It appears that Ferrari have chosen to remove the controversial “bar code” logo that has been so prevalent over the last few years. This comes amidst accusations that the logo represented Marlboro brand cigarettes.
The Times had reported that some doctors in the UK were pressuring governments to determine if this indeed was subliminal advertising of tobacco which has been banned from advertising on cars in F1.
Together with Philip Morris International we have decided to modify the livery of our cars starting with the Barcelona Grand Prix.
This decision was taken in order to remove all speculation concerning the so-called “bar code” which was never intended to be a reference to a tobacco brand.
By this we want to put an end to this ridiculous story and concentrate on more important things than on such groundless allegations.
Clearly upset at the nonsensical nature of the situation, I am more surprised they would choose to voluntarily agree to do this as it has not been proven. Then again, law suits would have to challenge the issue and perhaps Ferrari felt that changing the logo was easier than spending money to fight a battle over iconography.
Color me reactionary but this is odd. If the EU or “leading doctors” feel this is subliminally making people think of a pack of Reds, well who am I to argue? Except, I never thought of a pack of Reds or smoking for that matter.
How do they know what I am thinking? Who can say what the logo made people think? Perhaps a doctor or commissioner may have thought of Reds when he looked at it or that it represented a box of Reds but that’s their impression.
I’m not suggesting that the iconography was intended to make one think of Philip Morris or that it wasn’t intended to continue the branding opportunities, but honestly…are we going to have thought police next? Not only can you not advertise tobacco, you can’t do anything that some people could imagine might be associated with it?
I am sorry but when people start making allegations based upon thought; we’ve reached a new low in human development. Perhaps citizens of the UK could ask for their money back from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as they “thought” Williams F1 would do better this year?
Perhaps people “think” the Renault paint scheme reminds them of a Jordan which was associate with Benson & Hedges and therefore Renault should cease and desist? Where do we stop? I think Bernie Ecclestone’s smile reminds me of a guy who has just smoked a cigar after closing a very large deal…should we ban him? Wait…Don’t answer that.