DePlano Group campaign: Vespa's new leader axes condom promo

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A promotional campaign that joined Trojan condoms and Piaggio USA's Vespa motor scooter helmets in print ads urging U.S. consumers to "Ride Safely" has been canceled by the marketer.

The proposed ads were produced by the DePlano Group, New York, Vespa's advertising agency (AA, Feb. 24, P. 15). In an interview March 7, agency President-Creative Director Marco DePlano characterized the project as "a victim of timing." He said "the contract was late being signed and the new management had a change of heart and didn't want to do this thing."

didn't work

Both marketing companies said they had worked on the deal for months. "It was a simple tie-in promotion that didn't work out," said Richard Kline, VP-marketing for Church & Dwight Co.'s Trojan.

Constantino Sambuy arrived as president-CEO of Piaggio in recent weeks from the U.K., where he had been marketing director for Vespa. His predecessor, Giancarlo Fantapple, now non-executive chairman of the marketer, said his successor "doesn't like these kinds of associations." Mr. Sambuy didn't return calls.

The planned three-week promotion was to start last week on South Padres Island, Texas, and in Panama City, Fla.

Trojan planned a Vespa-giveaway sweepstakes at its beach tents, including the distribution of "Ride Safely" co-branded brochures, Kim McGough, senior manager-consumer promotions at Trojan said in late January.

Trojan, which has done spring-break promotions for several years, is also staging games with Trojan-branded hats and T-shirts. Ms. McGough said the events reach a million young adults ages 18 to 24.

Plans called for the Vespa sweepstakes to appear online at trojancondoms.com through April, with ads planned on targeted sites. She declined to comment last week and referred calls to her boss, Mr. Kline.

Vespa drove back into the U.S. market in 2000 after a 16-year hiatus and now has 62 dealers. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao50k

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