Profile: Marina Galanti, Body Shop International - Co-ordinating the Body parts/Marina Galanti prepares to become the PR brains behind the Body Shop

Italian born, educated in an English school in French speaking Switzerland, Marina Galanti has the kind of background which means she will slip into her new international role as head of communications at the Body Shop with ease.

Italian born, educated in an English school in French speaking

Switzerland, Marina Galanti has the kind of background which means she

will slip into her new international role as head of communications at

the Body Shop with ease.



’Marina has the ability to move seamlessly from country to country,’

says Marysia Woroniecka, who worked with Galanti in her former

incarnation at Benetton. ’She’s instinctive about situations - she

doesn’t come in with some predefined structure.’



Meeting Galanti at The Body Shop’s design headquarters in London, she

seems relaxed and informal, despite that fact that it is only her second

day in the job. Well-groomed and elegant, Galanti is refreshingly free

of airs and graces. She carries one of the photographer’s bags and goes

through the chore of having her picture taken - ’I always look awful in

photographs’ - with stoicism.



At the age of 33 she is returning to the UK, where she studied and

worked as a journalist before getting involved with PR at Benetton, and

reflects a little wistfully that there is not much going on in

Littlehampton, where she will be based. Her move to The Body Shop is a

logical one - founder Anita Roddick is known to favour a radical

marketing approach and Galanti will fit in well with the company’s

ethos. She readily admits challenging convention is something she

enjoys.



’One of the most fun things I did with Benetton was cover the obelisk in

Paris with a giant condom,’ she recalls. ’It was a great feeling of

achievement - doing something about the things I care about.



Top of the list of things she cares about are international and human

rights issues. ’I went into journalism because I thought it would be a

good compromise between indulging in my interest in these things and

actually being able to do something about them,’ she says.



Galanti realised that journalism was ’perhaps not the best place to be

pursuing these objectives’ and was ’charmed’ by Benetton’s approach to

publicity. Her time at the international clothes company has coincided

with some of its more controversial campaigns which included images of a

dying AIDS patient, a new-born baby and bullet-riddled clothes.



’Sometimes it was tough,’ Galanti recalls. ’But it opened the doors to a

wealth of possibilities, dealing with issues that a traditional clothing

company would never have been involved in. The fact that Benetton was

able to put a huge amount of money that normally would be spent on

product promotions, promoting issues was something I felt comfortable

with. Whether or not the images were ones that I agreed with on a

personal level, I think the exercise was certainly worthwhile because it

got a lot of issues discussed and got a lot of exposure for causes we

all believed in. It made my job much more versatile and richer than a

product promotion job in the fashion industry would have been.’



Galanti sees The Body Shop as another rare example of a trail-blazing

industry and is drawn to the company’s communication strategy. ’I find

their vision a very interesting one,’ she says. ’The fact that they use

their point of sale as a communications platform is particularly

exciting.



That, I think, will provide the coherence that was sometimes missing at

Benetton.’



Galanti says her initial role will be to align and unify The Body Shop

message, and her all-encompassing brief includes internal

communications, campaigns, public affairs and investor relations.



’Because the organisation developed organically the communications

structure hasn’t been yielding the results they’ve been wishing for.



’The wealth of ideas internally is absolutely mind-boggling, but you

don’t have the impression that there’s this creative fervour on the

outside and that’s a shame. I see The Body Shop as a very adventurous,

counter culture organisation. It entails the kind of job versatility

that makes it interesting to me.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1989 Writer and input co-ordinator, ITN World News

1990

Foreign desk producer, Sky News

1992

International media and communications manager, Benetton

1997

Head of communications, Body Shop International



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.