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Renault livery could break Canadian law – report

Renault’s new black and gold livery might fall afoul of strict anti-tobacco advertising laws in Canada this year.

That is the claim of the Toronto based Globe and Mail newspaper, after the Enstone based team’s newly Group Lotus-sponsored livery was launched officially last weekend at a racing car show in Birmingham.

The 2011 Lotus Renault GP livery is a tribute to the Lotus cars of the 70s and 80s, whose black and gold colours were to promote Imperial Tobacco’s John Player Special cigarette brand.

Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar recently played down the latter fact, insisting that the 2011 Renault livery will not have any “negative implications with potential tobacco advertising”.

But a Health Canada spokesperson revealed that if a F1 car did resemble a cigarette packet whilst racing on Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, “tobacco inspectors would need to fully review to assess whether a violation of the Tobacco Act has occurred”.

An Imperial Tobacco spokesperson said: “It is categorically against the law to present any likeness to a cigarette pack.

“If I were Lotus (Renault) … I would be concerned — I wonder if they are aware of the law in Canada.”