Fiat saviour eyes Alfa after taking global marketing role

Luca%20De%20MeoFiat has promoted Giovanni Perosino to a group marketing role as part of a shake-up of its global marketing .

It is thought that Perosino, who was global marketing communications director for the Fiat brand, has been handed a group-wide position working across Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia, and the main Fiat brand.

He will work closely with – and report to – Luca De Meo, who became Fiat Group’s first chief marketing officer last year (MW September 27, 2007). De Meo was appointed to run Alfa just three months later (MW December 20, 2007), but will retain his marketing responsibilities at Fiat.

The two are expected to focus much of their attention on Alfa this year and sources suggest they could ovehaul the marketing strategy and make changes to its agency roster. The brand is due to make a return to the US market this year.

Alfa ended months of speculation by appointing the Young & Rubicam network to handle its £50m pan-European advertising account last year (MW January 25, 2007). The move finally ended the Italian marque’s 18-year relationship with sister WPP network United. Swarm, RKCR/ Y&R’s conflict agency, handles the business in the UK.

De Meo and Perosino have been instrumental in Fiat’s recent turnaround, which has seen the company bounce back from the brink of bankruptcy.

Last month, the company relaunched its iconic 500 model, which sold more than 3.8 million cars from 1957 to 1975. The new version was recently voted 2008 Car of the Year by European motoring journalists.

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