R.C. Auletta Rides Away With Vespa

NEW YORK Piaggo USA has awarded national public relations duties on its Vespa scooter account to R.C. Auletta & Company following a three-month review.

The New York shop bested undisclosed East and West Coast agencies for the business, said Constantino Sambuy, president and CEO of Piaggio. Sambuy said the agency’s first order of business would be to help launch the Vespa Grand Turismo, a larger, more powerful scooter that will be sold as the company’s top-of-the-line model.

“This is a product that has a real cachet to it,” said Dick Auletta, president of the 11-person agency. “It’s a product that celebrities love. It’s a product that’s been featured in many, many movies throughout the years.”

Auletta said his shop is still conducting research and would not comment on future PR efforts for Vespa. Financial terms of the assignment were not disclosed.

The agency also handles public relations chores for the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team, Turkish manufacturer Mavi Jeans and the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

Vespa was re-introduced in the U.S. in 2000, after a 16-year hiatus. There are now 69 dealers nationwide. The company has stopped working with the DePlano Group in New York, the shop responsible for the U.S. relaunch, and currently has no advertising agency of record.