ITALIAN FASHIONS DON $9 MIL U.S. PUSH: TRADE COMMISSION'S EFFORT INCLUDES MAGAZINE INSERTS

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A photo shoot on the Amalfi Coast brings the beauty of the Italian shore to the U.S. fashion consumer in a new $9 million campaign from the Italian Trade Commission's Moda Made in Italy campaign.

The program -- with print ads, direct mail and in-store promotions -- was developed in-house, and partly funded by co-op ad dollars from retailers and marketers.

McCaffery, Ratner, Gottlieb & Lane, New York, works with the commission on various projects, but was not involved in this effort.

"Our goal is to promote Italian fashion products," said Gaspare Asaro, senior deputy trade commissioner for the group and director of Moda Made in Italy.

INSERTS IN '98

A 24-page insert will appear in the February 1998 issue of GQ; a 14-page insert in W in March; and a 12-page insert Vogue. A 36-page insert within a March 1998 Saks Fifth Avenue catalog and a stand-alone 24-page brochure will be mailed directly to consumers in March.

Moda Made in Italy, a 4-year-old government program touting clothing and accessories, is supported largely by Italian taxpayer dollars. The Italian Trade Commission has 80 offices running programs worldwide, but a concentrated effort was made for the U.S.

Moda Made in Italy "was created for Japan and the United States because we felt we needed stronger support for our country, and we wanted to reassess the image of Italian fashion," Mr. Asaro said.

"We've been trying to explain at the retail level and to the consumer that Italian fashion is not always expensive, and the quality is always superb," he added.

FASHION WEB SITE

Although the commission has an existing Web site, they are developing one devoted strictly to fashion that will be up and running by yearend (fashionmadeinitaly.com).

The site will combine resources, including more than 260 well- and lesser-known manufacturers organized by many factors including region, product category and

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