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Old 30 Jul 2003, 14:22 (Ref:675343)   #1
alfaman
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Have the Health Police "seriously damaged the health" of British motor racing?

As Britain becomes increasingly politically correct and more of a nanny state do you think that national motor racing has suffered because tobacco sponsorship has been driven away?

I think the likes of Marlboro and JPS did so much for UK motor racing in the 1970s and 80s.

Would Eddie Irvine have reached Formula 1 if he hadn't got the Marlboro money at that crucial time? And Marlboro cash brought many talented overseas drivers to race in FF1600 & F3 like Bertrand Gachot, Mika Hakkinen etc.

JPS even sponsored the Champion of Brands FF1600 series with a Formula 1 test drive with Lotus as a prize to the winner! (I know Karl Jones didn't get it but politics took over....) Who sponsors the equivalent series now?? Exactly...

And the argument that young, impressionable teenagers will get addicted to cigarettes because they see the product advertised in the glamourous world of motor sport just doesn't work with me.

As a youngster I watched the Marlboro McLarens, the JPS Lotuses, the Rothmans Williams and the Silk Cut Jaguars but that didn't get me rushing down the newsagents to buy a sneaky packet of fags! And even my friends who smoked didn't buy Marlboro because of motor racing they bought the cheapest and those, in those days, were Embassy.....

Maybe if there was tobacco money still around in the lower formulas Marc Hynes might not be struggling to get a F3000 drive and end up 4 secs off the pace at Silverstone. Or Westley Barber might be racing here still rather than racing in the States and driver coaching in the UK...

Just across the water the annual Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort is a feast for F3 with the addition of the Ferrari F1 cars and teams from bike racing. Without Marlboro's enthusiasm and money do you think that would still be such a strong event??

The biggest shame here is that no other industry has replaced that tobacco money - the dotcoms had potential but where are most of those now?

Lots of questions but unfortunately few answers....
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Old 30 Jul 2003, 18:43 (Ref:675594)   #2
Dan Friel
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Dan Friel should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridDan Friel should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Williams now seem to manage ok... as does the Brands FFord Festival (which equals the MM at Zandvoort).

I'd suggest that british motorsport is as strong as it's ever been - as shown by the F3 grids.
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Old 30 Jul 2003, 19:06 (Ref:675622)   #3
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Piglet should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridPiglet should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridPiglet should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
A few comments: If advertising doesn't work, why would companies spend billions of dollars and pounds a year on it? Would you want to see young kids watching cigarette adverts with breakfast TV? It would be a slippery slope if advertising was unrestricted.

You can hypothosise (sp?) about where drivers would be if...until the cows come home, yes there is less money in the lower relms of motorsport at present - is that just connected to a lack of tobacco money? I doubt it. Is it more to do with the current funding sytems and strategies in motorsport at the moment? Probably. Is it also connected to a general downturn in most of the major world economies? Probably.

I think you're adding together 2+2, making 4 and assuming that it is the only answer to the question. There is little doubt that tobbaco money contributed hugely to motorsport, but things change and there will be new sponsors and the drivers who succeed will be those that provide a sponsor with an all round package and prove that they are worth the sponsors bucks. Interesting discussion.
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Old 30 Jul 2003, 20:37 (Ref:675697)   #4
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paulzinho should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridpaulzinho should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
IMO tobacco advertising doesn't work in attracting new smokers, I believe its purpose is to try and persuade existing smokers to switch brands, I may be wrong but I know of nobody who ahs taken up smoking because its been advertised.

Its always been because they were unaware of the dangers when they took it up a long time ago....or in the modern day they've just been stupidly influenced into believing its cool, thing I do know though, most wish they could quit. However none started because of advertising.
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Old 30 Jul 2003, 21:22 (Ref:675746)   #5
A. C. E. motors
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Motorsport needs all the money it can get. Personally I not bothered if it is from tobacco or not. Just so long as the money keeps coming into motorsport.
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Old 31 Jul 2003, 12:42 (Ref:676269)   #6
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simon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I agree with paulzinho, I was amused to see that this year at Silverstone it seemed ok to put Bens.. ... .edges or something similar! Nanny state it most certainly is! Its no co incidence that most of the current drivers are as characterless out of the cars as well (compared to their peers of the 80's and before)
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Old 31 Jul 2003, 13:05 (Ref:676288)   #7
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I'm with paul on this one in terms of advertising promoting smoking. I remember tobacco advertising but it didn't influence me to smoke. The lack of advertising doesn't seem to have seriously hit the amount of new smokers coming along - I see youngsters of 12 or 13 smoking - much the same as I used to - so obviously it still has some kind of "cool points". To be honest, with the vehement anti-smoking backlash, I wonder if that is why it's becoming popular again. When I was that age, it was frowned upon and the correlations between smoking and lung cancer were all but proved - but there wasn't the hysteria about it that there is now. We did it because we thought we looked grown up - and that was about it.

Now smokers have become the great satans of the world. If I was a 13 year old looking to act grown up and rebel, smoking is the first thing I'd do - it's even more attractive than drinking these days.

But I digress...........

I don't believe that the enforced "nicotine withdrawal" on motorsport has had a significant impact on the sponsorship. You only have to look at the new sponsors coming in to see that the shift is now very definitely towards large technology companies - and there is plenty of money there, dot com crash or not.

Last edited by EvilPumpkin; 31 Jul 2003 at 13:07.
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Old 1 Aug 2003, 09:00 (Ref:676925)   #8
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simon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I dont have any data to back this up but I would have thought that the tobacco money is pretty important. Given the recession we are currently in sponsorship is hard to find and smoking in Eastern Europe and Asia is big business, hence, I guess, Bernie's desire to open that market up
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Old 1 Aug 2003, 09:55 (Ref:676981)   #9
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PaulSands should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridPaulSands should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Bernie is chasing the easy money, the money he already has a grasp on thats why we're migrating eastwards
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Old 1 Aug 2003, 14:19 (Ref:677252)   #10
Alx
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A few things. To be honest I think non-tobacco sponsorship attracts more attention than tobacco sponsorship. Eg. I wait every year for the non-tobacco F1 events to see what Jordan can come up with. I remember Hockenheim 1997, when I first saw "Fissssssi" and I thought it was brilliant. Because there is no clear line, and one week we have it, the next we don't, it attracts more attention. From the PC side, would it not be better to either have full tobacco sponsorship evrywehre, or none anywhere - having a bit of both, just 'increases' the expsosure.

Secondly. Tobacco sponsorship doesn't make you go out and buy cigarettes. I 'support' Marlboro as a company, simply because I feel that they have put a lot of money into motor sport over the years, and I applaud them for that (even if their reasons aren't equal with mine) but I don't smoke, and it doesn't make me want to smoke! But, they could maybe have tempted me to buy their goods over other ones should I have chosen to smoke.

Thirdly. I don't think people should try to stop people from smoking. In public places, perhaps, try and discourage those to stop smoking around non-smokers. But as far as it goes, so long as people are AWARE of what it can do to them, let them do what they like. If they are intelligent enough to make that decision, good luck to them (ok, that doesn't apply so much to kids but...)

Fourthly. When I was a kid, I thought Marlboro McLaren was just a name. I didn't know what Marlboro was - I thought it was like, say, Escort in Ford Escort. McLaren made the car, Marlboro was it's name. Now maybe if they'd changed to bigger sponsorship of another team I might have realised they were something else, but I swear I never knew what they were!!

Finally, at the British GP this year, I was surprised that the MarlboroF1 signs (sorry, I'm not trying to sell them here, but they seem to be very good for examples!! - guess it shows how much money goes in!!) were still present on a few corners. So, let me get this straight - we weren't allowed to read the names on the cars (but could buy magazines with pictures of them with tobacco sponsorship on, in!!) but we could also read the lovely signs with tobacco sponsorship on. I always found it ironic as well, that F1 cars could run tobacco logos at testing at Silverstone, but not in the grand prix....

Inconsistent sponsorship... Advertising works though I think, but only to sell your product. A non-smoker isn't going to buy cigs if they aren't gonna smoke them. And kids, IMO, are more likely to try and be like Michael Schumacher, than some logo on the side of his car...
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Old 1 Aug 2003, 15:12 (Ref:677281)   #11
Lee Janotta
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Motorsport advertising doesn't bring in new smokers. New smokers are created through cultural images or social interaction, not through advertising. You smoke to look cool, and you'll only look cool if you have someone to look cool in front of.

For roughly two decades, I've watched cars sponsored by John Player Special, Marlboro, Benson-Hedges, Mild Seven, Rothmans, Lucky Strikes, Camel, Silk Cut, Skoal, Winston, Copenhagen, 555, and a plethora of other brands. That was during all my "young and impressionable" years. And y'know what? I never once had the desire to smoke. Well, not tobacco, at least. None of the drivers smoked, and those were the guys I wanted to be like! Plus the liveries were often distinctive and beautiful (especially Rothmans and JPS).

Those of you who think other industries will step up to fill the void... Nope. Not gonna happen. There might be _just_enough_ money coming from them to keep the sport alive, but that tobacco money's gone forever. It was a huge amount of money, spread around everywhere from karts to F1 to WRC to motocross... Tobacco sponsorship pretty much made this sport widespread and accessible!

The whole tech sector of the British economy... Hell, of the AMERICAN economy, even... Will never have as much money simply to throw around in advertising as Phillip Morris alone. The tobacco industry had very little overhead, couldn't advertise on TV, and made insane profits from selling to addicts. They really had very few places to put all that money, so they just heaved huge sacks of it at sports.

Without that money, the sport will never look or feel the same.

Sorry.
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Old 1 Aug 2003, 18:15 (Ref:677381)   #12
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Dick Spanner should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Just as an aside, here in the uk we can't watch car's driving around a track with ciggy advertising on them but we can watch the heavily branded Embassy world snooker championships every year, double standard's or am I out of date on the Snooker (don't actually watch it with any regularity)?

My name is Dick Spanner, and I am a non-smoker.
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Old 1 Aug 2003, 18:47 (Ref:677396)   #13
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Stuart Hill should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridStuart Hill should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
OK, I'm a smoker, don't know why I started but I did. What do I smoke? the cheapest I can find. Advertising does NOT influence me, cost does. I hate any kind of government trying to tell me how to live my life! I know the laws, I don't break them unless I'm prepared to pay the price. I just object to being molly-coddled! I am an intelligent adult, well capable of making my own choices in life. Now get off my back!!

OK, rant over, back to sponsorship.

We all want the same or more money coming into motorsport? So why doesn't F1 follow some of the leads from Over-the-Pond? In both Nascar and Champ Cars (not sure about IRL), teams are allowed to run different liveries at different venues. (to promote the local sponsors). What's the problem? I still know who is driving and which team it is. And then just think of the marketing......... you can have different merchandising for differing events. The true fan wants everything from their favourite driver/team and so could end up with many shirts/hats/coolers/flags etc.

So my question is..........

Do you really care what's written on the car of your favourite driver, if they win !!!!!

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Old 1 Aug 2003, 19:15 (Ref:677420)   #14
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I don't smoke but if tobacco sponsorship was allowed in GB and it was on offer, no problem. Thinks "Benson and Hedges BX", sounds OK to me or "Camel Citroen".
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