Beware Formula 1 offer: it is mischief & skullduggery designed to wreck the tobacco ad directive

Thursday 05 March 1998

ASH/ Press releases/


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Press release05 March 1998 ASH
Action on Smoking
and Health

Beware Formula One offer – it is mischief and skulduggery designed to wreck the tobacco advertising Directive

On further analysis ASH believes there is cause for great suspicion of the gestureannounced today by the Formula One lobby. ASH believes this is an attempt to lurewell-meaning MEPs into a trap and therefore to sink the EU Advertising Directive.

“This is mischief and skull-duggery designed to wreck the EU tobacco advertisingDirective by encouraging well-meaning pro-health MEPs to amend the existing Directive textto phase tobacco out of Formula One in line with Moseley’s disingenuous proposal. Ifthey did that it would wreck the agreement underpinning the Tobacco Advertising Directiveand we risk losing the whole thing” said Clive Bates, Director of ASH.

The offer comes at a critical point in the passage of the European Directive on TobaccoAdvertising. The Directive is currently with the European Parliament which can reject,accept or amend the Directive. If the Directive is amended, the Council of Ministers has asecond opportunity to vote on it – during the ‘Conciliation Process’ in whichdisagreements between the Council and Parliament are resolved. It is quite likely thatbehind-the-scenes deals pushed by Germany mean that the Council would vote against if theyhad a second opportunity – there is speculation that Greece and Portugal have been underpressure to switch sides. This move is likely to be a tactic to encourage MEPs to amendthe Directive to phase out tobacco sponsorship of Formula One in line with the FIA’sproposals of 2002 rather than 2006 – the date currently set for phase out of tobaccosponsorship in the Directive.

“Earlier today we took Moseley at face value, but if you look at it from theposition of someone trying to wreck the Directive and have no restrictions on tobaccosponsorship, what he announced makes perfect sense. I guess it takes years of practice tobecome that cynical.” said Clive Bates, Director of ASH.


Contact Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902
Amanda Sandford, Communications Director (020) 7739 5902

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