Until 1945 Italian governments invested massive resources in media propaganda to exhalt Italian image, genious and Italian products.
After 1945 there was a critical rejection of this move, as it was considered a Fascist attitude.
Italian republican governments after 1945 have had no vision nor structured policy towards a ‘nation-branding’ goal about Italy.
There is still today indeed a kind of hidden complex in the mind of many Italians that defending and cherishing a patriotic communication message about Italy and Italians is nothing but fascist.
External industry competitors from other countries have faced no opposition when disseminating these stereotypes about Italy and Italians . Your stereotypes are a clear evidence mirroring this situation today.
No protest was raised by any political force in Italy when some Germans made jokes about Italian motor products of F. I. A. T. (Fehler In Allen Teilen) or when Der Spiegel put the gun inside a dish of Italian spaghetti.
When the first telephone cards were produced in Italy in 1984, I remember the astonishment of Dutch engineers, as they had never seen phone cards before and they could not believe they could be used in public telephone booths instead of money coins
. There is a general lack of “nation-branding policies” in Italy, so that any person feels entitled to wake up from his bed and repeat ruthlessly bashing comments against Italy and Italians heard by somebody else.
Countless foreign people came to me during breaks in university lectures and coffee times after business meetings smiling and starting their speech by saying to me… “…but Berlusconi?”.
These same people would never run to an U. S. national during a coffee break by saying…‘but Clinton’?…nor would they start conversation by saying ‘but Trump…?’.
Movies of New Realism of 1946 onwards as Ladri di Biciclette have not exported any glorious image of Italy abroad, as there are still people believing that we Italians still pass our time to steal bikes and steal wallets. I cannot mention you how strong was the impact abroad on movies of Godfather (an U. S. saga, by the way), so that still people I meet abroad suspect I can be a member of Mafia.
You can compare the stronger nation-branding policies implemented by other governments, so that you would not have a first image of the Japanese as members of Yakuza, not even would you think that any Frenchman you meet is a boss of the Marseillais, nor that your Chinese neighbours are all members of a Triade, Try to bash the image of their respective nations and try to foresee the fierce reaction from any Chinese, American, Japanese or French person whom you would meet in a train, in a pub, in a university seminar