With only one month to go until the start of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, only half of the one million tickets have been sold.
In theory, organisers hope to eventually sell around 850K tickets. However, expectations of a boost after the Olympic torch began its two-month tour the length and breadth of Italy in early December have not been realised.
The main problem is that there has been little or no publicity in Italy for the Games.
Italy-wide advertising has suffered from cuts in marketing expenses during a series of cash crises over the past year.