700 attend Italy's AGM in Milan


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The Italian Advertiser Association (UPA) held its annual general meeting on 3rd July at the Piccolo Teatro Strehler in Milan. The three hour long meeting featured speakers such as the UPA president, Lorenzo Sassoli de Bianchi, Stefano Lucchini, Senior Executive Vice President of Eni, and Annamaria Testa from the Italian creative world. The AGM hosted over 700 attendees and was themed “L'urgenza di un progetto”, focusing on the issue of Italy's severe economic downturn from which it not been able to embrace a successful strategy to re-ignite growth.

Lorenzo Sassoli de Bianchi proposed pragmatic ideas to turn the momentum of the country, especially referring to the communications industry:
  • Let the next generation of communicators grow: the ad industry, and especially the digital marketing ecosystem, needs new competencies that are not properly prepared by the universities. That's why UPA invested in this area by organizing its first course “Comunicare l'azienda nell'era digitale”, a high-level education initiative that enabled 25 young communicators aged 22 to 30 to attend, free-of-charge, a 3-month course taught by some of the most influential professors and professionals of the Italian digital advertising landscape;
  • A change of perspective for the role of women in advertising. The advertising self-regulatory body (IAP) always acts effectively in stopping discriminatory campaigns but more can be achieved by a cultural change involving schools and communicators. Annamaria Testa underlined the need to fight against gender stereotypes in communication that affect both women and men, besides the need for a fair use of the female image. Her proposal is to educate communicators and marketers to elaborate on the plurality of roles played by genders within society as part of their creative concepts.
  • Reform of public broadcasting service (RAI). Ensure one channel free of advertising, funded by a television tax (the current tax is paid only by 70% of population).
  • Make the advertising market more transparent by forbidding hefty commissions.
  • Spend money to develop broadband and put the department of economic development in charge of tourism and cultural heritage
  • Create a tax credit mechanism for additional investments in advertising and PR (up to 10% of incremental €). The Deputy Minister of economic development department has agreed with this proposal and is going to file an amendment for a government decree under discussion.

The videos from the AGM can be seen on YouTube or on the UPA website.

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