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Ferrari rejects subliminal tobacco advertising claims

ESPNF1 Staff
April 30, 2010 « Hakkinen tipped to become Hamilton's manager | »
The Ferrari barcode on a mechanic's clothing © Sutton Images

Ferrari has rejected reports that it is running subliminal advertising on the livery of its 2010 Formula One car.

A report in The Times this week said the UK government has been urged by health experts to investigate the 'barcode' branding on the F10 that resembles the Marlboro cigarette packaging of Ferrari's sponsor Philip Morris.

"Today and in recent weeks, articles have been published relating to the partnership contract between Scuderia Ferrari and Philip Morris International, questioning its legality," read a statement on Ferrari's website.

"These reports are based on two suppositions: that part of the graphics featured on the Formula 1 cars are reminiscent of the Marlboro logo and even that the red colour which is a traditional feature of our cars is a form of tobacco publicity. Neither of these arguments have any scientific basis, as they rely on some alleged studies which have never been published in academic journals. But more importantly, they do not correspond to the truth.

"The so-called barcode is an integral part of the livery of the car and of all images coordinated by the Scuderia, as can be seen from the fact it is modified every year and, occasionally even during the season. Furthermore, if it was a case of advertising branding, Philip Morris would have to own a legal copyright on it.

"There has been no logo or branding on the race cars since 2007, even in countries where local laws would still have permitted it."

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