by Nicole Martinelli
The death toll for Italy’s sexy pinup calendars has sounded: even truck drivers are sick of them.
Marketing experts are worried: these nearly-nude calendars are a 10 million USD a year industry in Italy and magazines that feature them as an extra often sell astronomical quantities with the right starlet or TV host bearing all. So worried, in fact, that they commissioned a poll of 1,000 truck drivers about calendar preferences. The sordid truth? Pulchritude is out, sanctity is in.
“The vulgarity represented by nude porn stars is beautiful, up to a certain point,” said Vincenzo Iuzzolino, president of a national truck driver’s association. “But it’s not in vogue as much as it was a few years ago. Images of Padre Pio are very common, especially among the bulk of devout drivers from the South.”
According to the truck driver poll, 76% prefer to hang religious symbols or calendars over pinups. If pressed, more than half would choose the ‘classy’ pics of respected sports journalist Paola Ferrari, 44 and mother of two, over the go-go girls, models and former-reality show contestants on offer for 2005. The litmus test for whether respondents are telling the truth or only trying to appear virtuous is perhaps the low number of truck drivers who say they hang pictures of their wives and children: a paltry 18%.
Just what does a sexy calendar have to do to get a man’s attention? Quite a lot, if the ‘coffin calendar’ is any indication. For the second year running, a calendar from a coffin maker in Rome features 12 months of live models illustrating final resting places.
In a nod to propriety, the pinups are more clothed than most calendars — they all wearing black bras and panties — and some look slightly sheepish as they hold carpentry tools as props. It may well be the nail in the coffin for the genre.
Religious calendars have always sold well in this predominantly Catholic country. The almanac style and homespun wisdom of Frate Indovino, “brother fortune teller,” was a top seller for over 50 years but when the good father died 2002, it looked like the end of an era. The priest’s publishing house decided to keep going, though, and further interest in religious calendars was boosted when Padre Pio, a 20th-century mystic said to have borne stigmata, became a saint two years ago.
An unscientific poll of newsstands in central Milan, where calendars of both stripes crowded for attention, showed the race may be long.
“It’s not over yet, the rush to buy calendars hasn’t happened so far,” newsstand owner Rosina Casari said. “Last year, though, we sold more calendars of animals and angels than ones with models, it looks like the reign of the girly calendars is finally over.”?photo + text 1999-2004 zoomata.com
This is an original news story. Play nice. Please use contact form for reprint/reuse info.
365 Days in Italy Calendar 2005