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Diesel Hands Global Creative Duties to Publicis Italia After Only 10 Months at Anomaly

Italian clothing brand Diesel – known for its outrageous ads – has dropped Anomaly after only 10 months and appointed Publicis Italia to run its global advertising account.

Diesel made the appointment without going through a formal pitch process. At the start of this year, Publicis worked on a brand study with Diesel, and has now expanded its remit to cover global creative duties.

New work from Publicis is imminent – the first major project will be to launch the fall/winter range, due to hit the shops in September.

Bruno Bertelli, who was named global chief creative officer of Publicis Worldwide in May last year, soon after he led the agency to victory in the global Heineken account review, is also CEO of the Italian agency.

Bruno Bertelli
Bruno Bertelli Credit: Publicis

“Diesel is an iconic brand that goes against the ordinary, and for this I am really proud my agency has been chosen as its partner,” he said in a statement. “When people think of Diesel, the first thing that comes to mind, besides the quality of the products, is undoubtedly a powerful communication that has always been ahead of time.”

Diesel was Advertiser of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 1998 and is best known for its long running “For Successful Living” campaign, which started in 1991 and has been used on and off ever since.

In 2010, Diesel’s global “Be Stupid” campaign won a Grand Prix in the Outdoor Lions category at Cannes but was banned in the U.K. by the Advertising Standards Authority. One of the ads featured a girl on a stepladder flashing her breasts at a CCTV camera, while another featured a woman pointing a lens inside her bikini bottoms. That campaign was done by Anomaly during a previous stint as agency of record, which ended in 2010 soon after Anomaly’s Grand Prix-winning work. In between then and Anomaly’s return in 2016, Diesel worked with Fred & Farid Shanghai, Amsterdam-based SuperHeroes, and CP&B, among others.

Anomaly Amsterdam’s more recent work for the brand broke in February this year, with a theme of “Make Love Not Walls.” In true Diesel style it featured unconventional ballet dancing, same-sex kissing, and an inflatable rainbow tank.

“In a seemingly limitless world that is smartphone dominant, we are trapped into conformity more than we could ever imagine. Together with Publicis, we will enjoy discovering a different point-of-view about things without taking ourselves too seriously,” said Diesel Artistic Director Nicola Formichetti in a statement.

Diesel parent company OTB Group also owns other unconventional clothing brands including Viktor & Rolf, Maison Margiela and Marni.

Diesel spent $11.4 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2016, according to Kantar Media.

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