Philip Morris International has been a sponsor of Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1 since 1984 and Ducati in motorcycle racing since 2003. After the ban of tobacco advertising in F1 racing in 2006, PMI has resorted to rule-bending tactics to evade the ban and promote their products. In 2018, PMI announced that a PMI-created initiative called “Mission Winnow” would be used on Ferrari liveries (as well as the liveries of Ducati in MotoGP racing). Branded as a global initiative to create a better future through science and innovation, Mission Winnow is actually a proxy used by PMI to remind F1 spectators of the IQOS smoke-free mission and advertise tobacco through more subliminal means.
Although PMI does not explicitly advertise IQOS when they talk about Mission Winnow, they have in the past used IQOS branding in their VIP lounges at F1 and MotoGP events. Invited members have gotten perks at races, such as exclusive invites to preferential seating areas sponsored by PMI, limited edition IQOS devices and cases, and invitations to IQOS Lounges where customers could hear Ferrari drivers speak. These events were heavily branded with IQOS signs and included employees selling IQOS. It is clear that PMI’s attempts to circumvent the advertising ban shows how far the company will go to promote IQOS with unconventional, yet extravagant tactics.