Reading an article over at Autosport about Ferrari’s Mission Winnow logo and the Australian authorities who are investigating it, I am somewhat stumped as to how the issue is defined and worthy of investigation.
Australia’s Department of Health and Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Service are investigating the current logo on Ferrari’s car. The accusations seem to be that the Mission Winnow logo is too close to the Marlboro white and red chevron and thus, acting as tobacco sponsorship which was banned by the EU years ago.
I’m not sure I see the direct correlation here but I have read the Mission Winnow program and I understand it to be a drastic change in paradigm for the Philip Morris company. The goal is to veer away from tobacco and into new technologies that redefine the company and what it engages in. The article quotes Philip Morris International Director of Global Communication Tommaso di Giovanni:
“The initiative and the symbols and logos used on the livery of the Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow and the website comply with the laws that apply to our activities in Australia and the State of Victoria,” said di Giovanni.
“We are aware of the debate on Mission Winnow in Australia and we are working with the organisers of the local grand prix to understand the concerns of the authorities and give them an answer.
“Mission Winnow does not advertise or promote our company’s products or product brands. Rather, it is designed to talk about our commitment to improving ourselves in everything we do.
“Mission Winnow is a window to the new Philip Morris International and our partners, to our commitment and the stimuli that drive us to improve and evolve. And to contribute to the progress of society.”
I’ve read the Mission Winnow website and to be honest, I found it rather compelling and an interesting read about how a company that finds its products and legacy as real bottleneck and are seeking to overhaul the entire company and re-allocate its resources into something new…even, ANYTHING new. Whether technology, food…whatever. It is looking from within to find employees with ideas and engaging in ideation processes that would lead the company to new industries and products.
That’s not how Melbourne surgeon and anti-smoking campaigner John Cunningham. No, it seems he sees this as a nefarious plan to discover ways to get more people addicted to tobacco products as Autosport dug up from The Age:
“This website actually makes it much clearer what they are trying to achieve, and what sort of business they are in,” Dr Cunningham said.
“It has nothing to do with F1 cars, that’s for sure.
“Tobacco companies are finally admitting that their only means of financial survival is to get people addicted to nicotine, and they’re going to pour money into researching how to do that most effectively — not for the benefit of their addicted customers, but for the benefit of their profits and shareholders.”
To be fair to both sides, perhaps the doctor knows something I don’t, which is entirely possible given I’m not a doctor or involved in the anti-smoking movement. Maybe he has seen behind the corporate veil and knows of dastardly plans that really indicate Mission Winnows real goals.
On the other hand, I’ve read their mission statement and it seems to suggest that has nothing to do with tobacco and all to do with finding new industries, innovation and possible markets for products they could create be it technology or other life sciences or food products etc. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s what took away from it.
I found it all rathe interesting because being a large company, it is difficult when your main revenue stream is waning and you have to decide in which direction your resources will be aimed. I was intrigued and I’ve been watching to see what they will get in to next. Apparently John feels they’ll just get into new ways to make us addicted to cigarettes. I’m not so sure about that but again, I may be wrong.
Hat Tip: Autosport