I just slightly regret it, kind of level. As to the effect – well it’s going to increase consumption of Heineken, that’s fundamental.

          The research into tobacco sponsorship suggests it won’t all be people swapping from other brands, it will increase overall consumption of alcohol, and that in turn seems to mean there will be more drink-driving. Not a lot more, perhaps. And yes no surprise!

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        14th June 2016, 14:47

        @lockup – You are right that seeing Heineken in some way makes some people want a Heineken. The question is does watching F1 make you want to drive and on top of that, does seeing Heineken on the side of an F1 track make you want to drink and drive?

        As others have said, Heineken sponsor football but I rarely decide to grab a can and go and kick a ball around after watching it.

        1. The way I look at it @petebaldwin is that there is drinking, and there is driving. There is an amount of overlap. So if we increase the amount of one, the amount of overlap will also increase, other things being equal.

          The factor of it being motor racing that is being associated with the drink is more obscure, but I don’t think you can take refuge behind the argument that you personally won’t be influenced! The human mind is all about associations, after all. Cars, heroes, role models, glamour, status, driving, Heineken. That is what they’re paying for.

          Personally, I find I even mow the lawn faster on a GP weekend :)

      3. Daniel Nicory
        14th June 2016, 23:19

        Honestly, I think alcohol advertising in Motorsport is much worse than tobacco’s, because there’s no established link between smoking and road accidents.

        If sports (or culture) must be entirely free from legal drug sponsors is another matter, but motorsport and alcohol is a self-evident absurd association.

        I always mention in my Drug Policy classes the IndyCar street race in São Paulo, that had a beer as title sponsor, as an unaceptable example, but know I have a much bigger one

        P.S.: I think Williams-Martini is the most beautiful livery out there and Heineken’s Champions League ads are fantastic.

        P.S.2: I’m not a radical on alcohol restrictions; in fact, I’m in favour of responsible regulation of drug use and commerce, including of some of the currently illicit, such as marijuana, in the way some american states are doing

        1. The fact that millions of people have died from smoking around the world is fine then?

          The difference is, in moderation, alcohol can be consumed with no ill health effects. No addiction from moderate use either. Of course if alcohol is abused… That’s a different story.

          Seeing all the Pirelli signs makes me think of Pirelli when buying tyres (then I think again and buy Bridgestone or Michelin). Seeing the Eni or Agip oil signage makes me think of them when buying oil, but I buy something else.

          To me all Heineken will do is make me think of Heineken when I buy beer. I might buy it as a result of their F1 link, but I doubt it. That’s it. The extent of the influence on myself on probably most F1 fans.

          Will it change my behaviour and habits of a lifetime and convince me to start drink driving? No. It will simply make me think of a different beer brand when I shop for beer.

          1. Not fine at all! But that would mean banning all kinds of tobacco ads, which was already done some time ago. In terms of drug harm, NUTT, KING and PHILLIPS major study (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)61462-6/abstract) points that alcohol is the worst of all drugs in terms of social damages and risks, and fifth (close to Cocaine) in terms of personal damages and risks.

            I just mention that banning alcohol ads inn motorsport is an even stronger proposition than banning tobacco…

    3. Strange remark. They should ban car commercials, because it is the driving that kills. A couple of beers don’t.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        15th June 2016, 0:52

        @Piet ha! you should get quote of the day for that! It’s very true. One beer certainly doesn’t.

  2. I’m very happy for alcohol to be advertised at Grands Prix, but all the new logos made obvious a big problem for F1, camera angles that are designed to maximise the exposure of the sponsors rather than to show off the speed of the cars and the racing on the track. The start view is especially shameless and really frustrating when you’re trying to see the cars starting further back on the grid.

    1. @ads21 Regarding the composition of shots of the racing action, I do agree on that, and also especially the use of these really tacky virtual ads.

      1. Well at least the virtuads are mostly green. Apparently thats the closest de will get to propper Track Limits ;^)

      2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        14th June 2016, 11:00

        @keithcollantine The Pirelli virtuad at T1 at the weekend looked like it had been coded by a nine year-old…

  3. petebaldwin (@)
    14th June 2016, 10:27

    Can someone please advise me how many running street battles took place at the Canadian GP? How many police were injured? How many fans arrested?

    But yeah… F1 has the problem with alcohol obviously.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      14th June 2016, 10:30

      Also, correct me if I’m wrong but don’t more people die on the roads from driving too fast than from drink driving? Seems like it’s motorsport that needs to stop rather than it’s advertising!

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        14th June 2016, 11:15

        Actually more people die from stopping too fast ;)

        1. William Jones
          15th June 2016, 2:37

          Reductio ad absurdum: Nearly everyone who has ever died in fact died from cerebral hypoxia.

      2. Tony Mansell
        14th June 2016, 14:09

        Yep and more people die of alcohol whilst not driving. Its like saying Barratt homes shouldn’t have a sponsorship deal with Blossom Hill as it encourages drinking at home. Enough to drive you to drink !

      3. @petebaldwin, as it happens, I recently attended a presentation by a member of the AA which included a look at the accident statistics for the UK.

        Currently, drug and alcohol use is only the third highest contributor to severe and fatal accidents in the UK – the highest cause, and sadly one area where the AA is seeing an increasing trend, is for driver distraction, the vast bulk of which is due to mobile phone use. After that, driver fatigue is then the second most common cause of accidents.

        Now, that isn’t to say that alcohol isn’t a significant contributor, because it is still a significant factor in a sizeable number of serious and fatal accidents. However, statistically, using your phone at the wheel is more likely to cause a serious or fatal accident, even though much of the general public really doesn’t seem to think of it as a serious issue.

      4. And how many end up dying from a speedy overtake maneuver because of overly slow speed from another.
        I really hate how deadly slow speed or bad driving always gets away with killing people that assumed to have been killed by trying to do racing on the road.

        Every time i did a crazy move that could have killed me is because my nerves got the better of me after driving behind some blo-ody id-iot that was too scared of driving and was braking in straight line or going stupidly slow etc.

        But if i tried to overtake him/her and end up hitting some other car etc that person will continue on it’s mary way like it had nothing to do with it and the police would talk about how i got in an accident threw speed and trying racing on the streets.

    2. I’d say alcohol was more a tool of the Euro 2016 riots than the cause. The cause was a bunch of racially-motivated thugs looking for an excuse to cause trouble.

      1. And yet they always choose football matches, don’t they? It’s almost as if there’s something linking the tribal, adversarial, mob mentality of one to the other.. .

        1. William Jones
          15th June 2016, 2:44

          I think it’s more that once you move away from the ringleaders to their sheeple flock, who without that influence, wouldn’t riot, alcohol helps to reduce the inhibitions that prevents them from carrying out their instructions. I would assume that even where alcohol is banned, a concerted effort is made to smuggle it in and distribute it among the rioters, and the leaders aren’t doing that for any reason that it maintains their control.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        14th June 2016, 14:58

        Yeah to be fair, Russia/England wasn’t the best example as the main perpetrators hadn’t drunk anything – they came prepared specifically to fight. Generally speaking however, alcohol is a major problem in football and has been for years and years.

        1. @petebaldwin In some countries of South America alcohol is banned in the stadiums and people still fight each other and riot. I dont think that alcohol is the main problem we should be addressing. Funny fact: In Uruguay you cant drink a beer but you can smoke marijuana inside the stadium.

          1. Beer has been banned for a long time in scottish grounds because of crowd trouble (old firm we are looking at you). It doesnt stop the trouble, decent enforcement of crowd segregation does. If you want to get drunk you will still get drunk, just on the way to the ground.

    3. Good point ;)

    4. You fail to notice fans of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg Hooliganing online. Probably infused with Heiniken.

  4. Bring back tobacco sponsorship! Either that or ban alcohol sponsorship. I don’t see why one is allowed to advertise and one isn’t. Both cigarettes and alcohol are harmful and I am very glad that I don’t smoke or drink alcohol.

    1. Alcohol isn’t damaging – in moderation. Tobacco is.

      1. It could be that not many drugs in moderation are damaging. However the idea that small amounts of alcohol not being bad for you is most probably a myth:

        There are many studies which point very clearly that alcohol is the most dangerous drug of all. More dangerous than heroin, crack or meth. Alcohol is not the most dangerous to yourself but the most dangerous to people around you. This is not to say smoking is not harmful for yourself or others around you. Tobacco is as harmful as cocaine.

        The most sad/funny thing is that the most dangerous drug is the one that is most freely available!

      2. The issue of alcohol advertising is complex, because of the intoxicant (impairs ability to make good decisions about further consumption and driving) and addictive (unable to say no to suggestion from advertising) nature of alcohol.

        First, the statements “Alcohol isn’t damaging in moderation” or “I can drink a beer with no measurable longterm effect on myself” are held by the World Health Organization to be factually untrue. They classify alcohol as a carcinogen with a linear dose-dependent relationship to cancer risk for multiple cancers. That means your risk goes up the moment you start consuming and increases linearly with the amount you consume.

        In addition, any benefits to “moderate” consumption of alcohol (i.e. reduction of cardiovascular disease) end at one drink per day. So if you drink any more than this, you have moved out of the beneficial moderate range of consumption into the potentially toxic range. How many of us drink only one drink when we drink?

        Second, alcohol is a dependency inducing substance, particularly in those genetically predisposed, for whom the addiction is as powerful as nicotine or heroin. According to WHO, the prevalence of alcoholism (now called “alcohol use disorder”) is 5.5% of all adults in the US, 6.4% in the UK, 4.5% in most of Europe, but increases to the low teens throughout Eastern Europe and as high as 15-16% in Hungary and Russia.
        This is an immense number or people whose biology makes them susceptible to craving alcohol when they see alcohol advertising (illustrated in the vignette by @marcusbreese below). The commenters here may be immune, but MILLIONS are not.

        If we look at the staggering global burden of premature death, disease, and disability attributable to alcohol, the cost of which is shouldered through the taxes and healthcare premiums of all of us working people, does it really make sense for us to support the promotion of even more use of alcohol through such a powerful advertising medium as F1, with its aspirational associations of glamour, courageous athleticism, and technology (especially odd when the latter two require abstaining from alcohol!)? In effect, we’re ASKING for our healthcare taxes and insurance premiums to go up.


        Just food for thought.

        1. At the end of the day, the question is whether social externalities not internalized or limited by public policy should be abated by private, profit-seeking entities. This normative question requires some kind of back-up, some expression of duty on the party of the private party. That’s what the anti-ads have to provide. I’m not saying there is no duty to “stakeholders” in this case, I’m just not hearing and having trouble articulating it in my own mind.

          And I’m only talking of health issues. As for the drunk-driving connection, that is just kind of silly. Distracted driving is a greater risk to safety on the roads but no one is saying Vodafone ads should be banned. But, you know, the question can be addressed by data—evidence that alcohol advertising affects variance in drunk-driving accidents. I’m not hearing that. Instead I read that the advertising brings driving and drinking “closer.” In what respect? Physically? That just seems like a canard to cover the lack of a reasonable proposed mechanism of causation much less data to back it up. It’s just hand-waving.

    2. Both are harmful to the party consuming them, but tobacco also has a much more obvious ‘second-hand’ problem.

      Yes, alcohol does have second-hand problems – mostly social/domestic and long-term, but it pales compared to the problem & effects of second-hand smoke.

      1. The difference is that tobacco advertising has been made illegal by many countries’ governments…alcohol not so much. While I agree alcohol advertising related to car racing seems to be a bit illogical, the bottom line for me is that it is a legal substance and ultimately people need to be educated and/or educate themselves as to the risks of drinking and driving. I would suggest that most people caught drinking and driving already know the risks but just think it won’t happen to them…getting caught or getting in an accident let alone a severe one, that is. I think few people will become drinkers, let alone excessive ones because they saw an ad in Montreal, and at least the message not to drink and drive is out there along with the advertising.

      2. Alcohol is the most dangerous drug of them all for second-hand problems. More deaths and more violence is caused by alcohol than smoking. It is just that the physical connection with the tobacco is easy to see (inhaling the smoke) than it is with alcohol where it is the actions of the drunk person doing the harm.

        1. I think a hugely important part that you forget to mention is that it is inevitable that you WILL hurt your own health AND the health of everyone close to you by smoking. With drinking Alcohol there is not such a direct link to damaging your health and certainly not that of others, it gets dangerous only when used too much or in combination with doing other things @socksolid

        2. @socksolid I can choose to sit next to my children and partner and drink a beer with no measurable long term damage to myself nor to them. It would only become a logistical and sociological problem for them if I chose to consume multiple units of the stuff in quick succession.

          If I chose to smoke a cigarette, i’d be ejecting mouthfuls of acrid tar and vapourised poison over them every time I exhaled. This would occur every single time I breathed out. Every… Single… Time…

  5. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    14th June 2016, 10:56

    Can anyone write a letter to Jean Todt? I wouldn’t mind writing one about the FIA’s childish battle for supremacy with FOM, or the delusional nature of the superlicense system, or the known correlation between aerodynamic grip and processional races…

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      14th June 2016, 11:03

      Mercedes wrote a letter “to the fans” (who, for some reason were being mistaken for Twitter trolls) – what about a letter “from the fans”?

    2. Yeap, anyone can. Address it to him and send it to the FIA. Doesn’t mean he will read it though.

      1. William Jones
        15th June 2016, 2:48

        If you want to really get their attention, post it somewhere that an awful lot of people can read it. You’ll never know it got their attention, you’ll never know when, if and how it influences anything .

    3. Yes, anyone can write a letter to the FIA – the address is helpfully located in the media section of their website. (I wouldn’t try the phone number or email listed there unless you genuinely are a media representative, as these seem to be media-specific contacts. The address isn’t).

      Just note that for some things, certain subordinates may be in a better position to change things directly than Jean, receive fewer items of correspondence, and thus be more inclined to do something about a letter written to them. Finding out the correct subordinate’s name and department/committee, and listing it on the letter and envelope, can be helpful to getting things done quick(er), as much with the FIA as with any other large organisation.

  6. Good to see that the FIA and the Formula 1 Group were one step ahead here: of course a major sponsorship with an alcohol brand will raise concern, so the ambiguous “think before you drive” was turned into the unambiguous “if you drive, never drink”. Todt only needs to point this new campaign out to the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (let’s abbreviate to EAPA) and everything should be fine.

    There’s a huge jump in logic with the EAPA. They point out that there is alcohol advertisement in Formula 1 (up to 11 times per minute), and then they say that it contributes to drink-driving. HOW?

    Well, it doesn’t actively contribute to drink-driving since we don’t see anyone driving under influence (the champagne is only drunk after the race). Passively then? It’s of course difficult to say, but for me seeing all those alcohol brands in Formula 1 doesn’t make me want to go out and drive under influence. There is a bar that I need to clear before I do that, and there is no way F1 is lowering that bar for me in any shape or form.

    It almost seems as if the EAPA wants to prevent people from drinking instead of preventing people from drinking and driving. I’m not a heavy drinker myself, but I like me a nice cold beer on a Saturday evening. Maybe I want to change things up for next Saturday and drink a Martini cocktail or a Smirnoff vodka, don’t know where I got those names from. Why is that such a bad thing?

    1. @andae23

      the ambiguous “think before you drive” was turned into the unambiguous “if you drive, never drink”

      “Ambiguous” is definitely the word: Prior to this, had there been any indication that “think before you drive” was intended as an anti-drink-driving message? I can’t remember seeing any.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        14th June 2016, 13:15

        I believe “Think before you drive” was posted in the cool down room at some events, under the champagne’s brand name G.H. Mumm.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          14th June 2016, 15:01

          “Think before you drive” is rubbish because when people are drunk, they think they can drive.

          It suggests that despite having a drink, you should think about whether it’s really a good idea. The message should be (as it is now), if you have had a drink, don’t even consider driving a car.

  7. So is using a mobile phone whilst driving but they haven’t made the link….Nanny state gone mad. The messaging isn’t contradictory to Formula 1 at all – enjoy a drink, a good quality drink, but don’t then get in a car and drive. Get a cab. Get a sober mate to drive. Walk to where you are going. Or just enjoy a drink at home whilst watching formula 1 on the TV.
    What next? Banning sugary drink sponsors ie red bull because their product contains large amounts if sugar and caffeine? Life used to be a lot simpler….

    1. There are groups who do want to ban sugary products or implement sugar taxes, but as always it’s not just for the benefit of consumers, rather it’s a power play in the industry to shift the market.

      1. Well ya depending on who is lobbying against sugar, but we know here in North America that childhood (and adult) obesity is a real problem and overall will tax the health care system heavily going forward to the tune of billions upon billions of dollars. Be it tobacco, alcohol, or sugar etc it comes down to parents educating kids, and adults educating themselves.

  8. Travis Humphery (@)
    14th June 2016, 11:45

    Well I’ve got to be honest. When I read about the Heineken sponsorship it made me think of beer so I went to the fridge and cracked one open.

    It wasn’t a Heineken though.

    1. Brilliant.

  9. Yeah, no. V8 Supercars, NASCAR, and Indycar all have alcohol advertising, and I’m sure lots of other series around the world too. I don’t think anyone sees alcohol advertising at a race and decide that it’s ok to drive drunk. In fact, it’s a great platform to bring awareness to the dangers of drink driving – something Heineken has shown to be on board with.

    If alcohol advertising in motorsports promotes drink driving, wouldn’t it also promote street racing/hooning? It’s just a stupid argument.

  10. Maybe this would be a prime opportunity for Heineken to launch a non alcoholic beer for consumers. If I go to a pub and am driving I can only buy a sugary soft drink from the pump or if I am lucky and they have it… a Becks Blue…
    If drinks manufacturers provided tasty non alcoholic alternatives to their regular brands I would be less tempted to drink one beer in the pub all evening and hope I have metabolised enough of it not to be over the limit?
    I shouldn’t feel embarrassed to ask for a non alcoholic beer in a bar/pub I should be appluaded for being a responsible driver who likes beer.
    This is surely a win win for the drinks manufacturers, F1, pubs, and EAPA et al.

  11. Quite honestly I have no objection to either tobacco or alcohol advertising in sport, what really gets my goat is all these groups like the “European Alcohol Policy Alliance” these self-righteous do good individuials should go out and get proper jobs instead of inflicting their views on others.

    1. Now now, in fairness we have something similar I’m sure to this alliance, which is called MADD…Mothers Against Drunk Driving. I happen to know that many people involved are volunteers, there because they have lost loved ones to drunk drivers. This is one of their ways of coping and trying to not have their lose go in vain…trying to see some ‘good’ come out of a tragedy.

      1. @robbie The problem is when it goes from supplying a moral compass to leading an outright crusade.

      2. Sorry if I caused offence …. I fully support MADD, the members of this mainly voluntary organisation have suffered enormous personal loss through the actions of irresponsible drunk drivers and are trying to make a difference for all the right reasons, the European Alcohol Policy Alliance on the other hand is just another EU organisation trying to dictate what alcohol manufacturers and sporting organisations can and can’t do.

        And to be honest in my view you have to be a complete numb skull to a) drink and drive and b) drink a particular brand of alcohol, just because you saw it on the side of a racing car or in the stands at a football match etc.

        1. @grumpy No apology necessary, no offence taken. Was just putting it out there in case some people in the European Alliance had been directly affected by a drunk driver. I know nothing of the makeup of this alliance.

    2. There’s nothing self-righteous here, this is just a group tasked with reducing risks associated with alcohol doing their job. It doesn’t mean they expect to succeed or there is any likelihood, but it’s the requirement of their work that they address these things where they come up.

      1. I like a drink but like millions of other people I don’t drink and drive .. I am one of those people with zero tolerance to drink driving and believe that if you drive then ONE drink is ONE TOO MANY.

        I do not believe that restrictions on alcohol advertising is the answer to drink driving, it is time national governments got far tougher on drunk drivers, for example a drunk driver that kills should be charged with manslaughter rather than “driving while unfit through alcohol” and that publicans and bar owners should be prosecuted for selling alcohol to people they know are go to drive when they leave the pub/bar etc.

  12. Michael Brown (@)
    14th June 2016, 13:17

    So “If you drive, never drink” wasn’t enough for these people?

    There was no outrage over phone sponsorship in the past, even though some countries have banned the use of cell phones while driving a car.

  13. I found it typical and funny that F1 should find such a non-PC sponsor. But I don’t think it’ll have any actual impact on people’s behaviour; only on what beer they drink when they do drink. In fact I think it could be quite a coup for Heineken if they set about the right way. They can have all sorts of anti-drinkdrive adverts while splashing around a load of F1 and their brand. Good PR possible.

    They’re going to have to think of better slogans though. “If you drive, don’t drink” is stupidly backwards. “So you have 3 pints and then find out you need to get somewhere, but it’s OK because now you know you’re driving you won’t drink.” Great stuff.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      14th June 2016, 17:26

      Yeah it sounds more like they’re worried sipping a can of Pepsi might be a problem whilst driving…

    2. @hey That’s exactly what I thought, the phrase is the wrong way round. That said, I think it is sufficient and the fact it is the wrong way round does make you notice it more

  14. Tony Mansell
    14th June 2016, 14:02

    Gosh hasn’t the world become puritanical. Id have thought F1 was a great advert for alcohol. The drivers are all fit, dedicated human beings who can have a drink and still perform at the pinnacle of their profession and the crowds can all drink without beating each other up or breaking up the town. I warmly welcome Heineken and hope its the first of many (hic!)

  15. I’ve got a mildly thought provoking anecdote from the Grand Prix over the weekend, related to F1 and Heineken. Backdrop: I’m an F1 fanatic, my girlfriend comes from a motorsport family but doesn’t follow it other than to watch it with me on TV.

    After coming back from a night out on Saturday I wanted to watch Qualy so we sat down to watch the highlights before going to bed. We were settled in the garden watching it on my laptop, and after a few minutes on track action she turned to me and said “Fancy a Heineken?”.

    That got me thinking about the efficacy of alcohol advertising in motorsport. I hadn’t really noticed the Heineken advertising at the Canadian GP, but once she pointed it out I noticed that most of the trackside hoardings were Heineken branded, and I can see how it could subconsciously be very noticeable. Of course it’s a big leap from noticing a beer brand while taking part in a motor race to drink driving, but I can somewhat see the link. Is it really much worse than McDonald’s and Coca Cola advertising at the Olympics?

    The final twist in the tale is that she is currently serving a fifteen month driving ban for…drink driving! Draw what conclusions from that you will.

    1. Lewisham Milton
      14th June 2016, 15:06

      Hope you enjoy your surprise birthday present of a Haas CNC machine.

    2. Whether subconsciously or conciously let’s make no mistake Heineken would not do this if it didn’t pay off for them in the long run, but I’m sure they also do not want people harming others under the influence of their product.

      In your case, it sounds like you already had some Heineken in the fridge, so you didn’t need to see the Canadian GP to buy the product. With respect to McDonald’s and Coke advertising during the Olympics? Why not, I say. Firstly it is about education (including with drunk driving) and knowing what food is unhealthy and not to have an excess of that, as well as of sugar drinks. But McD’s has many healthy choices now too, and the odd Coke is fine too…just not so many that you are substituting that for healthy food, or are becoming obese from too much of it.

      In terms of your girlfriend, I hope for her sake (and any potential victims) she didn’t hurt anyone, and that she will have learned a lesson and will not do that again. I’m fine with her drinking, lol, like I have a right or anything to do or say to that, but just hope she has learned a lesson the hard way if that’s how it had to be, regarding driving at the same time.

      1. @robbie Hah we didn’t have any Heineken and I don’t particularly like it, so I’m not about to run out and buy some (although I appreciate the injection of cash into a sport I love). I was just amazed that she noticed it at all, as I generally think of us as being fairly oblivious to advertising. Clearly I was wrong. And you’re right, Heineken have probably done the maths on it, although I wonder how much of it is advertising spend to keep up with rivals that are doing the same.

        I agree it is a case of education, but like lots in this world, education takes time and in the meantime there are probably people who see McDonald’s sponsoring the 100m and assume that this means you can eat a McNugget and break records. Which probably isn’t the case, unless you’re Usain Bolt.

        No, fortunately no-one was harmed and she has definitely learnt her lesson; she’s promised she will never drink alcohol and drive again.

        1. @marcusbreese lol didn’t realize she was just pointing out the advertising. For sure you are right some people might think Mcnugetts are the way to beat Bolt but I guess they’d be in for an education if they tried. So glad no one was harmed…so glad she doesn’t have to live with that on her conscience.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      14th June 2016, 17:34

      Thing is, it’s not going to make you want to drink alcohol when you normally wouldn’t. I’ve never had to call in sick to work because a Carling advert came on the TV on Sunday night and I couldn’t help myself!

      What it does do is give the impression that Heineken is a premier brand which should increase sales from those who may have otherwise bought a Fosters.

  16. Just another well paid part of an organisation that felt the need to complain.

  17. 1. Complain to Tottenham all you want, but he has zero say on FOM contracts.

    2. If you think that Heineken is the lady alcohol brand to align with F1 over the coming years, think again. As local governments tighten up laws on alcohol advertising, the companies will throw more and more cash at F1 until an international ban comes into force in 5 to 10 years or so.
    It’s just the last years of Tobacco sponsorship all over again.

  18. The Heineken adverts almost felt more like they are promoting an anti-drink-driving campaign than the product itself.

    In the unlikely event of me having a Heineken in the near future I’ll probably remember their advice to never drink drive.
    Rather than “ooh I had a Heineken, now let’s pretend I’m a race driver on public roads”. That sounds like an association a 5-year-old would make.

  19. This is a really strange letter. Does anyone at that organisation really think someome is EVER going to drive and drink because of an advertisement at a Racetrack? Thise people must have had a few to much themselves.
    Every civilized person in the world knows drinking and driving do not belong together. To many of those persons choose to neglect this knowledge every once in a while, but that surely has nothing to do with any commercial outing.

    I can almost get angry with this kind of people…

  20. Alcohol doesn’t kill anybody on the roads, irresponsible people do.

    1. That’s not true, Mrs Doubtfire’s husband was hit by a Guiness truck.

  21. instead of the idea of divorcing the sponsorship deal from F1, why don’t they tell the brand/company to add prominently in their advertisement, “don’t drink and drive”. Maybe that would be a win win. You could even have the brand split the air time in half promoting drinking responsibly.

    1. COTD there, exactly what they should be doing. Looks like both the FIA and Heineken are already doing half their job for free, link up and push for more advertising regarding not drink driving. And then work to make it a stronger stigma in the community.

      MADD here in the US worked, early on, by not solely pushing for bans as much as pushing for dads to teach their sons drink driving was NOT ok. Then the new crowd got involved in the 90s and later, now it’s all attempts to ban and purge all alcohol advertising. Not that it has worked, NASCAR allows liquor and beer and has actually seen lower dui arrests at tracks. Advertising has nothing to do with the change, societal guilt worked much better. Just took the natural aging to move kids who were taught never drink and drive to get older and drive. Start young and know it’s a moving target and might take years to come to fruition.

  22. What a joke of an argument . It actually made me laugh.

  23. I don’t agree with this.

  24. In today’s world, no matter what you do, there will always be a group of people who will be against.

  25. Yes, let’s all give benefit of the doubt to Bernie and the large alcohol corporation, because I’m sure they’re looking out for us, as always.

  26. If and when the world decides to take a conscious decision relative to alcohol ingestion then the matter of questioning its sponsorship is viable. I really don’t care if alcohol is linked with driving, if you believe in free will then it’s no problem.

  27. I really don’t see the problem here to be honest. I think for the EAPA to assume such a position is pretty offensive, assuming that we all bow to the mercy of alcohol and can’t possibly detract the pinnacle of motorsport from jumping in a car stinking drunk.

    Let’s put faith in the responsibility of adults, yeah?

  28. Well this is a loaded question.

    Bann Tobacco, Alcohol suggary drinks, unhealthy food brands, oil companies that make for unhealthy enviroment.

    Where do we draw the line?

    All of these kill milions, way more than HIV…

    Personally I think F1 is about racing. If it says Marbloro on side of some car who cares.

    But my children would not be allowed to watch a race, where Lewis Hamilton jumps out of his car and lights a cigarette, drinks beer or eats a fatty burger.

    But if he sprays champagne on some people, takes one sip that is ok.

    If he was getting drunk on camera after the race again not something I want my children to associate with.

    Winning should be associated with celebration, not smoking, getting drunk and other drugs.

    If it says Heiniken on side of the track, that is as relevant as Martini on Williams. If its pretty I like it, if it is not, I am happy F1 is funded.

  29. This is why we can’t have nice things! What has to world come to…
    People need to start taking responsibility for their actions, instead of looking for someone else to blame!
    Sorry but if someone drinks and drives, it’s not because they saw an advert, thus couldn’t help but to have a drink!

  30. I loath all this nanny state organizations. Why should grown adults need to be nanny like that?
    Stop blaming everything else and take some responsibility for your actions. If you drink and drive is because you are a f-ool not because the big bad advertisement in F1 made you think it’s a good idea to drink and drive.
    You know is not.
    Don’t go crying that it was that advert that made you do it to defend yourself. Take some responsibility already.

    If anything this adverts do the opposite because they spread the message of not drinking and driving since they send that message to you.

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