Ferrari’s Mission Winnow sponsorship has been questioned on a regular basis since it was first introduced in 2019. Mission Winnow is, basically, Philip Morris’ not-so-subtle vaping initiative. Philip Morris is, basically, Marlboro. Overt tobacco sponsorships have been discouraged but not completely banned in Formula One for several years. Still, Philip Morris is so upset by the apparently distaste for tobacco in racing that the company has decided to remove its Mission Winnow sponsorship from the Ferraris due to “mistrust.”
Riccardo Parino, Vice President of Global Partnerships at Philip Morris, had quite a lot to say about the whole situation:
The Mission Winnow logo will not be featured on the Scuderia Ferrari livery during races in the EU, starting with the French Grand Prix this weekend.
Mission Winnow respects all laws and regulations and continuously strives to find distinctive ways to drive dialogue, free of ideology, and build strong partnerships that are rooted in shared values.
We acknowledge the mistrust and abundance of skepticism towards our industry. However, our intention is not to create controversy around the application of the logo but rather focus on re-framing global conversations, building communities, and supporting innovative ideas that drive positive change.
That probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to Parino. While tobacco advertising was a huge part of F1's sponsorship packages back in the 1970s and 1980s, a greater understanding of the dangers of smoking has encouraged a pulling back of overt tobacco sponsorships. F1 hasn’t set any hardline rules about the subject, but some countries have a ban on any advertising by a tobacco company. That’s the reason Australia requires Ferrari to remove the Mission Winnow sponsorships, along with McLaren’s removal of the British American Tobacco “A Better Tomorrow” branding. Neither of these sponsorships directly sell tobacco, but because they’re tied to tobacco companies and could indirectly bring someone to tobacco products, they’re not allowed by certain governments.