Ferrari shares a long-term relationship with the Tobacco giant Philip Morris International. The Scuderia used to feature the logos of the cigarette brand Marlboro on their cars for 2 decades until the crackdown on tobacco sponsorship. After the sponsorship regulations tightened up in the 2000’s PMI’s smoking-free campaign – ‘Mission Winnow’ featured on the Ferrari in 2019.
Mission Winnow was the Italian team’s title sponsor in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Officials and critics have interpreted this branding as an attempt to bypass tobacco advertising laws and regulations. But ahead of the 2022 season, Phillip Morris International and Ferrari have decided to mutually end their long-standing sponsorship agreement.
But the relations have reignited in a new direction as Ferrari announced their partnership with PMI ahead of the Australian Grand Prix. Team Principal Mattia Binotto has explained the relation PMI share with Ferrari and why the team have resigned their deal.
Mattia Binotto on Ferrari-PMI relations: “It was important to stay together”
Big tobacco was notorious for sponsoring Formula One team in the 80’s and 90’s. But regulations curbed tobacco marketing and its effects on adolescents. Marlboro branding had to be removed from Ferrari cars due to cigarette advertising restrictions, however, Philip Morris International amended its title sponsorship of the team through its Mission Winnow project. Mission Winnow ended its relation with Ferrari ahead of the 2022 season
Ahead of the Australian GP, The Scuderia re-signed with MissionWinnow as Team Partner. Mattia Binotto spoke about the new agreement and said, “It’s important to know that it has been a long partnership with Philip Morris, and we are very proud of it and very happy that it’s still lasting. That was the intention of the two parties because, after so many years, it was important to stay together.”
He concluded by saying, “Yes, it has changed a bit in the way the partnership is set up, without going into too many details. But in the end, it’s more important to make sure that it was continued.”
Smoking is one of the leading causes of death and Ferrari has been criticised for branding Marlboro cigarettes. The relationship between Ferrari and Marlboro was so synonymous since the brand featured prominently between 2000 and 2008. Ferrari was dominant in the years winning 5 titles and featured Micheal Schumacher who drove the popularity of the Marlboro brand higher with his victorious feats.