British American Tobacco (BAT) is deepening its relationship with racing. An extended sponsorship deal sees the tobacco giant become principal partner of Formula 1 team McLaren Racing for the forthcoming 2020 season.
BAT returned to F1 in 2019 after pulling out of the sport in 2006, frustrated by increased restrictions on the advertising of tobacco and related products. While F1 banned tobacco advertising in 2006, BAT's 'A Better Tomorrow' branding is permitted because it does not promote smoking or related products.
This being said restrictions are still very much in place and, in some areas, even more stringent. Earlier this year the World Heath Organisation called for an outright ban on tobacco advertising in F1.
“As you can imagine, we’re pretty used to working in a regulated environment,” says BAT’s CMO, Kingsley Wheaton. “We have to be a bit more creative in the way that we think about things.”
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