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Irresistible empire or innocents abroad? American advertising agencies in post-war Italy, 1950s-1970s

Ferdinando Fasce (Department of History, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy)
Elisabetta Bini (Department of Humanities, , Roma, Italy)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 16 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the presence and influence of US advertising in Italy between the early 1950s and the mid-1970s.

Design/methodology/approach

The purpose of this paper is to examine the presence and influence of US advertising in Italy between the early 1950s and the mid-1970s.

Findings

The paper argues that there is a need to further qualify and deconstruct the notion of “Americanization” by integrating the now well-established notions of “hybridization” and “mediation” with more specific attention to the competing “hearts and souls”, the different strategies and discursive practices that different individual actors (American, British and Italian) operating within the Italian advertising business tried to instil into goods and consumers and the economic and cultural results that they achieved.

Originality/value

This is the first research on the history of Italian advertising that fully places it within a transnational and comparative perspective using so far unpublished records, aiming at moving beyond traditional, eastbound Americanization frameworks through a detailed empirical investigation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Giancarlo Livraghi for providing crucial information about his experience as President of McCann Erickson Italiana, and for sharing his thoughts about the world of Italian and international advertising during a lively and passionate interview. Livraghi passed away in February 2014 at the age of 87, while this article was under review.

Citation

Fasce, F. and Bini, E. (2015), "Irresistible empire or innocents abroad? American advertising agencies in post-war Italy, 1950s-1970s", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 7-30. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHRM-08-2013-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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