Ferrari Mission Winnow livery, Suzuka, 2018

Ferrari’s Mission Winnow aimed at PMI “sceptics”

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In the round-up: The Mission Winnow project being promoted by Ferrari is aimed at tackling “scepticism” around the work of its sponsor, tobacco producer Philip Morris International.

What they say

PMI’s director of global communications Tommaso Di Giovanni explained the purpose of the new branding to RaceFans:

It’s changed because the company has changed. The company is going through a dramatic transformation whereby we’re now focusing on a new mission which is completely transforming our business.

We made a commitment a couple of years ago to make sure that one day all smokers quit cigarettes and switch to better alternatives. This requites a completely different mindset. It requires science, technology, innovation.

We hired over 400 expert scientists. We have chemical engineers, we have people who look at population impact, we have medical professionals, something we never had before. It requires a complete change in mindset and a completely different attitude towards innovation and the future. But that mindset is the one that our people have today.

We realise that outside most of the people don’t know that we’ve changed and sometimes those who know are sceptical and it’s with those that we want to engage. We want them to know who we are, how we’re changing, we want to share our philosophy and eventually have more and more people embracing it because if we want to drive a dramatic dialogues we need dialogues and we need change also out there among all those who can play a role.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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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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51 comments on “Ferrari’s Mission Winnow aimed at PMI “sceptics””

  1. So, is PMI going into cannabis or synthetical drugs? What is the better alternative he is referring to?

    1. Its iQOS. Electric. The future.
      But I never understood smoking that need to re-charge. Philips Morris’s best product is still Dji Sam Soe.

    2. They are currently starting to produce a device that uses tobacco but doesn’t burn it in a cigarette, instead it heats it up and pulls air through it, eliminating some of the most troublesome parts of cigarette smoke @ruliemaulana, @maiagus.

      And yeah, pretty clear that they are putting a lot of effort into this new way of using tobacco, because they have known how bad smoking is for at least 60 years now, and since the world has caught up on that, the writing is clearly on the wall for smoking.

  2. 400 scientist doesn’t sound like much considering PMI is one of the biggest companies in the world, worth thousands of billions…

    1. @fer-no65: Possibly hundreds of billions – thousands of billions would put them in Apple or Saudi State oil range.

      But PMI is the same company that decades ago hired many scientists and doctors to refute the science that cigarette smoking is hazardous to health.

      The sooner they leave F1 forever the soon I can support Ferrari again. Until then… smoke if you got ’em.

      1. @fer-no65 They’re not just any old idiots though, they’re ‘expert’ scientists.

        1. So they will win now…

  3. Hehe if they were genuine, they’d just withdraw their lethal products… funny how any other industry would be shut down immediately if they had such a high rate of illness and death as a direct result of consumption. That money though..

    1. funny how any other industry would be shut down immediately if they had such a high rate of illness and death as a direct result of consumption.”

      Refined foods? Sugary drinks? Confectioneries? Alcohol? Fast foods? I dont see any of them shutting down anytime soon!

      1. Refined foods? Sugary drinks? Confectioneries? Alcohol? Fast foods? I dont see any of them shutting down anytime soon!

        Whilst all of these are true, and in the case of sugar and fast food coming more and more into the public consciousness, smoking does stand on it’s own in terms of it having been long accepted publicly that if you use that product, you are more likely to die from it than any other cause.

      2. ummm how about the arms industry?

        1. good point there @maciek. I guess the political influence they get from huge ill gained profits (and talk about how many ppl they employ) works for both of those.

    2. Peter Scandlyn
      13th October 2018, 19:38

      @tommy-c Never mind about that. It is clear what their aim is. Why can’t the FIA stand up for once and clean up the Ferrari act- they’ve been pulling the wool over our eyes long enough on the smoking ban…..

  4. All this time I thought it was Philip Morris’ way of telling their sponsored team to ‘Win Now!’ :P

    1. @todford, very Ferrari ! :-)

  5. Getting all smokers to quit sounds nice and noble, but switching to better alternatives leaves me in no doubt they’re still a death factory because let’s be honest they aren’t talking about actual health products, they mean industrially produced addictive garbage like vaping. Something that’s nicely unregulated which we don’t really know the long term health effects of.

    1. “Getting all smokers…” who are they (or you Sir) to tell any free human being what they can and what they cannot do with the principal thing that is their body? Let alone enforce someone to do something against their will. Terrible and frightening point of view.

      1. Neither them or I have told anyone what they can’t do with with their body or made any suggestion of enforcing it.

        Who are you arguing with?

        1. @philipgb, it seems that what he’s arguing with is a straw man…

      2. MonAmi, papa fume une pipe.
        And everybody else can smoke as much as they want until they die.
        But not next to children (even in your own home) and not next to me when I want have drink on a terrace on a sunny day. And not covering the entrance of a public building in smoke so nobody can enter.
        Why do some smokers think that their suicide addiction allows them to poison others?

        1. @coldfly I don’t think it’s quite so black and white. Full disclosure: I’m a smoker, though rather a social one, I never smoke in places or around people when it’s not unanimously accepted or appropriate, that is around children and nonsmokers. For me smoking is a relaxation and leisure thing, so it’s gotta be chill all around. I’m very glad that smoking has been banned indoors, especially workplaces and restaurants, and even from around busy building entrances. I’m down with all that and with exposing the misdeeds of the industry. However if you want to talk about obnoxious suicide addictions, let’s start with fossil fuels and ask ourselves what gives us the right to poison ourselves, others and world in general. The answer I’m afraid is human hubris and this extends to all spheres of human activity. We happen to live in a time when health concerns are very much at the forefront of social policy and that is very much a good thing in and of itself. But we also live in a time when people are a little paranoid about health and safety in general. Frankly I think that in places like terraces across the board smoking bans are an exaggeration. You might as well demand a on ban cars passing near you on a sunny day, because it’s a noxious nuisance, or people cooking stuff that smells bad, or people being loud idiots or any number of things. I’m exaggerating for effect, but my point is I think there’s a balance to be found somewhere when it comes to things like smoking outside vs the right to not be around smoke. I don’t go to or near all kinds of places because I don’t want to and I don’t see why the same couldn’t be true for a few terraces where you could smoke. Anyhoo this is a particular thing for me because I really miss spending a relaxed evening chilling with a smoke n beer on a terrace ; )

    2. @philipgb

      Agree. Its not like Philip Morris are taking on this ‘noble’ venture because their executives have hearts made of cotton candy… They’re doing it because the world is wanting to switch to a less lethal alternative, and if they don’t provide that alternative soon, they’ll be extinct.

      There still haven’t been enough years or research to give us an accurate picture of vaping. I’m pretty sure in 10 years time there will be claims that vaping have a different number of issues affecting our health as well… But by that time Philip Morris would have established himself as a market leader and would squash any reports and findings on vaping in the exact same way they have with tobacco.

    3. Vaping is proven to be less harmful than tobacco. It’s not healthy but it’s so much better to be vaping than smoking. The big players have been moving in this direction for some time now, which can only be a good thing. They’re still big evil corporations but public health initiatives like the smoking ban in the UK are having an effect. Slowly.

      1. There is little to none evidence vaping is less harmful.
        There are indications it could be. But the chemical consequences on the body are not known. And probably will take some years to develop.

  6. I have two questions about the whole tobacco sponsorship rules.
    1. I know tobacco advertising isn’t allowed in F1. What about the reverse? Does FOG/FIA say that no F1-related entity can be used for tobacco advertising?
    2. If the answer to #1 is “it is allowed”, then, can FOG/FIA bring in such a rule? No team names, logos, coveralls, or cars to be used in tobacco ads, drivers can individually advertise, but again without any F1 livery, or even use of the word “F1” (so an ad can’t read “John Doe, F1 driver”, or “PMI is proud to sponsor the Acme F1 team”).

    I just don’t get what PMI gain from their sponsorship money, hence the above questions. Of course, #2 is a bit hollow because the advertisement could still read “PMI is proud to sponsor Ferrari’s racing teams”.

    1. Driving around in Monaco a few years back (2010) there were huge Ferrari/Marlboro ads on billboards I seem to remember. Not something we see in the UK due to the tobacco advertising ban here but certainly still seemed to be alive and kicking (and presumably shifting product) in other parts of the world.

  7. I disagree with the people that form the 56%. That’s far from how it is in reality. Like I’ve stated before; DRS is rather ineffective ‘most of the times’ these days. 95-99% of the time it doesn’t automatically guarantee an overtaking move to happen, far from it. Take Sochi, for example, where the first activation zone got lengthened by 100 meters from the previous seasons, and yet it still didn’t make any difference whatsoever in aiding overtaking into T2, and the same with S/F straight activation zone in Bahrain, and the addition of a 3rd activation zone on a few circuits.

    – Regarding the COTD: I wonder what the posters yearly Williams branded cap looks like.

    1. ‘poster’s’

  8. I still find it funny Ferrari chose to go ahead with this branding of their car with WINNOW, seemingly completely oblivious to the possibility we’d all have a chuckle at it meaning WIN NOW, just as they hit a dry spot.

    That’s all I see. A car branded with a demand from management. Our mission is to win now!

    Cigarettes? What are they? They seem pretty rare these days. And vaping is looked down on/banned just as much. The modern UK seems to smoke and drink a lot less. Maybe all the money is going on drugs now? Who knows….

    Meanwhile, cannabis is now widely legal in the USA, with several companies being major manufacturer/distributors. How long til they advertise on a car in the US GP? Tobacco sponsorship might be outlawed, but what about marijuana….?

    1. JC, there is an age split there – younger people are tending to smoke and drink less, in part because they are now worse off financially than their parents (for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, average earnings and lifetime earnings have declined from one generation to the next).

      However, it seems that, amongst wealthier and older individuals, alcohol consumption has increased slightly in more recent times, in part because those groups have a larger disposable income to spend on alcohol.

    2. @JC Regarding pot, the US has not made it legal from a federal standpoint, but yes several states have legalized it. Here in Canada pot is about to be legalized on October 17th, and that is country wide, so, federally. It would still be illegal to try to bring pot over the border to the US even though it is legal in Canada and in some States.

      So in Canada the provinces have been left on their own as to how to deal with the sale of pot (who can sell it and how to determine where it can be smoked). The general consensus here in Ontario seems to be wherever cigarettes can be smoked so can pot be used. Our premier has asked people to use common sense as the smell can be intrusive. Just as with cigarettes, please smoke wherever others won’t be offended.

      As to advertising though, since cigarettes are legal yet advertising them is not, I expect the same for pot. We won’t see pot companies advertising as far as I am to understand. Not in the US nor here in Canada.

      1. Just to add, although pot is about to be legal here, unlike cigarettes but just like booze, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of pot. That said they still don’t have a very reliable method for police to test for pot usage on a roadside setting, like a breathalyzer does for alcohol.

    3. Cigarettes? What are they? They seem pretty rare these days”

      Maybe a bit down in the UK (not a lot) or USA, but people still smoke heavily in the Middle Eastern and Eastern bloc countries.

  9. We want them to know who we are, how we’re changing, we want to share our philosophy and eventually have more and more people embracing it because if we want to drive a dramatic dialogues we need dialogues and we need change also out there among all those who can play a role.

    Smooth talking snake oil salesman, wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

    1. Yes, exactly. Corporations are in business for exactly one reason – to make money. Any attempt by them to turn their business into a ‘philosophy’ to be embraced is B.S. corporate speak.

      I’m sure glad “We hired over 400 expert scientists”. It would have been a mistake to hire 400 regular scientists.

  10. @keithcollantine.
    Why let this beautiful blog/site be tainted by the marketing storyline of this cancer stick company. Headline even :(

    What’s next? A Racing Lines story promoting the NRA?

    1. The quote marks around ‘sceptics’ are subtle but do most of the work.

      1. @david-br The quote marks are only there to indicate the word is taken as a quotation.

        1. @keithcollantine I appreciate that may be so Keith, but for me it had the immediate effect of drawing attention to the word used by the company (‘sceptical’ in the actual quote) and questioning why they used that instead of ‘critical’ or ‘cynical.’ One of the by-products of ‘quote marks’ I guess.

    2. @coldfly
      It’s relevant to F1, and by putting the story here we can discuss it rather than bury our heads in the sand. It doesn’t seem that they’re fooling anyone, judging by the comments, in any case.

      I assume if the NRA decided to be the title sponsor of a major F1 team they would get column space too.

    3. @coldfly It’s a fundamental principle that as far as news is concerned I want to present you, the reader, with the relevant facts. It’s all well and good for PMI to put their explanation on a press release but whether they can articulate it when direct questions are put to them is another matter. Whether you or anyone else finds that explanation persuasive or not is up to you.

      To put it another way, I found Verstappen’s comparison between his collision with Vettel in Japan and their collision in Spain specious and unconvincing. Should I therefore not have published it? No, because the fact he’s making that claim is itself revealing.

      And, of course, we do publish comment pieces as well from time to time, such as today’s on W Series. But comment and news should be separate, I believe.

      1. Still don’t agree, @keithcollantine, to include this marketing story.
        PMI is not a driver (Verstapoen), it has nothing to do with racing (Vettel collision), and they don’t even make cars or engines.

        I would leave the marketing stories of sponsors out of the round up, and limit it to the ‘what new stickers are on cars’ story you did last year.

        But it’s your call as it is your site/blog, and I can only share my opinion.

        1. @coldfly

          it has nothing to do with racing

          I disagree: they’re subsidising the the most famous team in the sport.

          1. @keithcollantine

            they’re subsidising the the most famous team in the sport.

            The various host cities/countries subsidise the sport a lot more. I don’t see articles every time they change their slogan :P

            I doubt we’ll agree on this any day soon. Your site; my prerogative to read or not.

  11. I think it is subconscious marketing, it actually means: Missing Winning!

  12. Its funny how many of the most rabid anti-tobacco people I have met often either smoke dope, take sleeping pills, downers, uppers and so on. Not sure which is more damaging overall to society as distinct to the individual.

  13. I read the Alain Prost story on F1. Would somone of influence in F1 listen to him and take on board what he is saying!

    1. @phil-f1-21, yet that came from an individual who happened to drive some of the most technologically advanced cars in an era where the excessive costs from developing the technological gadgets he references helped cause the collapse of tens of teams in the 1990s?

  14. DRS doesn’t make passing too easy. The performance difference does. Take two cars of relative equal power and DRS helps but it doesn’t always do enough – often this is track specific where the effect is higher or lower, but often two equally strong cars can get close but passing still remains difficult. However you get two cars with different performance values and the DRS effect makes a fairly easy pass look even easier – it’s not a question of if the stronger car gets past but when, because of the performance difference and all made easier by DRS. It’s like watching Perez/Ocon struggle to get past Magnussen despite having DRS assistance and watching Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen breeze past the midfield like they’re in a different category – because they essentially are. DRS is symptom of the problem but not the cause.

    The ‘DRS effect’ probably needs better calibration circuit to circuit to reduce it fluctuating between useless and overpoweringly strong, but it also needs changes made to let the cars follow each other easier and the performance difference between cars lowering to encouage ‘natural’ passing – in addtion to DRS.

    1. @rocketpanda For me drs is an unfortunate gadget used to try to help mask the ill effects of too much clean air dependence. F1 is addicted to aero. And we have seen processions with good tires and bad, and even with drs…that’s how bad the effect of dirty air is in harming close racing.

      The only answer is for F1 to reduce it’s over dependence on aero downforce. I’m not suggesting they get rid of wings altogether. I know they wouldn’t do that nor would I expect them to. But they must use the types of combinations of aero, floor and diffuser work for more ground effects, as well as having cars make less wake to begin with, along with good reliable ungadgety mechanical grip tires, so that drs is completely unnecessary. Drs is not the answer to anything. It only harms the integrity of the sport. The only tweaking it needs is to be eliminated altogether, which I fully expect will be the case for 2021 and onward.

      We didn’t have drs for decades, and since it’s inception it has not added to the entity of F1. The passes from drs are not memorable two seconds after they are over. It doesn’t matter to me what they do with it in terms of adding extra drs zones or what have you. Nothing they do with it other than eliminating it, will solve the harm it’s existence does to what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing.

      They have no choice but to stick with drs for now, as today’s cars are built for it, and Brawn has made it clear he doesn’t want to make knee-jerk decisions that catch the smaller teams out. But 2021 presents their golden opportunity to use their wind tunnel research wrt closer racing, and there should be absolutely no need for drs. If they still have drs in 2021, then they will have not done their homework very well, there will still be too much clean air dependence, and that would be hugely disappointing.

      1. For me it’s not the DRS itself, but the peculiar rules about when it can be used – I would be happy to see it used in 2021, but so long as there are no restrictions on when it can be used.

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