Lapo Elkann: Newsweek and how to rebrand Italy

lapoelkan Lapo Elkann: Newsweek and how to rebrand ItalyLapo Elkann (left), grandson of former Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli and Italian “A lister” has given Newsweek an interview about how to save Italy. Italy, he says, needs a makeover and a rebrand.

If anyone should know about rebrands Lapo might indeed be our man. Busted several years ago in a drug party that went wrong, the scandal intensified when it emerged that his companion was a middle-aged transvestite.

Six years later, the styled “playboy” with good intentions disappoints. His Newsweek foray was wasted as he talked almost exclusively about what Italy is already known for: design, beauty, and luxury goods.  To position him as a thought leader, more vision and originality was required.

The PR Verdict:  “C” for Lapo and his foray into the national conversation.

Calling the country to rebrand and then spending the interview in familiar conversation about luxury and design doesn’t move the dial. Next time talk about loftier ideals like leadership, integrity and creativity. That’s where the damage was done during the Berlusconi years and it’s where Lapo, precisely because of his colorful past, could be making the greatest impact. ….More Steve Jobs less Donatella.

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