Earlier, it was reported that leading tobacco company Philip Morris was close to signing a deal with Scuderia Ferrari. However, the move did not make sense to many as there was a universal ruling in 2007 that tobacco and alcohol brands could not be advertised in motorsport. However, Ferrari seems to have found a loophole and as a result, a Ferrari Marlboro reunion is on the cards with the latter announcing an extended deal. This deal is expected to run until the end of the 2021 season as part of a ‘realigned’ agreement with their long-standing partners.
During the off-season, Ferrari lost a big sponsor in banking group Santander. They opted to cut ties with the Scuderia and Formula 1 and pursue a move into Champions League football. Philip Morris has been a Ferrari sponsor since the mid-1980s. As mentioned earlier, the Marlboro cigarette brand was absent from the Ferrari livery since 2007 due to strict advertising laws.
So, Ferrari kept the iconic red and white livery to keep the partnership alive since the Marlboro brand shares the same colours. Now, the Marlboro name may return albeit in the form of their e-cigarette branch – IQOS.
An official statement read: “Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) and Scuderia Ferrari are extending their 40-year partnership successfully until 2021 and are realigning it. From now on, the collaboration focuses exclusively on getting closer to the goal of a smoke-free world. To achieve this goal, smokers should be convinced of a switch from cigarettes – and thus the most harmful form of nicotine consumption – to scientifically based, potentially less harmful alternatives.”
Philip Morris CEO Andre Calantzopoulos said, “We are committed to driving this revolutionary transformation forward with all the means at our disposal – including our motorsport activities – for adult smokers, public health and society at large. We really appreciate the support of Scuderia Ferrari in this matter. Details about the messages, especially those on the cars of the Scuderia Ferrari, should be announced in the coming months.”
The last time Scuderia had the Ferrari Marlboro partnership was back in the Schumacher-Ferrari days.