MILAN–In the biggest outdoor ad campaign Italy has ever seen, 25,300 billboards were adorned with pictures of 10 toddlers to highlight the detrimental impa" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

Italian billboard laws prompt fight By Fabiana Giacomott

MILAN–In the biggest outdoor ad campaign Italy has ever seen, 25,300 billboards were adorned with pictures of 10 toddlers to highlight the detrimental impa

The campaign from Armando Testa carried a curious headline, fittingly enough in baby talk, which said “Fozza Itaia,” or “Italy, go ahead.”
The code came into effect on Jan. 1 and prohibits posters “along and near roads both inside and outside towns,” said Francesco Villa, president of Fispe, an Italian association for the development of poster advertising. “The code imposes strong limits even on the colors posters must have,” Villa said.
Billboards remain banned on highways and are now banned from panoramic roads, inside parks, within 50 meters of roundabouts and from bus shelters. Only 20% of a poster surface can be red. The only exception is for registered trademarks. In a market with $41.8 billion in annual turnover, the restrictions will mean an 80% reduction in revenues and the loss of 25,000 jobs, “The highway code,” said Villa, “must be done again.” But why such an expensive campaign, considering the losses for all Fispe associates who donated space for 10 days? And why use children? “Firstly, because we had no other way to make people, especially politicians, understand our problem. Secondly, because children represent our future,” said Villa.
“Fozza Italia,” said Marco Testa, ceo of Armando Testa, “is a message of hope. To be sincere, we asked (Italian president) Oscar Luigi Scalfaro to appear in this campaign, but he gently refused. So we decided to photograph children.”
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)