In a statement to Marketing, Tommaso Di Giovanni, director global communications, Philip Morris International said that the decision to replace Mission Winnow with a celebration of the 90th anniversary of Ferrari is specific to the race in Australia. Mission Winnow will remain the title partner of Scuderia Ferrari in 2019.
According to Giovanni, celebrating the 90 years of Scuderia Ferrari at the Australian Grand Prix is based on several considerations, including—but not limited to—the questions raised by the Department of Health in the State of Victoria.
“Although we respectfully disagree with their views, we have no desire to create conflict around this race event, particularly at a time when we celebrate the 90 years of Ferrari and the 46 years of our partnership. In that spirit, we offered the spaces used for Mission Winnow to Scuderia Ferrari to feature its 90-year anniversary,” he said.
Philip Morris International and Scuderia Ferrari have collaborated for 46 years, and introduced the "Mission Winnow" branding to Ferrari last year. The Mission Winnow is a marketing arm that looks to promote the tobacco company's move towards traditional cigarette alternatives. Giovanni also clarified that Mission Winnow does not and will not promote or advertise any of Philip Morris International’s tobacco or e-cigarette products or brands. The ban on promoting tobacco products through non-tobacco products and services was in place in 2015 by the UK government.
Over the Australian Grand Prix, Ferrari's Scuderia Ferrari car model will carry the "SF90" logo. Drivers’ race suits and some of the team’s track equipment will also bear the new logo celebrating 90 years of the Scuderia. "The name of this year’s car, the SF90, is already a celebration of this anniversary and, on top of that, the Maranello marque has decided to honour this achievement in an even more evident manner in Melbourne," Ferrari said in a statement.
Marketing has reached out to Ferrari for additional comment.