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Men, money and TVB … the best of 2012

When we look back on what has been a fast, furious and fantastic year in news, two things stand out the most – men and money.

In a year which saw some 656,646 people visited this site to view 2.3 million pages, HSBC’s decision to gradually phase out its global brand strategy “The World’s Local Bank”, garnered the most clicks.

It’s fair to say 2012 has been a rocky year for HSBC, a bank under intense scrutiny from all corners of the globe about how it finds its way through some of the toughest economic circumstances we’ve seen in decades.

“The World’s Local Bank” tagline first launched in 2002 and HSBC has been one of the great success stories of modern marketing, consistently named number one financial services brand by industry bodies.

But Andrea Newman, the bank’s group head of advertising and marketing, told Marketing the move reflected the need for a “new conversation with customers and the markets we operate in about the future.”

But away from the banking sideshow, one story stood out, both online and across the streets of Central.

Indeed the launch Abercrombie & Fitch’s Hong Kong flagship store will be remembered for many reasons.

Most of those reasons include dozens and dozens of half naked blokes tearing through the streets of Hong Kong with hundreds of screaming women (and in some cases guys) in tow.

How A&F managed to avoid any kind of scandal with these young men was miraculous, but after a week or so of these shenanigans, I for one was happy to see them go.

So what else did you click this year?

Chanel No. 5’s rambling monologues with Brad Pitt was an obvious hit and The smell of creative disaster story generated thousands of clicks among readers. I still don’t understand what Pitt was talking about and to be honest, I thought the Saturday Night Live version was far more entertaining.

Celebrity mishaps were not far from the top five list and Angelababy’s Instagram post of a yet-to-be-launched camera, which landed McCann Shanghai in courts was a classic.

The Hong Kong model and actress was … yes was, brand ambassador for Panasonic’s Lumix series in China, but the partnership ruffled when she took a picture of the GF5 digital camera during a TVC shooting and uploaded it to her Instagram page in March 2012.

Unfortunately the camera was had not been launched and Panasonic quickly issued legal letters to McCann Shanghai to end the contract and ask for a refund of more than RMB9 million incurred cost, as well as damages of RMB1 million as the leaked photo “revealed business secrets and affected marketing strategies”.

Wrapping up this year’s best read was spectacular collapse of TVB’s online voting system for the Miss Hong Kong beauty pageant which left viewers furious and TVB red-faced.

TVB had promoted the pageant under the slogan of “one person, one vote for Miss Hong Kong”, and suspected hackers only made the story more alluring.

But what sort of year would it be without a social media disaster and McDonald’s stepped up to the plate with its #McDStories campaign, which started out with the best intentions but ended badly when disgruntled users took the opportunity to vent frustrations mentioning incidents such as finding finger nails in burgers, food poisoning, weight and even a rat sightings.

So here’s to the newsmakers of 2013 – it’s been great.

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