WHO slams McLaren over tobacco sponsorship

Mar.15 (GMM) The United Nations’ World Health Organisation (WHO) has slammed McLaren’s new sponsorship by British American Tobacco.

Like Ferrari, whose cigarette sponsor Philip Morris has had to remove its ‘Mission Winnow’ branding for Melbourne, McLaren has also removed the ‘A Better Tomorrow’ on-car message from its own livery this weekend.

WHO claims the ‘A Better Tomorrow’ campaign “suggests that the company’s intent is to promote tobacco use”.

The UN organisation therefore urges the FIA to ban tobacco sponsorships completely, even if their on-car branding does not advertise cigarettes directly.

“WHO urges all sporting bodies, including formula one and MotoGP, to adopt strong tobacco free policies that ensure their events are smoke-free and their activities and participants, including race teams, are not sponsored by tobacco companies,” the WHO statement added.

The statement suggested that teams like McLaren, by partnering with tobacco companies, are promoting cigarettes “to the world at large, including young people”.

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