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  • Cigarette advertising on subject matter


    Just a quick one. I've been commissioned with illustrating an F1 car from the 2000's to be sold as prints, however the car is covered in Marlboro advertisements, i'm just wondering what the legal implications of this is? As obviously (In the UK and Europe) cigarette marketing in print is prohibited and in many other countries.

    It will simply be an art print and the 'cigarette' advertising is clearly marked on the car and the helmet of the driver, i've been told 2 different points of view, that I have to remove the cigarette branding from the car & helmet if I am to freely have these prints sold internationally, and also been told that because the advertisements are on a subject matter pre-cigarette advertising ban that it is perfectly legal, also that because they are art prints it can't be considered 'marketing'.

    I am totally unsure where the law lies on this and I have to be crystal clear as the firm I am illustrating for can't risk any implications in the future because of it, but also it is pretty important to include the cigarette logos on the illustration as F1 cars are so heavily recognised for the advertisements on the body work & helmets.

    Anyone have any idea on this?
    Last edited by CrookedCartoon; 04-08-2017, 01:14 PM.

  • #2
    You risk just as much legal grief coming from the car owner and/or driver as you do having cigarette company branding in your art. The reason the prints might sell is because of the owner and/or driver, not because your art is beautiful. You are riding on another's trademark to earn money. Some people, especially famous ones, don't take too kindly to that.

    If your intent is just to have a piece of art that illustrates and F1 car, then do so generically. If it is a specific car with a specific history, proceed with caution.

    Or consult with a trademark attorney.


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply, this is an official piece that has been commissioned by the Driver's foundation with the car manufacturer ok'ing the go ahead, so there are no issues there, it is not a piece of work I am doing for myself, I am doing it for the driver's foundation as an official piece to commemorate his success, again please read the post, this is a commission, not a personal piece of work that I intend to sell to 'make money off of someone else's success'.

      Possibly the rudest reply i've ever had on a forum before, please jump off your high chair, and do not tell me how to do my job or simply assume facts.

      This is a thread in regards to the legalities around selling a print that includes 'cigarette marketing' on the subject matter, and if that is an issue in regards to the current UK/EU law about advertising such items.
      Last edited by CrookedCartoon; 04-08-2017, 04:47 PM.


      • #4
        We're having a UK/US language breakdown.
        ''Commission'' here in the US is not necessarily done in any ''official'' sort of capacity. You mentioned nothing of the details behind this commission in your OP. I do a lot of work involving obtaining licensing for images and trademarks and removal of trademarked logos from imagery. In the US.

        I stand by my last sentence. Consult legal advice. Where this is for a foundation, their legal eagle should be able to answer your question regarding the issue of cigarette imagery in this usage in the UK, and the use of the American trademark owned by Marlboro cigarettes. If they tell you it's ok, in writing, go for it. I sure as heck wouldn't take legal advice from an online forum.


        • #5
          Thanks, by commissioned, I mean someone has approached me from the foundation for the driver to illustrate a commemorative poster for their foundation and specified an era of F1 when the car was plastered with cigarette brands.

          It's not so much legal advice I'm after, although i'm sure it could be solved by that (however that costs money) the issue doesn't revolve around using the manufacturer's logos in the image, that is all ok, as that's down to the manufacturer of the car, they have said that's no issue.

          The problem lies around the fact that it is illegal to market cigarettes or use cigarette branding in print in the UK, EU and the US? (not sure about US). As we will be selling the prints on behalf of the foundation, it's up to us to look up the legalities. The issue lies with the 'physical' print not the digital image or the use of the logos, it's about if the government consider an art print of a subject with tobacco logos on it 'marketing cigarettes' in print.

          A similar problem would be if a photographer took a photograph in Zimbabwe (where tobacco billboards are still legal?) and the subject of the photograph had a billboard with Camel cigarettes or something in the background and they then decided to sell this photograph as a print. Would that photograph be considered marketing? I was hoping someone may have come across this problem in the past, hence asking here rather than instantly seeking legal advice, especially since the prints will be sold internationally, it is a case of law for every country, not just the UK.



          • #6
            If I was you, I'd put the onus on the client to bear the legal burden of determining whether the cigarette logo on the image you're creating is acceptable. The one and only cost I would take on is a consultation with my business attorney to have him write language in my contract that removes me from legal action that might result in the sales of the art. If the client rejected that, I would run away from the project.


            • #7
              That is definitely a wise idea, but the more burden I put on the client, the more likely they are to run away from the project too, but It seems this is a unique problem that not many people have come across before, was just hoping someone had so I can see where it led them!
              Thanks again,


              • #8
                The forum is usually a little dead on the weekend.
                If you can wait for Monday, a few of our UK members may turn up.


                • #9
                  <<based in the US, definitely not a lawyer or legal expert.

                  However, I would think that marketing in reference to cigarettes and tobacco products is more along the lines of marketing which has the core purpose of "selling" products or services. So, I would think a print being made for the driver's foundation would be no different than televising the car in the race itself. But, you mention it's not so much about "legal advice", but it really is. Otherwise it's really just the interpretation of designers or other people without the proper background or knowledge to be providing accurate advice.

                  Essentially, let's say everyone here says it's fine, but after the print is produced and sold some sort of legal issue arrises, you can't fall back on saying that a designer forum believed it was okay. You'd be better off stating that you had received advice from a lawyer.

                  My 2 cents.
                  I like to beat up pacifists, because they don't fight back ...

                  N.A.N.K.A. "We Kick Because We Care."


                  • #10
                    I'm in the U.S. too, but a big fan of F1, and I can make a pretty easy guess as to the driver and car in question. I'm also a scale modeler of F1 cars, and as a graphics jockey, an enthusiast when it comes to their liveries, so this is near to my heart.

                    In the 2000's, the series raced in several locales where tobacco advertising had already been outlawed. During those weekends, all the tobacco branding was modified to be non-demonstrative of the brands to varying degrees. See below Felipe Massa's Ferrari in Marlboro dress and compare Kimi Raikkonen's obliterated branding in the similar-era pic that follows.

                    So, it stands to reason that perhaps the safest thing would be to depict the livery in non-tobacco trim. Everyone who is familiar with the driver and team has seen that version, and it's just as recognizable, if not more novel.
                    Last edited by HotButton; 04-10-2017, 02:22 PM.
                    I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.






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