MAY 23, 2007

Marlboro everywhere in Monte Carlo

There is Marlboro signage all over Monaco this weekend with the Ferrari team running the cars with full Marlboro branding, as they did in Bahrain recently. We understand that the cars will also run with full colours in China as well.

The Principality of Monaco is an independent country, its independence guaranteed by the French. It has been a member of the United Nations since 1993 and has been a member of the Council of Europe since the end of 2004. Since 2000 Monaco has had a mission to the European Union in Brussels and the country participates directly in some European Community policies, notably it is part of the Community customs territory, which allows free movement of goods with the EU. Monaco is also integrated into the Schengen agreement which means that people can cross the border without needing to be checked. Since 2001 Monaco has had a deal with France to use the Euro as its currency. This also agreement on the application of certain EU rules in regard to pharmaceuticals, cosmetic products and medical equipment and one or two other bits of legislation which the country has agreed to.

For the rest of the country's laws, however, Monaco does what it pleases. It is not, therefore, bound by the European Union legislation and has not signed the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. And as Philip Morris is refusing to abide by the "International Tobacco Products Marketing Standards" agreement which it signed in 2001 and the FIA can do nothing but advise teams not to have tobacco sponsorship, it seems that once again F1 will be linked with tobacco sponsorship.

There will be local action in France if pictures are published without the Marlboro name being blurred but most of the publicatiosn nowadays avoid using Ferrari pictures to avoid this.