Armando Testa reigns supreme as Italy's most famous home-grown advertising agency. For years it ranked as the biggest individual agency brand by billings, despite fierce competition from subsidiaries of marketing giants Omnicom or WPP. These days, it has lost that position, though it remains the biggest independent agency, managing a portfolio of mainly Italian clients. The main agency is partnered by a number of satellite units including design and brand identity shop InTesta, production company Little Bull, and media agency Media Italia. In 1999, Testa issued a further challenge, promising to spread its wings internationally. The agency opened offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Brussels, and promised more outposts to follow. However, only a handful of Testa's smaller domestic clients took advantage of that situation, so the network was shuttered again and instead the agency has partnership alliances with key local agencies in major markets. There is still an office in Los Angeles under the name Marco Testa LA. The business was founded in Turin in 1946 as a design studio by Armando Testa, originally a graphic designer, but now generally regarded as the grandfather of Italian advertising. The group remains privately owned by the Testa family. Marco Testa is chairman & CEO; his sister Antonella Testa, Marco Testa's sister, founded brand identity shop InTesta. The founder's grandson Gian Armando Testa now runs productionb arm Little Bull.
Capsule checked 30th December 2019
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Adbrands Social Media 13th May 2019: "Paint It Black". The Lancia brand, once a significant force across Europe, has suffered a serious decline over the past three decades with sales falling from 300,000 cars in 1990 to fewer than 50,000 last year. Long-time owner Fiat has steadily sidelined the brand in favour of other products, most notably in recent years Jeep and other Chrysler brands. Now sold almost exclusively in Italy, Lancia's sole remaining model, the Ypsilon small car, is being repositioned as a luxury item to rival the reinvention a few years ago of the Fiat 500. Here's the latest campaign from Armando Testa, a gorgeous piece of work that is more fashion film than car ad.
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