Tuesday May 29th, 2001
Major international sporting events, including Formula One, could be severely hit by a proposed European Commission ban on most cigarette advertising.
The Commission -- the body responsible for drafting legislation in the 15-country European Union (EU) -- will unveil new proposals on Wednesday to ban major sports sponsorships for tobacco and well as all print, broadcasting and Internet adverts.
The proposals mean that Formula One motor racing and major sports tournaments would have to look elsewhere for financing, a Commission official said. The ban could be in force by late 2004, once it has passed through the EU legislature and been put into national law in the individual EU countries.
A previous attempt to ban tobacco advertising, agreed by EU governments in 1998, was judged illegal last October by the European Court of Justice, following a complaint by Germany. The court said that the law's ban on "local" advertising went further than allowed by EU legislation.