Honda F1 website

AUGUST 27, 2004

Williams runs "tobacco free"

The BMW Williams team will be running this weekend with a new message on the side of its cars. The words "tobacco free" will be seen in the spot which is usually filled with NiQuitin CQ, the GlaxoSmithKline brand managers wanting to stor things up a bit to draw attention to the "smoking cessation brand", GlaxoSmithKline is currently looking at extending its deal with the team and is looking at different strategies to make more of the F1 sponsorship. The message may not make Williams popular with some of the other teams which carry heavy backing from the tobacco industry but it might work in the team's favour with other companies which would like to be in F1 but do not want to be associated with teams which run with tobacco branding. Williams has been without tobacco money for five seasons but is still pulling in considerable sponsorship revenues, showing other teams that F1 teams can run without the tobacco millions. As the world continues to put the tobacco industry under pressure, the need for F1 teams to survive without cigarette money is going to become an important issue.

Bernie Ecclestone recently suggested that he was happy to see anti-tobacco messages in F1 if companies wanted to pay for them.