Newspaper: Marketing&Manager

An old popular motto says “Prevention is better than cure”. Revised in a marketing key, this is what the Milanese firm Sgp (Studio Globale Pecchenino Pelosi) intends to do, specializing in integrated and legal consultancy in communication and marketing. The structure is headed by Mauro Pecchenino, journalist and marketing teacher at specialized institutes, with experience in company and public relations, and by Giancarlo Pelosi, lawyer, with particular experience in the field of communication law.

The firm is mainly focused on small and medium-sized enterprises that do not have an internal marketing and external relations structure, guaranteeing, in addition to legal assistance, a series of services ranging from the press office to the drafting of brochures up to consumer studies. Furthermore, Sgp is aimed at Italian companies wishing to undertake an activity abroad and offers advice on the problems of different markets and on the paperwork that must be carried out; at the same time it offers the same services for foreign companies that desire to operate in our country.

“In Italy there is no culture of legal advice on a preventive level” says Pecchenino. “Attorneys are always seen as a bugbear, as the last resort to turn to after trying all possible ways. And basically they are perceived in a negative halo, as if turning to them represented a failure. In the United States this mentality does not exist and it is normal to seek the advice of a lawyer whenever a new business operation has to be undertaken. ”

The legal advice offered by Law Firm Pelosi goes precisely in this direction:  give specific directives and carry out the necessary research so as not to have surprises once the product is launched or the advertising campaign is planned. It happens, in fact, that the chosen claim, the color of the new packaging, the brand, rather than other variables, may be attacked by the competition, because they are already used, allusive or disparaging towards them. When the anomaly is very evident, it is usually the business managers themselves who notice and find a solution on time, but, the Firm assures us, there are many other minor situations (deliberate or random) that can then give a troublesome series of problems.

In fact, one may be forced to bear bureaucratic and judicial procedures, the withdrawal of the product or a temporary suspension of supplies pending a judgment, with consequent retaliation in terms of image, lost time and involved costs. “Instead, it would be desirable for it to become common practice to turn to legal specialists to obtain the necessary assistance and prevent misunderstandings before coming out into the open.”, Says the Marketing Manager.

There are several cases brought forward by the law firm and for which the company was convinced that it was more appropriate to modify the message before launching it on the market. For example, the Italian branch of a German company operating in the field of home ceramics was advised against using the chosen headline, due to the risk of being accused of comparative advertising and damaging the image of a competitor. . “The advertising claim said:“ We exceed the standard ”, a message that wanted to underline how their products were of excellent quality and therefore exceeded the market average.

However, even if the term “standard” was written with a lowercase letter and was not decided with ulterior motives, it could be misunderstood and referring to Ideal Standard, a company in the same sector “, explains Pecchenino.

Or, there was the case of a clothing company for young people who decided to advertise their clothes using photos of actors, portrayed and rendered as a drawing, in some cases still living men. “Even if they weren’t original photos, the actors were q recognizable and there was a risk of unauthorized use of a character’s image; it was considered more appropriate to choose a different path ”.

Similar studies are carried out in case of a new packaging, to avoid something that already exists, perhaps not so much at national level as in the local area. Large industries generally operate on their own and carry out accurate investigations before introducing something new, but small structures can not always act in the same way: “In these cases, the intervention can be in two directions: analysis of existing packages to verify the possibility of inserting the offer, or graphic study of the packaging according to the customer’s needs ”, Pecchenino ends.

By marta bonetti

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