Leaked Report Claims Formula One May Be Forced To Ditch Alcohol Sponsors
A leaked report last week from the U.K.'s Labour Party "revealed plans to ban alcohol sponsorship if they take office after next year's General Election," according to PIT PASS. In a pattern "strikingly familiar to the successful effort to ban tobacco sponsorship a broad coalition of European health activists and legislators are gearing up for a battle to toughen anti-alcohol legislation." According to Professor Joe Barry of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, a ban is "inevitable" and "it will be seen as crazy to have allowed alcohol sponsorship of sport, in the same way as tobacco." In the U.K. a ban on alcohol sponsorship "is already supported by powerful voices such as the British Medical Association and the House of Commons Health Select Committee." The MPs have called for a U.K. version of France's Loi Évin, which "bans alcohol advertising on television, in cinemas, and from sponsoring of sporting events." These developments "come at a difficult time for F1, facing budget pressures but also a growing profile in alcohol sponsorship." Earlier this month, Force India announced a new sponsorship agreement with Smirnoff, which now joins Martini and Johnny Walker "as major brands in the sport." The alcohol and advertising industry "will oppose EU proposals for a ban but there is understandable caution about alcohol sponsorship in motor sport" (PIT PASS, 5/12).