ROME — After 20 years as publicity chief at UIP, which releases Universal, Paramount and MGM product in Italy, Vito Matassino has moved over to Italy’s No. 2 film company, Filmauro.

To judge by the expansive plans announced by boss Aurelio De Laurentiis at the press meet where he made his bow as head of marketing, Matassino will have his hands full.

Adding to Filmauro’s standing interests in production, distribution, exhibition, homevid and music publishing, De Laurentiis is producing his first TV series, “SPQR,” for Mediaset, and has got his feet wet in the fledgling Italo vidgame industry, buying rights to a James Bond film.

De Laurentiis also announced he has reached an understanding with arch-rival Vittorio Cecchi Gori to jointly finance one or more theme parks. Their company will be called Play World.

Matassino’s appointment is meant to signal the banner’s intent to become a trend-grabber. “We’ll be the first in Italy to use merchandising as it ought to be used,” promised De Laurentiis, a longtime admirer of American business style. “We want to do things big.”

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