McLaren, Bahrain, 2019

McLaren debut e-cigarette branding in Bahrain

2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

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McLaren is running the branding of British American Tobacco’s e-cigarette product Vype for the first time at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

It is the first time a Formula 1 team has promoted an e-cigarette product by name. It comes after McLaren and Ferrari removed their tobacco brand sponsors’ promotions at the Australian Grand Prix after concerns were raised over whether they complied with restrictions on tobacco advertising.

E-cigarette products can contain tobacco but heat it rather than burn it. BAT claims they have the “potential” to reduce the risks associated with conventional cigarettes

McLaren announced its new partnership with BAT last month. Its car initially appeared bearing the slogan “A Better Tomorrow”.

At the time BAT’s chief marketing officer Kingsley Wheaton said the McLaren deal “gives us a truly global platform with which to drive greater resonance of our potentially reduced risk products, including our Vype, Vuse and Glo brands.

“Ultimately, innovation and technology will support us in creating a better tomorrow for our consumers worldwide.”

McLaren replaced its ‘A Better Tomorrow’ slogans with a promotion for convenience shop 7 Eleven in Australia. Ferrari also removed the branding of ‘Mission Winnow, an equivalent promotion from its long-term sponsor Philip Morris International.

RaceFans understands the contractual relationship between BAT and McLaren is such that BAT has the option of nominating different liveries. They have taken the view that in countries where the product advertising is legal they will display it on the car providing it is a ‘potentially reduced risk product’ or a new generation product.

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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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20 comments on “McLaren debut e-cigarette branding in Bahrain”

  1. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    1. Sonny Crockett
      29th March 2019, 11:02

      Maybe when Sainz’s PU goes “pop” this weekend it will release an aroma of vanilla or wild berries?

  2. petebaldwin (@)
    28th March 2019, 16:50

    Vype products don’t contain tobacco. Like 99% of other e-cigarettes and anything that is referred to as “vaping”, there is no tobacco involved.

    1. Jimmie in LA (@)
      28th March 2019, 19:16

      No, just copious amounts of nicotine

      1. No, a lot of vapers have 0% nicotine, they just vape for the flavours

        1. Found the Subaru driver.

  3. Just so we are clear, the laws around tobacco product advertising are very different in the GCC than they are in the rest of the world. While I was living there (up to 2015) Ferrari F1 cars were regularly used on PMI advertisements for their products even though the cars carried no visible PMI branding.

  4. I’ve never understood why despite all this furore about no tobacco (or alternatives), I can go to somewhere as EU as an airport in Germany (experience says Frankfurt and Munich for certain) and the indoor smoking rooms are in full sight, with wall to wall tobacco adverts on the outside and the stench of concentrated nicotine spilling out.
    I don’t smoke, I don’t care if you do. I just don’t like double standards.

    I feel that banning vaping advertising is just to attack the tobacco companies a 2nd time, when instead they could be educating and getting smokers to switch.
    Otherwise you may as well ban Heineken’s if you drink don’t drive campaign too.

    1. Alcohol is a hard drug. It’s just that it is socially acceptable to take it.

    2. Biggest growth in sales for beer in New Zealand is Heineken 00. Non alcoholic (0.05%), tastes like real beer, drink and drive after more than a dozen bottles without a problem.

      Seems to be the future of beer if drinking and driving. Not available in the USA.

    3. ColdFly (@)
      29th March 2019, 8:53

      I feel that banning vaping advertising is just to attack the tobacco companies a 2nd time, when instead they could be educating and getting smokers to switch.

      The problem with advertising of e-cigarettes and vaping is that it is geared towards making it hip for young users and get them hooked on nicotine (a strategy the tobacco companies have used successfully with normal cigarettes before).
      If tobacco companies are truly interested in moving smokers to healthier options then it would be a better strategy (and cheaper) to advertise these noble ideas on their current cigarette packs or do an inlay.
      The whole ‘lower risk alternative for our customers’ is all vape and mirrors; they want new victims getting hooked on their products.

  5. F1 is burning fossil fuels, old-world glamour, racing in countries with questionable regimes and tobacco/alcohol advertising.

    This is why F1 is dying people.
    Racing will survive, but F1 will be dead within 10 years I think.

  6. Pedro Andrade
    28th March 2019, 18:52

    “Vape… with Vype”

    Sounds horrible

  7. Have ever been stopped at an intersection while driving and seen huge, thick clouds of billowing smoke pouring from a nearby vehicle? So much so it makes you want to grab a fire extinguisher and rescue your fellow human being. Then you realize, oh silly me, that was just tons of completely harmless vape smoke exiting profusely from their lungs, not an automobile fire.

    Hoping McLaren’s Renault power units don’t give up in a cloud of smoky glory. Of course, it could make quite the impressive advert, all that smoke, with the Vype logo shining through…

    1. Lol @bullmello, graphic description! Almost makes me want to see the McLaren go poof!

    2. Sainz already did that in Melbourne…
      Maybe it’s not the ideal commercial partner for teams running Renault engines.

  8. I worked in the e-cigarette industry for many years and the positive effects are massive! After my mother passed away from lung cancer, I decided to stop smoking. In the UK during stoptober (the national campaign to raise awareness of the effects of smoking) vaping is advertised on the TV as a better alternative to smoking and rightly so.

    Although as an industry professional, I wouldn’t recommend the Vype (much better products are available), I do welcome the introduction of e-cigarette advertising on the world’s biggest Motorsport platform.

    I’ve been a massive F1 fan since 2006 and I’m currently living in China and smoking is a massive culture thing here. I think the smokers of the world need to open up to vaping as a whole because I have no doubts it’ll save lives.

    1. I agree with you that compared to smoking, vaping is a big step up, especially when the user then dials down the amount of nicotine in it.

      As far as I know, the concern is with people who don’t smoke taking up vaping, as a) might be path to nicotine, which is still addictive and unhealthy ; b) the vaping fluids flavors ingested at scalding hot temps might be unhealthy too (possible for bystanders).

      But, certainly not an expert.

  9. As much as I like the big tobacco money back in the sport these logos and brands aren’t very compelling. Vype? Still better than the worst drug on the planet alcohol for all those that have a weird aversion to tobacco advertising.

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