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The italian jeans marketer Diesel has traditional business goals: increase worldwide sales from $350 million now to $600 million by 2000. But its advertising is anything but traditional.

"The advertising is very provocative, very arresting," says Diana Loguzzo, 29, marketing manager of Diesel USA.

Diesel has become a notable contender in the crowded jeans category in the U.S. by marketing an attitude to 18-to-35 year olds. U.S. sales in 1996 hit $25 million, more than double the $12 million in 1995.

That attitude is conveyed via breakthrough advertising, along with a new company magazine that will be published three times yearly, visible event marketing and Diesel retail outlets.

The latest campaign from Paradiset DDB, Stockholm, dubbed "Historical Moments," juxtaposes photos of historic events with present-day models wearing Diesel clothing in print and outdoor advertising.

In one TV spot, called "Little Rock, 1873," a dashing young man dons Diesel jeans and leaves his wife and baby to challenge a loathsome, vulgar man in a gunfight, which ends oddly with the Diesel hero taking a fatal bullet.

And at the retail level, Ms. Loguzzo says the marketer has stepped up expansion plans. By year-end, the company will have seven retail outlets in the U.S., including a new mega-store in San Francisco.

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