Barilla is the world's #1 pasta manufacturer, and Italy's biggest baked foods company with a wide range of cakes, pastries and crackers alongside pasta. Brands include Barilla, Pavesi, Panem, Mulino Bianco and the Scandinavian crispbread range Wasa. In recent years it has expanded aggressively but not always successfully into other sectors. In 2002, it acquired Germany's bakery giant Kamps, later sold that business at a loss. It also owns France's leading branded bread, Harrys. Perhaps surprisingly in an industry dominated by corporate multinationals, Barilla remains a family business, run by the three great-grandsons of founder Pietro Barilla.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jan 2018: Ads of the Week "Masters of Pasta". You'd think Roger Federer would have developed some acting skills after so many years of product endorsement commercials. But no, that shy demeanour and goofy half-smile is still fixed in place for this otherwise entertaining extended spot for Barilla pasta from 72andSunny Amsterdam. Michelin-starred chef Davide Oldani, on the other hand, delivers a masterful performance (though he would almost certainly struggle to win a point against RF on the court).
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Oct 2013: Barilla Group, the world's biggest pasta maker, generated a storm of controversy over allegedly homophobic comments by its chairman Guido Barilla. During a radio interview about stereotypical images of women in his advertising, Barilla was asked if he would consider using a gay family to advertise his company's products. "For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company," he answered. "I wouldn't do an ad with a homosexual family - not because I disrespect gays - they have their right to do whatever they want without disturbing others - but because I don't think like them and I think that the family we try to address is anyway a classic family where the woman has a fundamental role." Asked what he thought gay people might think of that stance, he added "Well, if they like our pasta and our message they will eat it; if they don't like it and they don't like what we say they will eat another pasta." The comments caused an outcry among gay Italians, who called for a boycott of the company's products. Guido Barilla subsequently issued written and video responses to the protest in which he apologised for causing offence (though not for his specific comments) and emphasised his respect for gay people, stating that he had never discriminated against any individual, gay or otherwise. He also pledged to meet with representatives of gay groups to discuss the evolution of family values.
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