‘Marlboro’ defends staying on F1 grid

Mon, 27 November 2006, 11:15

A spokesman for Philip Morris has defended the tobacco company’s sponsorship deal with Ferrari, despite the existence of a continent-wide advertising ban in Europe.

Even though the rival brands Mile Seven and Lucky Strike have called time on their F1 forays, it is understood that the Ferrari deal has increased in value to $175m for 2007, even though the ‘Marlboro’ logo will not appear on the car at many grands prix.

The deal, which will see the Maranello based cars painted mainly plain-red and white and has angered some of its now tobacco-free rivals, extends through to 2011.

Explaining that Philip Morris would find ‘innovative ways’ to advertise with Ferrari, international spokesman Tommaso di Giovanni told the IHT newspaper: “W still believe it’s appropriate for us to be involved (in F1).”

A spokesman for Renault, meanwhile, admitted that the French team’s new sponsorship with ‘ING’ is less lucrative than Japan Tobacco’s long standing Mild Seven dollars. One reason for this is that tobacco companies were willing to pay more because their advertising options elsewhere were limited.

But Jean-Francois Caubet insisted: “The problem we had with a tobacco company is that it was difficult to build a global communications strategy around it.”


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