At press time last week, Armando Testa ceo Eugenio Bona and director Enzo Giacopinelli had been arrested for alleged "illicit financing" and were being questioned by magistrates in connection with suspected kickbacks surrounding the $23-million AIDS awareness ad campaign. Last week, Y&R's former managing director in Milan, Alessandro Incecchi, was also arrested.
When quizzed by judges on the health ministry's scandals, Marone accused Finivest's manager Aldo Brancher, who, according to magistrates, is Finivest's ceo Fedele Confalonieri's right-hand man, of improprieties, and also accused TV networks like Videomusic and Daps of illicit financing. Brancher was arrested, while Finivest denied any involvement with Brancher. The four ad agencies have also maintained their innocence. Publicis FCB MAC president Diego De Vargas Machuca said, "Our agencies won the account honestly and legally, thanks to the creative work."
Alberto Contri, president of Assap, the Italian association of advertising agencies, said, "I think it's time to clarify once for all the controversial matter of national accounts: A general cleaning will favor agencies which always worked fairly."
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)