EU-wide tobacco advertising ban jeopardised by threat of non-compliance by Formula One

Friday 29 July 2005

ASH news release: For immediate use
The EU law banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship comes into effect from 1 August but its effectiveness is being threatened by possible non-compliance by at least two Formula One teams, currently sponsored by tobacco companies.

Both the Renault team, sponsored by Japan Tobacco, and Ferrari, sponsored by Marlboro have said they will carry the tobacco livery in defiance of the new law.  This is despite the fact that the teams have been on notice of the law’s implementation date for at least 3 years.  The situation has not been helped by the fact that the European Commission has failed to give member states clear guidance on how the law should be implemented and what sanctions should be applied in the cases of non-compliance.

Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity ASH, said:

“It is deplorable that Formula One teams, under pressure from their tobacco sponsors, are threatening to undermine the new law when its intention is perfectly clear – that is, an end to the glamorisation of smoking via sport.

It is also regrettable that the European Commission has not given member states clear guidance on the implementation of the Directive. But that does not give Formula One free rein to ignore the law. All EU member states should implement the Directive into national law without any further delay. We must put an end, once and for all, to the insidious promotion of a deadly product that kills more than 500,000 Europeans a year.”


Notes and links:

[1] The final phase of the UK’s Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act also comes into effect on 31 July. Timed to coincide with the EU Directive, the sponsorship regulations implement the ban on tobacco sponsorship of international sports such as Formula One.  The regulations can be viewed at: