Italy’s best known consumer rights group is threatening to sue Ferrari and urging the government to “seize” the team’s newly-launched 2020 car.
Following similar controversies a year ago, the inclusion of the ‘Mission Winnow’ branding on the new red car is once again causing a stir.
Mission Winnow is a brand created by the tobacco giant Philip Morris, Scuderia Ferrari’s long-time title sponsor.
On its website, the brand is not obviously associated with tobacco, instead declaring its goal of driving “change by constantly searching for better ways of doing things”.
The major Italian consumer group Codacons, however, says it is in fact subliminal tobacco advertising, which is banned in both “direct and indirect” forms in the country.
And according to the Italian media source Automoto, the Italian government agrees, with the health ministry accepting Codacons’ recent complaint that the Mission Winnow branding is effectively promoting tobacco.
“Strengthened by the decision of the ministry that confirms us across the board, we will start legal proceedings against Ferrari,” said Codacons president Carlo Rienzi – “We will also ask for the new ‘SF1000’ single seater that was presented yesterday in Reggio Emilia to be seized.”