May 31, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Britain's film classifiers rate Marlboro-infused film as suitable for kids (12A)

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), an industry-supported body, has rated '12A' the advertising trailer for Rush, the Marlboro-infused racing movie. 

Slated for Sept. 13 release, the Universal movie dramatizes the James Hunt-Nikki Lauda racing rivalry in 1976. Marlboro sponsored the Maclaren team for which Hunt drove. The film prominently displays Marlboro logos on racing cars and drivers' suits. 

Marlboro later switched its sponsorship to Ferrari. During pre-production and production of Rush in 2011-12, PM International was running its own Formula One-themed promotion — called 'Red Rush: Marlboro' — across Europe and Asia.

Both of the US and international advertising trailers so far released include prominent Marlboro logos. The logos also appear in movie clips running behind the movie's "Partners" web page. The trailer in US theaters depicts the James Hunt character smoking. Hunt was reportedly a heavy smoker and died of a massive heart attack at age 45.

Rush has been rated 'R' by the Motion Picture of America for 'sexual content, nudity, language, some disturbing images and brief drug use.' The BBFC rated the Rush trailer '14A' on April 22, but has yet to announce a rating for the film itself.

Motor sports tobacco branding has been barred in the US and Europe for years. Today, Ferrari racers now carry Marlboro colors in a bar code design. 

Both PMI's 'Red Rush: Marlboro' campaign and the Universal film Rush make Marlboro's link to F1 racing explicit for a new generation. The movie will persist for years in the video marketplace.

Rushis being distributed in Britain by Studio Canal. Working Title, a wholly-own UK production subsidiary of Universal Studios (Comcast) is also credited. Rush was mainly filmed in the UK, almost certainly with millions of pounds in UK film subsidies. Other companies involved are Imagine (director Ron Howard's company) and Exclusive Media Group, which recently acquired UK's Hammer Films.


RUSH trailers posted on YouTube — 

            US: Rush Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Chris Hemsworth, Ron Howard Racing Movie HD

            International: Rush Official International Trailer #1 (2013) - Chris Hemsworth, Ron Howard Racing Movie HD

            Downloaded files also available.

Official RUSH web site:

Universal's published policy against tobacco placement and tie-ins:

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