HK gov't launches global ad campaign to rebuild foreign investor trust

(Photo Credit: Lihkg)

While the Hong Kong government has withdrawn its controversial extradition bill, in the wake of intense worldwide media attention on the city's massive protests it has now set itself to the task of reassuring foreign investors through a series of global ad campaigns.

The first ad appeared on 5 September in The Australian Financial Review, a business and finance newspaper targeting industry professionals in Australia. Adopting a simple design - using a picture of Victoria Harbour with text superimposed on the sky - the ad stated, "You have read a lot, seen a lot, heard a lot about the events and protests in Hong Kong."

The slightly cryptic pitch of this campaign is that "what you read, see, hear - 'share' on social media - is just one piece of a complex social, economic and political jigsaw puzzle. It is a puzzle that we will solve on our own."

The ad aimed to reassure readers that the Hong Kong SAR government was determined to "achieve a peaceful, rational and reasonable resolution."

Other points the government has highlighted in this piece include a commitment to 'One Country, Two Systems' which the ad stated, "provides the constitutional guarantee for Hong Kong's continued development and success as a free and open society and economy", while "remaining a safe, open, welcoming and cosmopolitan society and an internationally connected, vibrant and dynamic economy."

"We will no doubt bounce back. We always do," the ad concluded.

South China Morning Post today reports that a full-page and full-colour ad in The Australian Financial Review would cost about US$13,600. The ads are also set to appear in major newspapers in North America, Europe, Australia, and across Asia over the next week.

It's not the first time that an ad campaign related to the anti-extradition bill protests was launched in foreign countries. In late June, protesters crowdfunded a series of ads calling for international help from members of G20 that were published in newspapers across 13 countries including the US, the US, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Spain. In late August, a similar campaign was launched earning one of these works a nomination for a Nikkei Advertising Award in Japan.

Additionally, the Hong Kong government also recently launched a campaign aimed at Hongkongers, encouraging unity. The video at the centre of the campaign was not received well and attracted much derision from locals.