Great publicist, but not of himself, and a noble farewell like a style lesson to mocking ignorance
The world that considers it its inalienable right to stick a knife in one's mouth at the table, indeed that has always ignored the total inappropriateness of doing so, last weekend found itself united on social media to mock, mock, trample amidst screams and jeers the death of Duke Diego de Vargas Machuca and the long page of obituaries that accompanied the announcement in the Corriere della Sera. Naturally he did not know or even minimally suspected its existence, despite the fact that until the mid-1990s Diego de Vargas had been a high-profile advertiser and one of the family palaces, in Vatolla, in Cilento, five hundred years ago gave shelter to Giambattista Vico for a decade.
Of Asturian origin, in the front row of the Reconquista, the very ancient family arrived in Italy in the mid-seventeenth century, rich in lands and offices granted by Philip IV including the governorship of Capua. Incunabula and sixteenth-century books of his original property are found scattered in all the most important national libraries, including Marciana, and to summarize the de Vargas Machucas are related to all the families of which one never reads about in the newspapers except, as per rule, not even more at birth but only in death. Precisely.
“Ok, but who the f*ck is the duke de Vargas Machuca”, title of an online newspaper (sic), just to say where we are with the journalistic ability to find information even when there is plenty of it. And it wasn't even the worst epithet that has been reserved for that tall, thin man, with the great nose of a hidalgo, who in 1992 took over the reins of Publicis, then as now one of the most important agencies in the world, moved its offices in front of the Rai of Milan which now welcome the Confindustria Moda associations, and also took with him to relaunch it an old associate, Aldo Biasi, the creative who won all the wins with the Johnny Lambs commercials, that nick-mimicking of Gianni Agnelli which today sounds like a nemesis, given that that little game of names has turned against de Vargas today in the only country that judges the nobility, impossible to counterfeit and adorn itself with as the so-called luxury brands try to do with the story of the 'heritage, not even obtainable last minute like the nobles "of the lineup" of Umberto of Savoy who fled to Portugal, an intolerable affront to the TikTok presentism in which he spends his days and the custom-built height horizon on which he measures his success.
De Vargas Machuca left Publicis Italia (at the time Publicis FCB) in 1996 after having won her a few other prizes at Cannes, in a not exactly brilliant financial situation. She returned to tend to his property and since then no one has heard of him. Until the spirit of the only true nobleman who pleases the national sans-culottes, who is obviously the Marquis Del Grillo, but not the authentic one whose arrogance the chronicles of the time take pains to narrate, but the likeable scoundrel played by Alberto Sordi , has returned to appear behind the post of a guy who is a music critic by trade in that sink of lean populism that has become facebook, indeed a destination, and a boorish race has been unleashed for the name-day insult that has touched his daughters of de Vargas, her friends, her nieces “and there's one called Laudomia”. Laudomia, what an affront, what an arrogance, when instead you can call your daughters Samantha and Deborah with her H, condemning them to face all the doors of any social elevator that should ever open.