Ferrari has announced that it is extending its relationship of collaboration with Philip Morris to 2015. The automaker’s liaison with Marlboro continues in spite of the fact that six years ago the sponsorship of tobacco brands was prohibited. The wily cigarette makers don’t give in. Evidently the law is applicable to others, not to them. So, the official name of the team remains the Ferrari Marlboro Racing Stable -«Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro», unperturbed.
In the meantime, the joyful announcement is given publicity in all the world’s newspapers, and those who criticize it are doing them a further favor because they are just increasing the visibility of the sponsor.
Throwing Lawlessness into Everyone’s Face
The Ferrari-Marlboro coupling is clearly a way to circumvent the law, to show that they are good… at ripping people off; the sponsor, who officially does not exist, allegedly shelled out 500 million euro.
Even though last year Ferrari was forced to renounce the livery with the “bar code”, as it was considered an evident stratagem to recall the Marlboro brand name, in these six years of advertising prohibition, the Marlboro logo has shown up everywhere. Obliging press and televisions have repeatedly shown pictures of pre-prohibition Ferraris, with the tobacco sponsor in plain sight.
Two years ago, for example, Barichello appeared for a half hour before 8 million Italian viewers in the popular TV program “Scherzi a Parte”; he was wearing his racing suit with the writing Marlboro as big as a house. The market value of this ad, second for visibility only to the New Year’s speech of the President of the Republic, is inestimable.
A company or person who respects the law but selects products of those who do not respect the law, is a dickhead. Likewise, a dickhead is also anyone who pays his taxes but smokes the cigarettes of producers who do not pay them; Philip Morris, in fact, is the biggest fiscal evader in Italian history. And a dickhead is also anyone who chooses a company like that as a sponsor.