Those tobacco sponsorship dollars are slowly burning away from the Formula One circuit.
For the 2007 season you will no longer be seeing the Mild Seven logo on the Renault car. Renault has announced that the ING group has replaced Mild Seven. They even let it be know that they will be making less money from the new sponsorship. The Renault marketing folks admit that it will be much easier to market they team sponsorship since they had to be very careful when they released creative that featured the Mild Seven brand. Also the Hondo team will no longer be sporting the Lucky Strike logo in 2007.
But Ferrari is still smoking in the paddock. They recently signed a new deal to keep the Malboro brand till 2011. The reported Malboro contribution to the team budget is $175 million US dollars for the 2007 season which would be almost impossible to replace with one new sponsor so its obvious that Ferrari is really keen on keeping the smokers happy. The Malboro logo is covered up in almost all race situations because countries have tobacco advertising rules but Malboro is still keen. They know its one of the last few global sporting marketing programs that they can be involved with and they know that in new emerging markets the Formula One brand can still help sell their brand. How many people in China or Malaysia actually smoke? How many people in those countries think a Ferrari is cool? Connect the dots.