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Advertising space - Mosley's favours Ferrari, but should the BBC allow him?

Published by Mr. C

On his site today, DoctorVee offers a fine analysis of a recent in depth Mosley interview conducted by Adam Parsons of the BBC. It's well worth a read, but there's one point I'd like to add after watching the video myself.

It's clearly not coincidental that the only visible prop used in the shot is a scale model of a Ferrari, Max appears more than happy to face the FIA's Ferrari International Assistance criticisms head on. What I do find odd though, is the decision to display the back-end of the car.

It's clearly a pre-2008 model (maybe someone could name the year / chassis?), because it features blatant Marlboro decals on the engine cover and rear wing. I have to ask though, what statement is Max trying to make, is he personally sponsored by Philip Morris and why did the BBC allow such shameless and blatant advertising? Especially given that their advertising policy states:

The BBC is not permitted to carry advertising or sponsorship on its public services. This keeps them independent of commercial interests and ensures that they can be run instead to serve the general public interest.

Add to the mix the fact that tobacco sponsorship has been banned in the UK since the summer of 2005, and you have a right mess of conflicting ethics coming from auntie.

Doubtless, prior to filming, the camera crew spent considerable time picking a prime location for the interview and then lighting the set correctly. Even then, if a mistake had been made, the branding could easy have been blurred post-production, as is frequently the case in news bulletins. You could argue that the logo isn't clear enough to be of any concern, but with Ferrari happy to run around the world displaying a set of subliminal stripes, the appearance of the infamous Marlboro typeface should be more than enough to set alarm bells ringing.

The beeb ran this video as it's lead motorsport story yesterday and they appear to be happy to promote a certain brand of cigarettes with impunity. I guess those F1 rights didn't come cheap at all.