F1

Williams new tobacco logo upsets Australians

MELBOURNE, Australia., January 8, 1998 (AP) - The Formula One racing team Williams was accused Thursday of ignoring Australia's tobacco advertising laws after releasing its new logo featuring cigarette packaging and a kangaroo. The...

MELBOURNE, Australia., January 8, 1998 (AP) - The Formula One racing team Williams was accused Thursday of ignoring Australia's tobacco advertising laws after releasing its new logo featuring cigarette packaging and a kangaroo. The Rothmans-sponsored racing team, which features Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve, was condemned by federal Health Minis- ter Michael Wooldridge and anti-smoking groups. Rothmans Australia said the logo would allow the company to capitalize on the cigarette's Australian image before a global audience. Wooldridge criticized the $30 million sponsorship deal, but the Australian Medical Association, anti-smoking groups and opposition parties called on the minister to go further and close a loophole allowing tobacco sponsorship of motorsports. Wooldridge, who has granted the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in March an exemption from anti-tobacco advertising laws, said he regretted Rothmans' move. "We are disappointed over the decision to link Australia's attractiveness as a tourist destination with the promotion of cigarettes in an international campaign for Formula One racing," a spokeswoman for Wooldridge said.

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