The FIA has rejected a call from campaigners to end alcohol advertising in Formula 1 – denying responsibility for ‘commercial rights’ in the sport. Supporters say that position ignores an earlier recommendation by the FIA to end tobacco sponsorship.
The European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare) wrote to Jean Todt, President of the FIA, calling for the ban in an open letter published last month.
Mariann Skar, the secretary general of the body, wrote: “When considering the continued destructive prevalence of drink-driving, permitting the mixed messages presented in alcohol sponsorship of Formula One seems ever more inappropriate given the total viewing audience of 500 million.”
The letter goes on: “Allowing alcohol sponsorship in Formula One seems to contradict many official guidelines for the marketing of alcohol. It runs against the EU Directive which states that marketing for the consumption of alcohol should not be linked to driving.
“Moreover, the current association between alcohol and driving does not seem to fall in the category of ‘the widespread promotion of responsible drinking messages’, part of the mission supported by the alcohol industry itself.”
Mr Todt replied at the end of last month denying that the FIA was responsible. “The FIA has no part at all in the management of the commercial rights of the Championship,” Todt wrote.
Skar has since replied, pointing to a previous FIA recommendation in support of a ban on tobacco sponsorship and calling on the FIA to show ‘moral leadership’ on the issue.
See: Exchange of letters