Honda F1 website


Tobacco and Formula 1 - the story goes on

The tobacco companies in Formula 1 appear to be developing new marketing theories around Formula 1 which do not involve the use of branding on Formula 1 cars. The tobacco industry makes no secret about the power of motor racing in marketing. The racing driver is seen by the tobacco industry (and apparently by the public as well) as being a modern-day version of the lone cowboy. Freedom and independence are recurring themes in tobacco promotion and this theme is especially appealing to adolescents, who are looking for ways to project that image to their peers. These policies have been revealed not just by anti-smoking campaigners but also from tobacco industry documents.

Obviously the tobacco industry does not wish to give up these strong connections but being unable to put the tobacco logos on cars does not mean the end of the association because tobacco companies have realised that reverse marketing will work just as well and so are now beginning to put racing cars onto cigarette packets. It is expected that three or four of the companies in F1 will therefore continue to receive tobacco money and will allow the tobacco companies to associate themselves with the image of the racing cars.