At the age of 24, he founded the Turin agency BGS (Barbella, Gagliardi, Saffirio). It became the fourth-largest and most highly awarded agency in Italy, creating campaigns for clients such as Swatch, Fiat, Yellow Pages and San Paolo Bank. At BGS, Saffirio won silver and bronze awards at Cannes and the New York Festivals and took the Italian Art Directors Club's Grand Prix.
He twice picked up the Mezzo Minuto d'Oro Award, which is voted for by approximately five million viewers during a live TV broadcast.
- Where do you live?
I divide my time between Milan, Turin and my country house in the Langhe region of southern Piedmont - a place for wine, food, culture and special people.
- Describe a perfect day with guests in your city
My home town is Turin, so a perfect day in Milan would also include a trip there. My guests would stay at the Gallia Hotel in Milan. At 9.13am, catch the high-speed train to Turin. Once there, go to the Piazza San Carlo for hot chocolate; Piazza Castello; a look at the Palazzo Reale; Piazza Vittorio, the square that inspired De Chirico; the Movie Museum; a snack and coffee at Platti's. Catch the train back to Milan by 6pm. Visit the Duomo; Galleria; La Scala; then do some shopping in the luxury district. An aperitif at Living and then dinner at Don Lisander. Could you rise to the challenge?
- Tell us where you've chosen to be photographed and why
I've chosen the Galleria because it is the heart of town; a junction in Milanese life between the Duomo, La Scala and the fashion district. It is a perfect synthesis of Italian history, culture and the joy of living.
- Tell us about the ad you've chosen to feature on this page
I've chosen the Morellato jewellery "daily chic" campaign because I like a client that places a lot of trust in us. Morellato's value proposition is very different to those of most of its competitors. We wanted to take an approach that was credible for Morellato and outstanding in its originality.
The creative concept is that Morellato jewels bring dreams to life, making life happier, more joyful and colourful. The TV spot shows how Morellato enables you to change your style according to your mood. The press work parodies magazine covers. The ads are designed to make consumers feel like VIPs when they wear Morellato jewels.
- List the three most inspiring things about your city
With Dan Brown's permission: the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Then the Duomo, the Galleria, La Scala, the Brera Academy, the Museum of Science and Technology. You said three? Take your pick.
- Give us a quote that encapsulates your city
"Milan is a great Milan." A popular saying, reflecting local pride.
- Name a perfect place to brainstorm in your city
I hate brainstorming. On Lake Maggiore, if I really had to.
- to celebrate an account win
The corridor of our agency.
- to entertain a client
If we like each other, my home in Langhe.
- to kit yourself out
Ferragamo, Versace, Zara and my tailor.
- to go for a run
At Parco Sempione, just in front of Grey. But only for a brisk walk. Why run?
- How do you unwind?
By gardening and reading history books.
- What is your greatest extravagance?
I carry on working.
- Name one thing about yourself that might surprise others
I can change my mind and even apologise.
- If you were an ad, what would your strapline be?
When I'm happy, you'll like me. When I'm not happy, you won't like me.
- Finally, tell us the best way to ask for a pay rise in your country
By falling in love with brands, working hard, running risks, showing and earning respect.