Ferrari hit back in subliminal tobacco advertising row
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has slammed claims his team's cars carry subliminal tobacco advertising as "ridiculous".
A report last week suggested the use of the barcode displayed on the Ferraris driven this year by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa was a link to long-time sponsor Philip Morris.
John Britton, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and director of its tobacco advisory group, suggested the barcode resembled the bottom half of a packet of Marlboro cigarettes, and that it was "creeping branding".
Tobacco advertising has been banned in Formula One since 2005, yet the British and Spanish Governments have been urged to ascertain whether Ferrari and Philip Morris are in breach of EU laws.
Responding to the claims, Di Montezemolo said: "Frankly, I find this argument completely pointless.
"It is verging on the ridiculous to claim that the colour red or a graphic design which shows a barcode could induce people to smoke.
"At a time when, on the other side of the Atlantic they are fighting to provide a more equal health service, in the old continent of Europe, so-called experts are racking their brains to come up with theories that have no scientific basis.
"I think there are more important matters to think about than a barcode.
"Therefore, it's best not to waste any more time replying to this sort of nonsense, or to those who are instrumental in wanting to stoke up the story."
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 Stephen Hawking endorses Labour in the General Election
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding