When getting fleet signage in Brisbane or anywhere in the AU, there are laws that have to be followed; certain types of products can’t be plastered on livery due to advertising bans.
Italian manufacturer Ferrari might be in trouble over that, as their new F1 wrap is promoting the new Mission Winnow brand, from their long-time partner Philip Morris, which would be in violation of Aussie tobacco advertising bans, which prevent any sort of tobacco products being advertised in the country, from fleet signage in Brisbane to billboards in Sydney.
Aussie authorities opened an investigation on the matter early in February 2019, about a month before the F1 season kicks off in Melbourne. The investigation looks into the Mission Winnow logo, which advertises a product that doesn’t really exist, which they are saying resembles the famous Marlboro logo a bit too much.
Since their appearance on Scuderia’s cars and the drivers’ uniforms at 2018’s Japanese Grand Prix, some have been suggesting that the Mission Winnow logo, a white chevron on a red background, was a strategy for bypassing regulations and covertly marketing Marlboro cigarettes.
Since 2007, global tobacco advertising regulations have result in the gradual removal of cigarette branding in F1 vehicles, with Ferrari dropping the Marlboro branding back in 2011. Notably, however, the House of Maranello retained a good partnership with Philip Morris, with quite a few fans continuing to association the Ferrari and Marlboro brands thanks to some clever livery and logo designs.
Back in 2010, Ferrari was forced to remove Philip Morris’s barcode logo from its vehicles following claims from anti-tobacco associations pointing out that this would qualify as subliminal advertising for Marlboro.
Philip Morris sees its new Mission Winnow brand concept as a new development for the company, with hopes to develop and market ‘smoke-free alternatives’ to cigarettes.
Philip Morris Australia released a statement on the matter, saying that Philip Morris International and Scuderia Ferrari have a global partnership, which is managed outside of the AU.
The federal government’s investigation follows on the heels of the reviews of tobacco control laws in Australia, which also cover advertising regulation.