Italy’s tourism advertising promotion attracts criticism and enquiry

 Thursday, August 31, 2023 


Italy’s much-censured tourism advertising promotion highlighting Botticelli’s Venus as a ‘virtual influencer’ is the topic of an enquiry by the inspection court of Lazio.

The tourism ministry allegedly faces charges of wasting public currency on the ‘Open to Meraviglia’ promotion which vanished curtly from social media for the period of the summer tourist period.

The campaign invited a flood of denigration when it was introduced by tourism minister Daniela
Santanchè in April. Critics accused it of being tacky, awkward and depending on typecasts.

There was a lot more disagreement when Il Fatto Quotidiano stated that part of the publicity video was captured in Slovenia, while an Italian advertising firm bought the Open to Meraviglia domain name after
seeing that it was not listed.

The most current post on the promotion’s Instagram profile dates back to 27 June, while its Twitter,
Facebook and TikTok profiles cannot be found anymore.

The publicity video presenting the virtual Venus, who dresses in a miniskirt and grabs a piece of pizza in
front of Italian traditional milestones, also seems to have been removed.

Replying to queries from Fanpage in mid-August, Santanchè said that the vanishing of Venus was a
careful choice and that the virtual influencer would be coming back shortly.

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