Networks line up as Pirelli calls review

Pirelli, the Italian tyre manufacturer, is looking to appoint a new creative agency to work on its account across Europe.

The company, which spends around £18 million a year globally, is holding a pitch involving five networks from its Milan headquarters. They include the incumbent, Armando Testa, and Leo Burnett and Young & Rubicam.

The brief involves developing and refreshing the company's existing strapline, "Power is nothing without control", used in its ads since 1994.

Armando Testa has worked on the business for the past five years. The Italian network took the business from Y&R, which had created award-winning work including the famous "Carl in New York" film in 1994 and the 1997 epic starring the French athlete Marie-Jo Perec. However, it was fired in 1999 following a controversial poster, which cast the Brazilian footballer Ronaldo as a Christ figure.

The poster featured the striker towering over Rio de Janeiro - Ronaldo's left foot was raised, revealing the Pirelli rubber tyre tread on the sole of his foot.

Pirelli has traditionally channelled its spend into outdoor and press and has used celebrities such as the actress Sharon Stone and the Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis in its ads.

Pirelli was unavailable for comment on the review as Campaign went to press.

The independent agency AMS Advertising handles Pirelli's media planning and buying in the UK. The review is not thought to affect this.

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