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Renault livery could break Canadian law

Lotus Renault GP may not be allowed to run its new black and gold livery at the Canadian Grand Prix. The livery, which is a nostalgic reminder of the John Player Special-sponsored Lotuses from the 1970s and 1980s, may break the strict Canadian anti-tobacco laws, even though the John Player Special brand has no ties with the team. However,Canada's Tobacco Act states "no person shall promote a tobacco product by means of an advertisement that depicts, in whole or in part, a tobacco product, its package or a brand element of one or that evokes a tobacco product or a brand element." reports a spokesperson for Health Canada, who didn't comment on the Lotus example directly, but did say to the Toronto Globe and Mail that "Tobacco inspectors would need to fully review to assess whether a violation of the Tobacco Act has occurred." Adding: "The Tobacco Act prohibits the promotion of tobacco products or tobacco product-related brand elements in Canada, except as authorized by the Act or regulations. Tobacco product sponsorship is prohibited entirely and tobacco advertising is severely restricted." A spokesman for Imperial Tobacco, who own the John Player Special brand said about the Canadian law: "It is categorically against the law to present any likeness to a cigarette pack. If I were Lotus though, I would be concerned, I wonder if they are aware of the law in Canada." Although, as recently as 2003, F1 cars have appeared at the Canadian Grand Prix with tobacco sponsorship on them despite the Tobacco Act, which has been in place since 1997. Furthermore, 2006 saw BAR's cars appeared with Lucky Strike colours, and in 2008 Ferrari ran with the controversial bar code that some considered to be subliminal advertising for the teams title sponsor at the time Marlboro. Dany Bahar, who is CEO at Group Lotus has played down the tobacco connotations of the team 2011 livery, saying there will be no "negative implications with potential tobacco advertising".

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