Why Italy is alive and kicking

The contribution the communications sector can make to the nation’s growth. This was the topic of discussion at the 4th WPP / The European House – Ambrosetti Forum.

Why Italy is alive and kicking

The 4th “The Role of Communications in Tomorrow’s World – Generating Value and Cultural Change” Forum organized by WPP and The European House – Ambrosetti was held in Milan on November 6th.

This meeting, promoted by WPP Italia, leader in Italy in marketing and communications services with over 60 member companies and 2,400 professionals for 1,100 corporate clients, in collaboration with The European House – Ambrosetti, is one of the most important events in Europe dedicated to analyzing the role of communications in the growth of the economy and society.

With over 250 businessmen and managers in attendance, the meeting examined the questions of image, attractiveness and Italy’s push for internationalization around the globe.

The event opened with a presentation by Giuseppe Sala, Commissioner of Expo 2015, who presented the results and success of the Universal Exposition and the positive effects for Italy, and it closed with a presentation on the internationalization of Italian companies by the Vice Minister for Economic Development Carlo Calenda who spoke about the government’s initiatives to relaunch the country’s image and attractiveness.

 Italy, the Extraordinary Commonplace | Video

italy extr

Those taking part in the Forum were given a copy of the Position Paper that contains all the data and analysis produced over the last year, as well as a brochure entitled “Why Italy is definetely alive and kicking” that offers ten case studies of the growth of Italian companies throughout the world. The brochure will be distributed in WPP ’s more than 1,500 branch offices found on every continent.

What was talked about during the Forum

The first session, entitled “Why Italy is Alive and Kicking” was addressed by Marco Fortis Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Fondazione Edison, who highlighted Italy’s many strong points and the positive effect recent government reforms have had on the country; Francesca Pasinelli — General Director, Telethon, presented the worldwide success story of Telethon in research and the ability to attract resources and talent; Rachel Sanderson – Italian correspondent for The Financial Times, offered the perspective of foreign investors, stressing the need for Italy to further accelerate in order to get on-board with the recovery and fill as soon as possible the competitiveness gap compared with pre-crisis levels; Gad Lerner — President of the Editorial Committee, Laeffe, stressed Italy’s growing geopolitical role and positioning; and Camilla Lunelli — BoD Member of Cantine Ferrari, offered an invaluable look at Italy's position on an international level, highlighting the country's world leadership in the wine sector.
The second session focused on social and behavioral trends of Italian consumers and the effects of new technologies on them. Marco Costaguta — President,LTP, introduced consumer trends in Italy. Following him, the presentations by Andrea Zappia — CEO, Sky Italia, Luca Belloni — CEO, Kantar Italy, Federico Capeci — CEO, TNS, and Paola Bonomo — Global Marketing Services Director, Southern Europe, Facebook, centered on the theme of how the digital scenario and new technologies influence company strategies in terms of development possibilities and client profiling through the use of Big Data. Roberto Masi — CEO, McDonald’s Italia and Luca Garavoglia — President, Gruppo Campari, examined the question of how large companies take on challenges and opportunities in the face of the evolution in consumption and behavior of the population.
The third session opened with the presentation by Valerio De Molli, Managing Partner, The European House – Ambrosetti, who not only examined how Italy is ranked internationally, stressing the major “biases” in their analysis and long-standing failure of Italian institutions to consider how these standings are compiled, but also spoke about the phenomenon of reshoring, i.e., the return to Italy of manufacturing activity that had previously been transferred abroad. This is mainly the result of the outstanding skills and know-how that are unique to Italy which are often not perceived or taken into consideration in international rankings. Regarding this, Cristina Scocchia — General Manager, L’Oréal Italia, offered a concrete example of the excellent level of competitiveness of their plant in Settimo Torinese, a global success story, that made possible reshoring of the production of some products in Italy. Enrico Loccioni — President, Loccioni Group, offered his experience of maximizing young people and talent in Italy as a driver for competitiveness on a worldwide level; Antonio Baravalle — CEO, Lavazza, presented Lavazza's international expansion success story and how they capitalized on production in Italy; and Stefano Agostini — CEO, Sanpellegrino , offered concrete examples and ideas for promoting Made in Italy on an international level.

Advisory Board activity

This year the Advisory Board focused on the contribution the communications sector can make to meeting the four key goals for the country and its economy:

  • increasing the exports of Italian companies of all sizes;
  • attracting an increasingly larger flow of investment from all over the world;
  • providing help and support for companies that had transferred production abroad to return to Italy (reshoring);
  • improving the perception and image of Italy around the world.


Summing up the day was Massimo Costa, Country Manager of WPP Italia who concluded the event by providing concrete proof of how WPP—leader in a sector that employs tens of thousands of people, which has a major role in the freedom of information and with a strong drive towards digital innovation—works alongside and makes available top-notch professionals on the market to help companies to begin to grow once again. In this way, WPP plays an important role in economic recovery by helping Italian companies to export more, convincing international investors to choose Italy by getting businessmen and managers of multinationals to consider the new-found benefits of producing in Italy, and presenting to the world a country that unites exceptional beauty with a social and organizational stability found in few countries around the globe.

Position Paper
“The Role of Communications in Tomorrow’s World.
Generating Value and Cultural Change”
“Why Italy is definetely alive and kicking

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