Grand Prix of France of Le Mans: Justice gives right to the CNCT and prevents the return of Philip Morris on the circuits

CNCT, Press Release:

The French justice has just subjected the multinational tobacco company Philip Morris a stinging defeat by giving a stop to its attempt to return to motorsport, including the sponsorship of Ferrari cars and Ducati motorcycles. Commissioned by the Ministry of Health, the CNCT had appealed to the magistrate of Le Mans to prohibit the companies Philip Morris Product and Ducati to make or reveal any reference to the brand Mission Winnow of the tobacco company during the Grand Prix moto de France and for any communication related to the event. The judge ruled in favor of CNCT all the way.

Paris, May 15, 2019 – Tobacco companies, which made the big hours of the premium category of motor sports between the years 1970 and 2006, have been cleverly resuming their place since last October, more than ten years after the prohibition of advertising in France. tobacco promotion internationally . Since the Japanese Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari’s single-seaters, drivers and members have the Philip Morris International Mission Winnow “initiative” logo .

Mission Winnow has already caused a sensation – in a curious way – at the Australian Grand Prix in March. The Australian government said it had launched an investigation to determine if Mission Winnow was a violation of the country’s anti-smoking law, and Philip Morris and Ferrari decided, just ten days before the race, to remove any visual traces and mention of Mission Winnow cars , the clothes of the pilots and the staff, and the name of the stable. Recall that the WHO treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control,prohibits all forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship for all tobacco products. In this regard, WHO has alerted its Member States about the return of tobacco companies to motor sports. Braving this ban, at the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Ferrari raced with the tobacco company logos.

It was therefore very much to be feared that during the Grand Prix de France moto to be held from May 17 to 19 at Le Mans Mansat Bugatti , Ducati Corso, sponsored by Philip Morris Products (PMP), run a team. whose sports name is Mission Winnow Ducati. The latter incorporates various attributes of the famous brand Marlboro. The same is true of the drivers and their motorcycles bearing the Mission Winnow brand registered by the tobacco company. This would be a serious violation of the law in several ways. It is in this respect that the judge in chambers has ruled in favor of the CNCT, ruling publicly, adversely, and in the first instance:

“The name and logo” Mission Winnow “is a clear reference, though indirect and implicit, to tobacco, including the Marlboro brand and its owner, Philip Morris. In this, the use of this mark and this logo falls under the prohibition of propaganda or advertising enacted by Article 3512-4 of the Public Health Code.

In addition, the partnership between Philip Morris and Ducati, under cover of the organization and the “Mission Winnow” brand, is clearly a sponsorship or sponsorship operation prohibited by law. “

The judge was not fooled by Philip Morris’s announcement, made “Immediately after the summons and in response to it,”that the “Mission Winnow” brand and logo would not be used at the Grand Prize. France motorcycle Le Mans “(supposedly to offer pilots the opportunity to run with custom motorcycles)” he says: he sees instead in this announcement “an implicit but necessary recognition of the merits of the means and requests of the NCTC “.

Consequently, in its decision, the judge hearing the application for interim measures:

“- Acknowledges the companies Philip Morris and Ducati that they do not intend to use or display the” Mission Winnow “brand or logo at the Grand Prix de France held on 17, 18, 19 May 2019 at Le Mans;

– Where necessary , prohibits Philip Morris Products SA and Ducati Spa Motors from making any use of the mark, the logo, or the expression “Mission Winnow”, whether contiguous or not to the name “Ducati” on the occasion of the Moto GP competition held on May 17, 18, and 19, 2019 , at the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans or in the communication surrounding it, and this under penalty of € 10,000 per violation noted;

– Condemns the Philip Morris and Ducati companies, together, to pay the CNCT the sum of € 10,000 on the basis of Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure; “

The CNCT is delighted by this decision which according to Professor Martinet ”  is a great victory and a huge step forward for the fight against the tobacco epidemic in France and around the world, especially with the young generation sensitive to motor sports high level  “. ” This decision should encourage other countries to put an end to this perverse advertising that helps to make any tobacco products particularly attractive .” Finally, Professor Martinet reminds that ” the French decision should have a European scope, as there is a European directive that makes such sponsorship illegal in all EU member states “.