Italian Trade Commission pushes 'Made in Italy' US effort with Hearst

NEW YORK: The Italian Trade Commission (ITC) partnered with Hearst Magazines for its new marketing campaign, "If you speak fashion, you speak Italian," which targets independent fashion retailers in the US.

NEW YORK: The Italian Trade Commission (ITC) partnered with Hearst Magazines for its new marketing campaign, “If you speak fashion, you speak Italian,” which targets independent fashion retailers in the US. The initiative, part of ITC's third annual “Made in Italy” campaign, aims to communicate a message of value and quality for mid- to upper-priced goods through retailer events in Italy, collaborative PR activities with US retailers, online promotion, and an ad campaign in Hearst publications.

“We put public money in this promotion, and it should help the Italian manufacturers in this difficult time,” said Aniello Musella, Italian Trade Commissioner and executive director for the ITC in the US. “The American market is a first exporting market for Italian fashion as a whole for a long time, so we need them.”

Hearst Magazines' editors-in-chiefs worked with the ITC to choose 55 retailers to go on interactive buying trips to Italy. The trips, which began in September and will continue throughout the year, include meetings with manufacturers and designers at showrooms and fashion and accessory trade shows.

“We've been working with the ITC for almost 14 years on various projects,” said Valerie Salembier, SVP and publisher of Harper's Bazaar. “It's great support to the Italian companies who are our friends and our advertisers.”

The groups also chose 150 retailers, including the original 55, to support with a PR template and materials in the US beginning this spring. Hearst's internal PR team is working with C&M Media to provide the retailers with instruction, materials, and messaging for local publicity, as well as in-store events in 10 top markets.

“Our goal is to introduce [US retailers] to these companies,” said Salembier. “We're providing them with the stepping stones for local publicity”

The campaign's Web site, www.lifeinistyle.com, currently shows images from the ad campaign, behind-the-scenes video footage, a retail directory of American specialty stores that carry Italian brands, and daily giveaways of Italian products. An Italian-inspired photography contest with a $100,000 prize will launch on the site in the spring.

In addition to providing PR support, Hearst Magazines' in-house creative team is developing the advertising portfolio of Italian fashion spreads.

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