F1 under pressure to ban alcohol sponsorship

Formula 1 bosses faced fresh pressure on Friday to ban alcohol sponsorship amid claims that it could be breaching European code of conduct practices.

A report published on Friday by the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare), a collection of 57 public health bodies across 25 European countries, suggested that fan exposure to alcohol brands in grand prix racing was too much.

It suggested that F1's sponsorship practices went against the spirit of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, as well as going against voluntary code of conducts agreed by the alcohol industry.

At the moment Johnnie Walker is a sponsor of McLaren and F1, Martini is title sponsor of Williams and Force India has sponsorship from Smirnoff and Kingfisher Beer.

Eurocare urged the FIA, which under president Jean Todt has focused heavily on road safety, to impose a ban on alcohol brands.

Mariann Skar, Secretary General in Eurocare, said: "The amount of alcohol related exposure in F1 settings is extreme by anyone's standards.

"The relationship between motorsport and drink driving is now beyond doubt. There seems to be a lack of recognition within the F1 community about their responsibility when showing alcohol adverts every five second to an audience to 500 million viewers.

"We now urge the involved bodies in F1 to move away from alcohol sponsorship".

Eurocare claimed that it had been in contact with the FIA about the matter, but had not seen any willingness from it to take action.

"Eurocare has already raised the issue of alcohol sponsorship in F1 to Jean Todt, the President of the Federation International de l'Automobile (FIA), who then claimed no responsibility for the matter," it said in a press statement.

Report findings

The Eurocare report, called "Alcohol Advertising And Sponsorship In Formula 1: A Dangerous Cocktail" suggested that analysis of last year's Monaco Grand Prix television footage showed that there were 11 references to alcohol brands per minute.

It said that there were 1352 identified references to alcohol: 74 pre-race (0.8 per min, lasted 93 min), 1177 during the race (10.9 per min, lasted 109 min) and 77 post-race (0.9 per min, lasted 82 min).

The location of references during the race were track- side signage (1072), gantries (bridge over the track) (54) and on the car (48).

The report can be found here.

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news