Jackie Stewart steers Heineken clear of drink and drive issue in new FI sponsorship

Heineken is now sponsoring Formula One, to the tune of $200m a year it seems, and Publicis Italy is kicking off the deal with a new ad featuring three times world champ Jackie Stewart – politely declining the sponsor’s product.

‘When you drive, never drink’ is the message’ (which might lead you to wonder why a drinks company is sponsoring F1 in the first place) and renowned safety campaigner Stewart, who remains an outspoken and popular character in the sport although maybe not with Bernie Ecclestone, is a good choice as Heineken navigates this tricky conundrum.

Heineken global brand communications director Anuraag Trikha says: “It’s a natural question to ask our point of view on drinking and driving. For Heineken it’s an obligation and an opportunity to promote responsible behavior, because people do want to listen to a brand like us. We are the only brewer to show people rejecting our own product.”

Next up is David Coulthard it seems, talking about something else presumably.

A capable job all round.

MAA creative scale: 7.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.