J’lem to forbid cigarette ads during Formula 1 race

Health Ministry to remind sponsor Philip Morris "to act according to the law."

By
May 21, 2013 05:05
2 minute read.
Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain

race car formual 1 driver 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The Jerusalem Municipality declared on Monday that it would not allow open or latent advertising for cigarettes or other tobacco products by sponsors of the famed racing car competition Formula 1 that is scheduled to take place in capital on June 13 and 14.

The municipality made the statement to The Jerusalem Post, which asked about the matter, given the fact that Philip Morris – the largest tobacco company in the world – is a major sponsor of Formula 1 races around the world.

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In addition, the Health Ministry told the Post that it will contact Philip Morris-Israel and “remind them to act according to the law.”

During the Formula 1 race, the ministry’s enforcement and supervision branch will send inspectors to ensure that the law is observed, the ministry spokeswoman said.

Mayor Nir Barkat – a former amateur race driver – was instrumental in bringing the car race to the capital and Israel for the first time in the competition’s history. The race will be held in the long road bordering the Old City via the Sultan’s Pool, Tower of David, King David Street to the Liberty Bell Park and back to the Old Train Station and the Cinematheque.

The event will feature world-class cars, some of which will be on display at the city’s Old Train Station between June 9-13.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators from Israel and abroad are expected to watch the event. As Philip Morris is a major international sponsor of the race, it was feared that signs and banners for Marlboro and the company’s other leading brands would appear at the sidelines and be photographed around the world. The event has been labeled “The Peace Road Show.”



Other cities that have hosted the race include New York, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Monaco, Rotterdam and Macau. The road show will include top-of-the-line race cars from Ferrari, Mercedes, Audi and other makes.

The Philip Morris company did not comment.

The Formula 1 caused a major scandal when Tony Blair became prime minister of Britain in 1997. He was accused of not telling the truth about his Labor Party receiving a donation of one million sterling from Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, as well as personally ordering that the racing organization be exempted from a tobacco advertising ban just hours after meeting the motor sport’s billionaire head. The Labor government Blair headed maintained that his meeting with Ecclestone had nothing do to with the decision.

Meanwhile, the Post learned that for the first time ever, the health minister will not hold a press conference announcing the publication of the annual smoking report the health minister releases to mark No Smoking Day (May 31). The press conference had always included statements against smoking by the director-general of the Israel Cancer Association, as well as by the minister and ministry director-general.

Pnina Shalev, the personal spokeswoman for Health Minister Yael German, said the minister will not hold a press conference, but only send reporters the report. Shalev insisted that German, in her former capacity as mayor of Herzliya, fought against smoking vigorously. But she added that “instead of talking, she is involved in doing.

“She does not regard speaking to the press as her top priority,” Shalev said of German, who regularly speaks her mind via Facebook.

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