Red card for Netflix. Since February 24, Netflix France has been broadcasting season 5 of the series “Drive to survive” (translated into French by “Formula 1: pilots of their destiny”). If this series has been talked about for its behind-the-scenes look at the Formula 1 season, that’s not all.
As RMC Sport explains, the streaming platform is accused of doing tobacco promotion in his series by broadcasting images of cars sponsored by cigarette brands. Formula Money, which collects figures on F1 and the organization the anti-tobacco NGO STOP, assures that in total more than a billion minutes of the episodes contained a brand image linked to tobacco. “Half of all Season 4 episodes contained tobacco-related branding within the first minute,” the text points out.
“During the 2022 racing season, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris International (PMI) spent approximately $40 million sponsoring the McLaren and Ferrari teams respectively,” the report recalls. With this broadcast on Netflix, the images reach a new audience: “Tobacco companies have a mission to catch a new generation users to their products. By allowing them to sponsor teams like McLaren and Ferrari, F1 gives Big Tobacco access to marketing platforms, including Netflix, that it could never use on its own.”
Tobacco advertising prohibited
Contacted by Agence France Presse, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) recalls that it remains “firmly opposed to tobacco advertising and will continue to stick to its 2003 recommendations. (…) We do not We are not in a position to interfere with private commercial agreements between teams and their sponsors, nor with broadcast agreements.”
What does the Loi Evin say about tobacco advertising? The Evin Law was published on January 10, 1991 to ban all forms of tobacco advertising in public places. The text stipulates that “any propaganda or advertising, direct or indirect, in favor of tobacco or derivative products is prohibited, including during sporting events in France”. According to a study conducted by the League against Cancer and published in May 2021, tobacco is present in more than 90% of French films.
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