MILAN: Cohn & Wolfe's Milan office MD Franco Guzzi has been elected
president of Assorel, the Italian association of full-service PR
Guzzi assumes his responsibilities from Adriana Mavellia who resigned at
a meeting of the body's board of directors last week, ending her second
term in the role five months short of its mandatory conclusion at the
end of this year.
The decision to resign from the position, which Mavellia had held for
three and a half years, was prompted by ongoing debate within the
Italian PR industry over whether Assorel should merge with advertising
and marketing trade bodies.
According to Guzzi, Mavellia considered it essential that the debate be
held among Assorel members rather than in the local specialist media,
and she decided that her remaining five months did not leave sufficient
time to reach a decision.
Promising to call two assemblies of the body's members before the end of
the year, Guzzi has vowed to lead a fair and open debate on the topic
despite his personal reservations: 'In the role of president I have to
respect the will of the members and the association.'
However, he admitted: 'Personally I have my doubts and fear we risk
homogenising and losing the individuality of PR by mixing it in with a
number of other organisations.'
'There has been trouble with misleading perceptions of PR in the past
but the market demonstrates that over the last two to four years PR has
been more vital, energetic, and able to develop than advertising and
marketing,' he added.
Guzzi is clear however, that if certain criteria relating to the
advancement of the Italian PR industry and Assorel's members are met he
will accept the move.
It is hoped that the body will reach agreement before the re-election of
its directors early next year.