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Cigarette firm violates tobacco law co-branding with F1


Marlboro-Ferrari ad

A Marlboro-Ferrari ad at a shop in New Delhi.

The Formula 1 event in India has come as a great opportunity for brand promotion by various companies. But health activists are not taking kindly to the co-branding of one of the participating teams with a leading cigarette brand. Such association, they say, violates the Indian anti-tobacco law.

Godfrey Phillips India is promoting its cigarette brand ‘Marlboro’ by demonstrating its association with a popular team participating in the event – Scuderia Ferrari.

This violates Section 5 (3) (a) of the anti-tobacco law, which prescribes that ‘no person shall, under a contract or otherwise, promote or agree to promote the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco product’, voluntary group Hriday pointed out in a complaint filed with the Delhi tobacco control cell.

Under a new campaign called ‘Feel the passion’, the company is inserting messages about Ferrari in cigarette packs. “Such ads and inserts are a violation of the law. The message is basically to promote the brand surreptitiously,” said Monika Arora of Hriday.

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