An Italian consumer rights group has threatened legal action against Ferrari and demanded the seizure of the new F1 car Scuderia presented on Tuesday, claiming it is unlawfully promoting tobacco products.
Codacons, a non-profit organisation which promotes consumer rights, says that it is preparing legal action against Ferrari over the Mission Winnow logos, which were displayed on the SF1000 when it was launched in Reggie Emilia.
Mission Winnow is a brand created by the tobacco giant Phillip Morris International, Ferrari’s long-tenured sponsor.
While PMI has strongly denied the branding is intended to promote tobacco products, Codacons claim the Mission Winnow logos allow the manufacturer to circumvent bans on advertising tobacco in Europe and other regions.
A statement released by Codacons claims it has the backing of Italy’s Ministry of Health, per wheels24.
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“The Ministry’s opinion states that ‘The Mission Winnow brand used on the occasion of Formula 1 sporting events allows, through the links on the site of the same name, a promotion, albeit indirectly, to an important manufacturer of cigarettes and new tobacco products’,” it said.
Codacons president Carlo Rienzi went on to say the organisation wants the Nuclei Antisofisticatzione e Sanita (the branch of the Italian police force responsible for health matters) to seize the SF1000 immediately.
“Strengthened by the decision of the Ministry, we will start a legal battle against Ferrari,” said Rienzi.
“We will be presenting a new complaint to the Antitrust and Ministry of Health, and we will ask the NAS to seize the new SF1000 single-seater presented in Reggio Emilia.”
The lawsuit is a nightmare start for the Maranello-based outfit, who hope their latest car will be able to challenge Mercedes this season, after years of dominance by the Silver Arrows.News Now - Sport News