European road-safety & alcohol-prevention lobby to confront alcohol sponsorship of F1The road-safety lobby is preparing a campaign against Formula One over its links with the alcohol industry, according to  The Daily Telegraph. The campaign will follow road-safety and alcohol-prevention NGOs having successfully lobbied against Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s president Jean Todt’s ambitions of a job at the United Nations.

In a move that, according to The Telegraph, is reminiscent of when anti-smoking groups forced tobacco sponsorship out of Formula One, NGOs and charities across Europe are planning to take aim at the sport this fall. The European road-safety and alcohol lobbies have already shown their power by preventing Jean Todt becoming a special representative for road safety at the UN. According to The Telegraph, the alliance of road-safety and alcohol-prevention bodies has been given assurances by the UN that Todt will not be given such a high-profile role.

“We are delighted – it would have sent completely the wrong message,” an insider is quoted by The Daily Telegraph. The alliance of NGOs has serious issues with the alcohol industry’s moves into road safety campaigning as well as alcohol branded sports sponsorship. These combined issues, it would seem, have painted a target on the head of Formula One racing.

The Telegraph quotes a seemingly anxious source: “It is going to be just like last time with tobacco sponsorship. They are going to throw the book at F1 and the teams.”

According to the Telegraph three F1 teams currently have major commercial deals with alcohol brands worth millions of pounds a year: Martini recently re-joined F1 as a title sponsor for Williams; Johnnie Walker has entered a deal that is thought to be worth around €19 million a year with McLaren; and since May this year Force India has a deal with Smirnoff.

Source: 07/16/14

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