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Australia investigating 'Mission Winnow' branding

Feb.8 (GMM) Australian authorities have launched an investigation into Ferrari's new 'Mission Winnow' branding.

The branding is an initiative of the team's title sponsor Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro cigarettes.

The company says the brand promotes smoking alternatives and other initiatives, but some believe it is a clever way to keep Marlboro and the similar logo and colours in the front of F1 fans' minds.

Melbourne's The Age newspaper said an investigation has been launched in Australia ahead of the 2019 season opener in Melbourne next month.

The investigations are being carried out by the federal health department, the Victorian state equivalent, and the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

"It (Mission Winnow) has nothing to do with F1 cars, that's for sure," said Australian anti-smoking campaigner John Cunningham.

Philip Morris said the company "always respects the laws that apply to our activities".

"The campaign does not advertise or promote any branded products."