fall, the Rothmans-Williams-Renault racing team announced that it would become the
Winfield team. Some might have been forgiven for thinking this would curb the ability of
its racing hero, Jacques Villeneuve, to recruit young Canadians to smoking.
After all, unlike Rothmans cigarettes, Winfield
cigarettes aren't distributed in Canada.
That is, Winfield cigarettes weren't
distributed in Canada. But once Jacques Villeneuve started to race for Winfield, Winfields
were raced to the market.
Here was a marketing opportunity that
Rothmans, Benson & Hedges (RBH) wouldn't let go to waste. RBH is the Canadian branch
of the company which makes both Winfield and Rothmans brands internationally. RBH launched
Winfields in Quebec during the Montreal Grand Prix.
In the weeks leading up to the race,
RBH shipped almost 7 million Winfield cigarettes into Quebec (mostly Montreal).
RBH also shipped an unreported number of
billboards, retail ads, t-shirts, lighters, pennants and other promotional gizmos.
Direct cigarette advertising is restricted
in Canada. But there are no restrictions on sponsorship promotion of cigarettes. (See PSC's main site for information on current tobacco
Was this a one-month wonder? Is
Winfield here to stay?
RBH isn't saying....
Check out our
for more Winfield Photos