DIY ad draws wrath of faithful
Friday 21 October 1994
As the faithful emerged from Mass last Sunday, they found billboards opposite their churches plastered with posters that read: 'Don't go to Mass on Sunday; come to us instead.' Closer inspection exonerated the usual suspects - the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Communists. One corner of the poster proclaimed: 'Ricci Casa (motto: A passion for furnishing)'. It was an attempt by a superstore owner, Enzo Ricci, to improve dismal Sunday sales figures. Mr Ricci, from nearby Bologna (motto: Bologna the rich), has certainly succeeded in raising his profile. 'This is a fine example of mindless advertising. People are furious; we have received thousands of phone calls,' thundered Monsignor Ernesto Vecchi, aide to the Bishop of Bologna.
The two cities lie in Italy's traditional Communist heartland, the region of Emilia Romagna. Now the market has rushed in where even Marxism-Leninism had feared to tread. The irony is that Mr Ricci's big competitor for the hearts and minds of Sunday shoppers is is not really the Church at all - Italians are abandoning it in droves. It is just that a leisurely morning, a family lunch and watching sport on television in the afternoon appeals far more than Sunday in the superstore. Mr Ricci insists he had nothing to do with the decision to target parish churches, and now wants to publish an advertisement in a local paper that reads: 'Go to Mass in the morning and come to us in the afternoon.' The paper refuses to get embroiled.
The businessman says he is convinced next Sunday will be a sell-out. If not, he will console himself with the knowledge that he is only the latest in a line of controversial Italian advertisers. There is, of course, Benetton, but Mr Ricci feels closest, spiritually, to a fashion success story from the Sixties. They are little known outside the country, but have become collectors' items here: Jesus Jeans (motto: Thou shalt have no other jeans than me).
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he'd killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
£19000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to our clients continuing s...
£15000 - £16800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Tyre Technician / Mechanic is...
£26000 per annum: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Southend, Aldershot, Luto...
£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This forward-thinking agency works with ...