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Todt Addresses Alcohol Sponsorship In Formula One

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Subliminal messaging might work better when it is not five o’clock in the morning but, last year, Johnnie Walker was named as the official whisky of the Formula One racing series, and if you watched last weekend’s 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, chances are you couldn’t miss JW’s branding all over the famed Cote d’Azur track. A recent [2014] study indicates that last year’s broadcast of the Monaco Grand Prix had a visual exposure to alcohol branding every five seconds during the two-hour broadcast – not surprising, then, that Johnnie Walker became the official whisky with that kind of exposure rate. After receiving some pressure from groups saying there are mixed messages with the alcohol sponsors and drinking and driving, Jean Todt – president of the FIA, the racing organization behind the series – says banning alcohol is not possible and the responsibility lies on various countries that host the races to educate the masses against the dangers of drinking and driving.

In addition to Johnnie Walker, Kingfisher, Martini and Smirnoff all have a significant presence in the series – with three of those companies sponsoring teams. Conversely, tobacco was banned from advertising in Formula One beginning in 2008.

The 2015 Formula One season continues with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal at 11 a.m. [PDT] on NBCSN on June 7, 2015.

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