Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya

Ferrari keeps Mission Winnow on car after legal threat

2020 F1 season

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Ferrari is continuing to run the logos of Mission Winnow on its car despite an Italian consumer rights group threatening legal action over the brand last week.

The non-profit organisation Codacons called for the seizure of the team’s new SF1000 car after it was launched in Reggio Emilia eight days ago. Codacons claims the logos of the team’s title partner Mission Winnow, a Philip Morris International initiative, are intended to circumvent laws preventing tobacco promotion in Europe.

Philip Morris International’s vice-president of communications Tommaso Di Giovanni told RaceFans “this is not the first time [Codacons] has made such threats.

“In 2019 a similar complaint filed by the organisation was rejected by the Italian Antitrust Authority as ‘manifestly groundless’.” Last week Codacons claimed Italy’s Ministry of Health had recently endorsed its view that the advertising is intended to promote smoking products.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya
McLaren promotes BAT’s Velo brand
Ferrari launched its Mission Winnow branding at the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix. However health organisation in several countries raised concerns over the whether the branding satisfied legislation on tobacco advertising.

Ferrari replaced the Mission Winnow brand many times during last season. It eventually featured on the team’s car at just 10 of last year’s 21 races, including the Spanish Grand Prix at Circu it de Catalunya, where today’s test is taking place. However PMI say it will continue to appear on the car at times during 2020.

“Mission Winnow continues to be the title partner of Scuderia Ferrari,” Di Giovanni explained. “The 2020 livery will continue to feature the Mission Winnow logo and wordmark at selected F1 races.

“Our initiative has triggered a lot of curiosity, empathy and candor and it will continue to be a dialogue-opening platform for us. Regrettably, we know that some may have pre-conceived ideas about us and have expressed reservations about what they feel are our true intentions.

“Big changes start with an open, honest conversation. Mission Winnow is an initiative to encourage dialogue around positive change; our own and that of others. Through Mission Winnow, we want to let the world know how we have an ambition vision for the future; to share our pride in the transformation that the people of PMI have achieved so far and will continue to achieve.

“While we believe that our initiative fits with all applicable laws and regulations, we do not wish to create any controversy around our partnership with Scuderia Ferrari. As such, we may find alternative ways at certain races to show our support of Scuderia Ferrari and our winnowing spirit through the 2020 race season.”

The only other team on the grid which is sponsored by a tobacco manufacturer is McLaren, which has the backing of British American Tobacco. It is running the logos of BAT’s Velo brand this today, which the company describes as an oral product which contains nicotine but not tobacco.

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Author information

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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13 comments on “Ferrari keeps Mission Winnow on car after legal threat”

  1. Mission Winnow is a not-so-indirect tobacco advertising. It’s clear as the sun.
    Should be removed asap.

    1. The only reason I know that Mission Winnow has something to do with cigarettes, is because of the constant talking about it on F1 sites.

    2. People like you make me want to drink and smoke and burn rubber in my ICE. No doubt your hand wringing doesn’t extend to anything you personally find ok

  2. Yesterday, track officials quickly removed Mission Winnow advertising that was seen in turn 1 at Barcelona. Wonder why it was placed there in the first place.

    1. It was only for the Ferrari filming day so would have been taken down anyway

  3. Mission Winnow makes me want to smoke! Don’t know why… :)

  4. Given internal combustion engine might be banned in some countries (at least on some locations), how long until oil company sponsorships to be banned also?

  5. Don’t really care about the advert, but I’d get a real kick out of seeing the SF1000 in an impound lot next to seized econoboxes

  6. I hope one day i will see Marlboro on Ferrari again
    and West on Mclaren
    and Mild seven on Renault
    and Rothmans on Williams
    Marlboro is best cigarette!

  7. Cristiano Ferreira
    20th February 2020, 2:16

    Just leave Mission Winnow alone.

    The overreaction that people has because of this add is so silly.

    1. Cristiano Ferreira
      20th February 2020, 2:16


  8. Apparently mission winnow pays Ferrari over $160 million for the title sponsorship. No wonder Ferrari are keeping their logo

Comments are closed.