Is Ferrari sponsor Marlboro breaking India's anti-tobacco laws?

Ferrari and its title sponsor Marlboro are being accused of flouting India’s strict anti-tobacco laws.

The Italian team earns upwards of $100 million per season in sponsorship revenue from the Philip Morris tobacco group, although a near worldwide ban exists that prevents the team from being able to advertise its sponsors’ products.

Earlier this year, the team even dropped the ‘Marlboro’ moniker from its official name after it was accused last year of a subliminal advertising operation when it ran Marlboro-like barcodes on its cars’ liveries.

But Indian health association Hriday claims that the relationship between Ferrari and Marlboro is continuing – it is arguing that the retail displays of Marlboro cigarettes alongside posters of the Ferrari Formula 1 cars is a direct violation of the country’s anti-tobacco legislation.

A report in the Indian Times also claims that the cigarette packets on sale include inserts about the Maranello team.

“The message is basically to promote the brand surreptitiously,” a Hriday spokesperson is quoted as saying.

[Image via India Today]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.