Honda website
Honda website

APRIL 14, 2007

The return of Marlboro

Tobacco advertising disappeared from Formula 1 at the end of last year, or so they said. The tobacco companies signed up to the International Tobacco Marketing Standards agreement, signed in New York City on September 11, 2001, which created a common code of advertising and sponsorship standards which included an agreement to end sports sponsorships on December 1, 2006 on the understanding that the sports involved required "above-average physical fitness for someone of the age group of those taking part".

There is no doubt that Formula 1 motor racing is covered by this requirement.

The deal was signed by Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco.

But in Bahrain in 2007 - four months after the ban - the folk at Philip Morris seem to have forgotten the deal and the Ferraris are running with Marlboro sponsorship.

This will no doubt provide plenty of ammunition for anti-smoking campaigners who think the tobacco companies are unprincipled.