Merloni to sink £21m into ‘smart’ appliances drive

Italian domestic appliance giant Merloni is ploughing £21m into a three-year marketing campaign for the pan-European launch of the first “intelligent” products.

Italian domestic appliance giant Merloni is ploughing &£21m into a three-year marketing campaign for the pan-European launch of the first “intelligent” products.

The company is expected to beat rival Zanussi to market with its Ariston Digital appliances, which are able to “talk” to each other through the mains wiring and call out an engineer if a fault develops.

The products – including refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and cookers – can monitor each other’s power consumption and delay operation until off-peak periods. The range also includes a Home Smart Monitor that can download recipes from the Internet.

The Ariston Digital range is being unveiled to the UK trade next week. It is expected to be in the shops by June.

The launch will be supported by a major pan-European ad campaign, which is expected to be handled by Leo Burnett’s Italian office.

A Merloni spokesman says: “This is the next generation of white goods.

“We expect them to revolutionise the market. In five or ten years’ time, everyone will have an integrated kitchen.”

Zanussi is test-marketing a range of “smart” appliances in Italy, called Live-In. It aims to launch them in the rest of Europe, starting with the UK, in the second half of this year.

Electrolux, which like Zanussi, is part of the AEG group, last year signed a deal with mobile phone company Ericsson to develop systems for the “networked home”.

Whirlpool is also understood to be developing a range of integrated digital appliances.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here