Lance Stroll, Williams, Paul Ricard, 2018

The rise of ‘dark races’: Why alcohol sponsorship will go the way of tobacco

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Back in the days of tobacco sponsorship Formula 1 teams resorted to various sneaky tactics to convey their benefactors’ messages while remaining within the letter, if not spirit, of the laws which prevailed in any of the grand prix host countries that applied anti-tobacco legislation.

McLaren, whose tobacco backers were first Marlboro and later West, displayed their drivers’ names or ‘Team’ in enormous logo font wherever the tobacco brand appeared in open markets. Eighties minnows Zakspeed memorably switched their ‘West’ branding to read ‘East’ when F1’s first visit to Hungary – in ‘Eastern Europe’.

Jordan’s innovative re-configurations of ‘Benson & Hedges’ – for example, as ‘Bitten & Hisses’ complete with snake – became symbols in their own right. Less imaginatively, Camel-backed cars bore five nondescript blue blobs rather than the fag brand’s letters, supplemented by a blue camel in more relaxed territories.

Eventually the World Health Organisation achieved its stated aim of outlawing tobacco advertising, including at sports events, through pressure on legislators. This included a ban on broadcasts conveying tobacco brands images, and by 2006 tobacco money in F1 was as dead as some long-term users of the products in question. Ferrari kept Marlboro in its team name, but even that ceased in 2011.

During the eighties the WHO compiled a ‘hit list’ of products it deemed a threat to public healthy which was topped by tobacco, for obvious reasons. When tobacco brands saw the writing on the wall they ramped up sponsorship of the remaining activities which accepted their bucks – notably motorsports which, with their global followings, provided massive international platforms.

Thus the team now as AMG-Mercedes F1 Team was founded in 1999 – in the team’s current Brackley facility – as British American Racing, in order to promote British American Tobacco’s primary brands, Lucky Strike and 555. Once the ban bit, BAT sold out to Honda, and via Ross Brawn the team ended up in Mercedes’ hands.

Next on the WHO list is alcohol. Hence a sudden increase in brands availing themselves of F1’s platforms. Think Martini at Williams, Chandon at McLaren, Singha at Ferrari, Renault partner Estrella (though they focus on their zero alcohol product) and Kingfisher at Force India.

Ayrton Senna, McLaren, Adelaide, 1989
Many of F1’s most memorable liveries involved tobacco brands
Then, consider, Johnnie Walker and Heineken as F1 sponsors, with first-named having title rights to this year’s Belgian Grand Prix, and Heineken the main branding for Canada’s race. Add in ‘bridge and board’ signage for both brands, and it’s clear F1 is as hooked on alcohol ads as it once was to nicotine.

Intriguingly the three ‘non-alcoholics’, namely Red Bull Racing, junior team Toro Rosso and Mercedes – have ties to energy drink brands. This constitutes part of the WHO’s next ‘hit’ group, namely sweets, fizzy drinks and confectionery. Fast food is fourth, with ‘power advertising’ – glamorisation of speed – comprising the fifth group.

Finally, while there is no such thing as smoking responsibly – save for kicking the habit entirely – there is responsible drinking, and most brands base their F1 awareness programmes on ‘don’t drink and drive’ messages.

However, just as various territories impose varying restrictions on tobacco advertising, so it is now with alcohol – some countries have zero restrictions, others go the full distance and ban even the ‘device’ of an alcohol brand (think the Guinness harp). Significantly, there are also restrictions, both legislative and voluntary, on driver ages.

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In Europe one of the most vociferous opponents of ‘sin substances’ is France, whose Loi Evin policy (promulgated in 1991) forbids favourable advertising of tobacco and alcohol, including on billboards. Advertising is forbidden at sporting events, and televised coverage of foreign sporting events must make every attempt to hide similar sponsorship advertising that may be present.

At one stage the country outlawed energy drinks completely. The 12-year ban was lifted in 2008 only after the EU Commission intervened.

Thus it was particularly ironic that F1 assembled at Circuit Paul Ricard, founded and constructed with the proceeds of pastis, an aniseed-based alcohol product concocted by an eccentric local after whom the circuit is named, yet teams were not permitted to display alcohol branding. Indeed, Williams had to use its pale/dark blue livery rather than its usual white/blue/red battle dress for that reason.

Chris Murray
Murray: Laws can create a significant logistical challenge
Consider the implications of the legislation on the team, which is permitted to display Martini on trucks on the drive down the autoroute from its base in Oxfordshire, yet needed to rebrand upon reaching the circuit, before reverting to its regular livery for the drive to Austria, where alcohol branding is permitted. All in a week.

“The biggest cost for me, actually, is the time and effort that’s involved in managing it,” Chris Murray, Williams’ marketing director, told RaceFans. “And the level of complexity that you’ve got.

“This triple-header is bad enough as it is for logistics. We have 14 trucks and the motor home, all of which are branded. The motorhome’s branded, the team is branded, the cars are branded and the garage is branded.

“That all had to be changed before they left [Britain], they all have to be changed before we go to Austria. The time and the effort to do that, and the people involved in that. We’re not dismissing the financial cost doing this, you understand that up-front, and you cover it.

“But the logistical nightmare to actually making sure that we adhere to the regulations that apply is significant. There are some really odd quirks: We can drive through France fully branded, but when we arrive at the circuit we’ve got to de-brand. We tie ourselves in knots. You can’t make the practical decisions you want to make, [because] this is actually a legal requirement.”

In order to ensure the team stays on the right side of the laws – plural, given that F1 will this year race in 21 countries and perform demonstration runs in others – Williams has an advertising manual, which is updated regularly in conjunction with Martini’s legal team, and in-house lawyers.

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“Martini will go back and take advice from their local market, take advice from their external counsel, formulate a set of guidelines that we then adhere to. Obviously what we do then is just to keep appending those to the Advertising Guidelines” Amanda McReynolds, the team’s head of partner management, explains.

“It applies to all countries that our partners [are likely] to do events in.” This is because the team’s other partners may use their Martini-liveried cars for their own promotional activities.

Lance Stroll, Felipe Massa, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2017
Stroll and Massa had to wear different team kit in Austin
“Our legal team also consults with circuits because there’s some anomalies. Within the circuits the rules are relaxed a little bit. So we can still use ‘Martini’ in the team name, but just not their brand [at certain venues].”

So while the team may be known as ‘Martini Williams Racing’ and these words may appear on clothing, overalls and cars, yet the team may not display the brand’s logo.

The phrases ‘dark’ and ‘light’ markets are marketing speak for how heavy the restrictions are in different regions. ‘Light’ markets have no restrictions, ‘dark’ markets have constraints which can vary by territory (e.g. in the Middle East) and ‘grey’ markets have anomalous restrictions, such as being open but with age or licensing restrictions.

“Abu Dhabi is another dark market race – so, as we are here in France, it’s a completely dark market,” McReynolds explains. “Russia and Bahrain are anomalies where we can use the Martini word but not the logo. It’s ‘middle’ or ‘grey’ market. Baku is deemed a ‘light’ market. Light market within the circuit as such,” she says, explaining that technically team members could be in breach on their ways to their hotel.

“Austin is a good example of that. Because Lance [Stroll] was under legal drinking age, which is 21, the team and the car, including his car, he himself was ‘dark’ market branded,” adds Murray. “Because we run global campaigns [with other partners], it’s very difficult sometimes to implement the fine details of the individual country’s beliefs.

Michael Schumacher, Benetton, Estoril, 1995
Fags and booze on Michael Schumacher’s 1995 Benetton
“The cost of that becomes incredibly large, the complexities of use. So some partners, and Martini are absolutely OK with this, have chosen to run campaigns from the dark market. So Unilever, pretty much everything they do doesn’t contain the Martini ball and bar.”

This is not due to legalities, but “complexity”, according to Murray. “Because we run 11 different retailing centres – participate in 11 different retail centres with Unilever, Australia, China, six in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada. They’ve each got their own individual requirements. So for Unilever we’ve been able to create global content for those markets to tap into.”

This also has ramifications for driver appearances. “We did seven different events with Lance in Canada, and I think he changed his clothes four times over the course of seven events.”

Murray mentions another quirky example, this time in Mexico: “When we did the Unilever/Martini activation the first year, we went to the fan zone. The Martini Terrazzo was a licensed environment, and therefore could have full branding, and when we did a driver appearance it was fully branded.

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“Two hundred yards down the road we had a Unilever activation’ it was ‘dark’ market branded, and the drivers had to change their kit in the car en route, yet at the circuit we were ‘light’ market, fully branded.

Given these complexities, it is little wonder that the Williams manual has expanded in size from eight pages at the start of the partnership to over 100 – and grows by the month as the team does an increasing number of demonstration runs in countries such as Poland, home of reserve Robert Kubica, whose sponsors have a call on his time. Poland, like Finland, is a “dark market”.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2018
Heineken promotes its product with an anti-drink-drive message
Let’s assume there were no restrictions, I venture – what would be the on-cost of complying with all the legalities?

“I think you can talk about cost in a bunch of different ways, can’t you? You can talk about the financial cost of it, and that’s not insignificant. But obviously you understand that [aspect] walking into a partnership, so you take care of that up-front,” says Murray.

“We fully support our partner and we’re committed to doing the right thing. If you look at the alcohol industry in general, I think they’re out ahead of the curve compared to where tobacco was, and how they deal with some of the pressure groups and some of the interest groups that abound.

“We need to be supportive of that and we don’t need to give people any other opportunities to criticise our title partner.”

It the end it all boils down to preparation and management. “[We ensure] the branding’s in the right place. It goes back to that overhead we talked about, of producing [kit] for every race.

Amanda McReynolds
McReynolds ensures the team wears the right kit
“We ensure that everybody in the company that needs to be aware of what’s going on is briefed, we go through those advertising guidelines, and ensure they fully understand the implications. We have those sessions at the start of every year. We’ve adopted a ground team, a manual created for every race,” McReynolds explains.

Obviously on the merchandising front, teams such as Williams need to stay on the right side without alienating fans who wish to emulate their heroes. Equally model cars need to be authentic, but these are easier to brand ‘light’ as they are deemed historic collectables, whereas clothing is worn across ages and genders.

“We really want to be professional,” concludes Murray, “but you’ve always got something. We’ve had a couple of instances where people have been issued the right kit, but it’s come from [the manufacturer] and they’ve stitched the wrong panel onto it.

“So you’ve got someone walking around the paddock in Abu Dhabi in a shirt that is absolutely correct, but it’s got ‘Williams Martini Racing’ or something on the back. So it’s just keeping an eye on, and it’s amazing how many different places we apply stripes. It’s not a job of the moment.”

Despite the global restrictions and complexities alcohol sponsorship, it is still legal to broadcast to ‘dark’ territories from ‘light’ races – which was not the case with tobacco. Plus, at this juncture, alcohol affects only a handful of events, unlike cigarettes, where Europe-wide bans on liveries and swingeing fines dealt the death blow.

Thus alcohol liveries can be expected to feature significantly on F1 cars well into future, their places, though, eventually taken by soda pop logos and fast food brands as increasingly stringent laws are introduced globally.

Follow Dieter on Twitter: @RacingLines

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 57 comments on “The rise of ‘dark races’: Why alcohol sponsorship will go the way of tobacco”

    1. Once the ban bit, BAT

      I had to read this three times… :)

      very interesting article.

      1. Bet it would have even been more amusing if your comment started with “But I had to…”, @barkun

        See what I did there? ;-)

      2. “Abu Dhabi is another dark market race – so, as we are here in France, it’s a completely dark market,” McReynolds explains. “Russia and Bahrain are anomalies where we can use the Martini word but not the logo. It’s ‘middle’ or ‘grey’ market. Baku is deemed a ‘light’ market. Light market within the circuit as such,”

        Fifty Shades of Bans

    2. Very nice article. And here was I sat thinking it was just changing red stripes to blue, and a different set of shirts/overalls for the team. :-)

      While my personal opinion questions the value of such bans on tobacco/alcohol, I can see it being popular amongst the WHO, as well as national governments. It does bring about a certain irony that alcohol in combination with motor vehicle are a significant cause of accidents; yet alcohol sponsorships are happening in motorsport big time at present (although the article alludes to its days probably being numbered). Yes, I know all the signage proclaims “if you drink, don’t drive” and all that, but end of the day it’s a motorsport event funded by alcohol money.

      It is akin to a conference on cardiovascular disease and obesity being sponsored by McDonalds, with exhortations to “eat your veggies, eat healthy”.

      “That all had to be changed before they left [Britain], they all have to be changed before we go to Austria. The time and the effort to do that, and the people involved in that. We’re not dismissing the financial cost doing this, you understand that up-front, and you cover it.

      I admire his honesty here – it would have been easy to jump on the cost-saving bandwagon by moaning about the cost, but Mr. Murray stated what was the true challenged posed by these laws, especially during a triple-header.

      Maybe Liberty should ensure that gray/dark countries are not scheduled for multiple-header weekends to make things a tad easier for the teams.

    3. Very interesting and insightful as usual @dieterrencken

    4. A very well written article.

    5. That WHO hitlist though… I pray its a long long time before we hit number 5!

      1. That’s actually scary, a direct attack on motor racing. I probably won’t be alive to see it, but I hope it doesn’t happen.

        1. Well, it a consequence of bannimg grid girls.
          If “gridgirling” is objectification so does putting young people at 200 mph against a wall.

          1. Bizarre statement.

    6. Good read thanks. I never really thought about the complexities of alcohol advertising and sponsorship branding as you travel around the world. The effort put in by people like Murray and McReynolds certainly puts it into perspective.

    7. ” by 2006 tobacco money in F1 was as dead as some long-term users of the products in question.”

      Classy.

      1. It’s true though. Many of the heavy smokers I knew during the 70s or 80s are sadly gone, well before their time.

    8. Very insightful and informative article.
      ”Fags and booze on Michael Schumacher’s 1995 Benetton” – The first word, LOL.

    9. Very insightful and informative article.

    10. I wonder if the champagne celebrations will go the way of public smoking… we no longer see the F1 drivers casually going through a pack of Marlboros at press outings (and the thought now seems ridiculous), will future generations stare at the champagne filled podium celebrations of today with the same level of disbelief?

      1. we no longer see the F1 drivers casually going through a pack of Marlboros at press outings

        @im-a-kobe – are you joking, or did they really do that? I’ve been watching F1 for only a little over a decade, so am well past Big Tobacco’s days of glory in F1.

        1. I can’t remember which British Grand Prix. Maybe ’83, but there is this clip of Rosberg talking with Patrick Head on the grid and he flicks his fag on the ground and stamps it out. I think their even putting fuel in at the time. Head’s look is priceless. Heidfeld is the last driver I can remember that you would actually see smoking in the paddock. Dick Trickle in Nascar in the 80’s would actually light up in the car during yellow flags. The team made him put his favored brand in the car sponsors packets as he didn’t like to smoke his sponsors cigarettes. Just one more thing the drivers lack in character and personality these days I guess.

      2. Here’s a wonderful link to K Rosberg lighting a fag from another fag:
        https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FUqoISRZ.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fimgur.com%2Fr%2FCigarettes%2FUqoISRZ&docid=qzgtIU7d8VQ4kM&tbnid=vgiU-6AKghQJ7M%3A&vet=10ahUKEwjhzI2z-PPbAhWKZVAKHQonB7AQMwgqKAQwBA..i&w=1280&h=856&client=safari&bih=739&biw=1280&q=keke%20rosberg%20smoking&ved=0ahUKEwjhzI2z-PPbAhWKZVAKHQonB7AQMwgqKAQwBA&iact=mrc&uact=8

        If you put Rosberg smoking into Google Images you’ll get a number of pics of various F1 drivers smoking.

        1. LOL, that’s hilarious. And I can clearly see why there was that eagerness to ban tobacco sponsorships back then – those drivers of yesteryear really made smoking look cool, in a “Marlboro man” sort of way. I don’t think today’s drivers would be anywhere as effective in carrying that off today, for either smoking or drinking.

          Scratch that – I can see Ricciardo being able to push beer with that big grin of his. But he’s probably the exception.

          It does make me wonder though, whether the true risk of tobacco in F1 was all the tobacco advertising on cars/trackside in itself, or the image of drivers/everyone smoking, or something else that was viewed as the concern.

          I’m from the land of Kingfisher, but just seeing that signage on FI has never triggered anything. On the other hand, if the podium ceremony was a total beerfest, that just might have an effect (e.g. let me have my own personal “podium ceremony” when my favoured driver wins).

          1. Magnussen can definitely pull off that look.

          2. Scratch that – I can see Ricciardo being able to push beer with that big grin of his. But he’s probably the exception.

            You’re right – during the wet practice session at Paul Ricard, BBC 5live asked Ricciardo what hangover cure he recommends and he immediately replied “Keep drinking!”

        2. Don’t see half naked drivers anymore either…

    11. Maybe i’m just not very susceptible to such marketing but having been watching F1 & other categories since 1989 when I was 5 & been bombarded by the Tobacco brands as a child I never once had any desire to start smoking & have never even tried it even though I had friends/knew people that did.

      And it’s the same with alcohol, I don’t drink it & never have. I’ve never drank a Red Bull either.

      I have brought brands that have been in F1 but I didn’t buy it because I saw it featured in F1, I brought it because I felt that particular product was the best (Or sometimes most affordable) for whatever it was I needed it to do.

      1. Duncan Snowden
        27th June 2018, 14:53

        Ditto. But then, you and I have free will. According to the WHO, most of the world’s population are mindless robots.

        This constitutes part of the WHO’s next ‘hit’ group, namely sweets, fizzy drinks and confectionery. Fast food is fourth, with ‘power advertising’ – glamorisation of speed – comprising the fifth group.

        But remember, kids: the slippery slope is all in your paranoid little minds. And note that last one. They will come after motor racing itself. Don’t kid yourself that they won’t.

        1. At this rate, by that point the notion of humans attempting to be speedy will be of so little interest to youth that point 5) will probably be replaced by something else.

          If F1 exists by that point, it will probably have found some way of contravening point 5) in pursuit of income…

          1. (the new point 5), that should be).

        2. But then, you and I have free will

          Lol

        3. Yup, one by one big government is chipping away at our agency. Yesterday, tobacco, today, alcohol, tomorrow, sugar. What comes next? By the time my grandchildren have grown up they’ll all be in sack cloth living on rations.

      2. @stefmeister, well, evidently the tobacco industry must have thought that it was rather effective given the vast sums of money that they poured, and in the case of Marlboro, continue to pour, into sponsoring F1, not to mention the rather considerable sums of money that they spent in an effort to prevent tobacco advertising from being banned in the first place.

        Duncan Snowden, to be blunt, most advertisers work on the principle that the average consumer often overestimates their own intelligence and is ill informed, easily manipulated and, even as they proudly proclaim that “they’re not mindless robots”, often blissfully unaware how easily they can be made to act like one.

      3. I grew up with The IMSA Camel GT challenge and NASCAR Winston Cup.
        I never associated either with cigarettes… and my mom smoked Winstons!*

        It wasn’t until they changed the names of those series, and I saw the reason why, that the light bulb went on.

        (*she quit, cold turkey, back in the ’70’s and she’s still going strong at 82.)

      4. Same. Have been watching F1 religiously since 1993, and I have never smoked, and I do not drink, barely ever did. I guess it works well on the weak-willed.

    12. Robert McKay
      27th June 2018, 14:44

      I’m somewhat surprised the rise in betting companies associated with football (and other sports) hasn’t impinged itself on F1 more (yet?).

      1. Betting on F1 isn’t that lucrative, due to a combination of “the house” not being that good at detecting the salient patterns, over-savvy fans who are biased to a relatively limited extent and the scope in the rules for things that predictably order results.

        The rise of Big Data may change this to some extent.

    13. This sort of limp-wrist thinking is what is eroding the popularity of this sport. F1 used to be an easy sell: Sex and Danger. Apparently in the world of Coward Canopies…sorry I mean HALOs, no grid girls, no smoking, every corner rounded, and don’t offend anyone with a Johnnie Walker sticker; it is no surprise the excitement isn’t quite what it used to be.

    14. That’s a problem Williams won’t need to care about next year.

      1. @dusty that’s cold… I might have had the same thing in my mind when reading the article

    15. Damn, these WHO guys do Sound like terrible killjoys

    16. I think it’s moronic to drink and smoke. But I vehemently oppose the banning of sponsorship in F1. It was one of the main reasons money became such a big issue. It’s one of the main reasons why we have such large discrepancies in funding among teams, pay drivers, and why the sport itself was able to be held hostage by external parties and influences.

    17. Thanks, Heineken…now get lost!

    18. Excellent article, you don’t usually see this stuff on F1 websites.

    19. Duncan Snowden
      28th June 2018, 1:45

      No, I don’t accept that. There’s no doubt that the advertising industry is full of very clever, manipulative individuals who are extremely good at persuading people in the market for a certain good to buy their client’s particular product (this is why the tobacco industry, like every other, spent so much money with them, and resisted the ban). And, perhaps as a result, they hold a very cynical view of their audience. But you can’t make someone buy something he doesn’t want.

      I’ll repeat my agreement with StefMeister: I’ve been exposed to tobacco and alcohol sponsorhip in F1 for over 30 years, not to mention all the other advertising elsewhere, and have never once felt the inclination to smoke or drink either alcohol or Red Bull. Note that this isn’t some kind of moral position I’ve taken against those things; I simply don’t want to. I love Willams’s Martini livery, but at no time have I ever thought, “You know, that makes me want to go out and buy a bottle of Martini”. Never. I may, referring back to my point above, have thought in the early ’90s – I didn’t, but I might have – that Jordan were a cool team and I’d rather have a 7-Up than a Coke, because I do drink fizzy pop. Not because I’ve been brainwashed into it; it’s because I like the stuff. And yes, if I see an advert for one I haven’t tried that’s cleverly designed to seduce me into identifying with the brand, I might want to give it a go. That’s what advertising’s for.

      As a corollary, you can’t stop people from wanting something by preventing it from being publicised. This has been shown to be the case in countries which banned tobacco advertising. There’s lots of overblown hype from the advocates of the bans, but when you actually look at the figures there was no discernable acceleration in the rate of smoking cessation after the advertising ban, anywhere in the world. Smoking has been in steady decline for decades (since before anyone seriously tried to stop it, in fact), and nothing that has been imposed from above has altered the rate in the slightest.

    20. Agris Rūmītis
      28th June 2018, 5:10

      all those bans are absolute nonsense – who ever wanted to smoke still smoke, who ever wanted to drink, still do drink. no matter they paint all cigarette packs khaki or can all alcohol in blue pots with small writing it’s blue, red, silver and so on. the kid will get a pack and will ask which khaki is red and which khaki is blue. I guess EU and alike SHOULD spend their expertise(and our money) on MUCH more important activities.

      1. There’s the rub. There’s a lot of people on the gravy train needing to justify their positions. “What can we lobby next?” You can pass any kind of infringement on liberty so long as you use the “health and safety” banner.

    21. We are becoming a world of pussy (cats) i dnt get the problem with alcohol and tobacco advertisements i grew up when smoking ads and sponsorship was big i dnt smoke. Either you will or u wont. If you are influenced then you are weak. No models on the race track… has anyone asked the models what they think?

      1. You’re only allowed to be a working woman if your career is deemed “worthy” by liberal intellectuals.

      2. Thank you! My thinking exactly. If they put sponsorship on the car for becoming a vegan I can tell you right now I wont stop eating meat.

    22. The decline in smoking in western countries certainly corresponds with the increase in knowledge of the damage tobacco use can do to not just the user but people around them. In the US (where your from I’m guessing) smoking has declined by around half from the late 60s till the early 2000s.
      That coincides with the increasing public awareness of the hazards of smoking and the lengths the tobacco industry went to keep people smoking. The same can be said in general for all western countries,
      the percentages vary but the trend is there and it supports that the education of the public in the down side of tobacco use works.
      I have read reports that millennials are highly resistant to conventional forms of advertising, that’s for the psychologists to ponder.
      But make no mistake advertising has proven to be very effective on the populous at least till now.

      1. Advert regulation’s are not a substitute for rational thinking and good parenting.

        1. Haha human being and rational really don’t go well together, just look at the state of things around you.
          But this is a F1 site and that’s my last word on this distraction.

    23. Public awareness, knowledge education about the dangers is 1 thing. Im not disagreeing with that. But i disagree with banning of tobacco and alcohol ads. Responsible ads is what we should have with the awareness etc. People are knocked over by vehicles every day why then dont we ban vehicles???

    24. With legal marijuana making monstrous profits in parts of the US, a rich new source of sponsorship opens up.
      What possible problems could there be? …..

    25. If WHO were really serious in their belief that tobacco / alcohol / fast food advertising on F1 cars was responsible for tempting innocent weak-willed people into various forms of self-destructive behaviour, surely the logical stance to take would be for them to sponsor an F1 team to carry “clean-living” messages on their cars. Fight fire with fire.

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