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Protesters urge authorities to pull ‘misleading’ MTR Guanzhou rail link ad

A number of protesters gathered outside the Communications Authority on Monday to summit a complaint to the watchdog, demanding thorough investigations on an ad that promotes the city’s controversial cross-border high-speed rail link.

Activists from the Co-location Concern Group, who protested outside the Communications Authority, called the advertisement “misleading” as it claimed that rail passengers could reach Guangzhou from Hong Kong in 48 minutes.

In the commercial by the MTR Corporations, two office workers, Kim and Ching attend the same business meeting in Guangzhou, with Kim taking the high-speed rail and Ching using traditional ways to cross the border. At the end, Kim arrives in Guangzhou comfortably after 48 minutes, while Ching is forced to rush to the meeting. The subtitles, however, read that Kim arrives in “Guangzhou South”, a location that is 40 minutes to an hour of subway transit time away from downtown Guangzhou.

The concern group, which included localist activist as well as former and current Hong Kong lawmakers, said the commercial breaks the Communications Authority’s generic code of practice on television advertising standards, which states that information “must be accurate and not misleading by concealing or failing to make clear significant facts”, and that TVB, which has been broadcasting the advertisement, has also breached the TV code of practise.

They demanded CA to “investigate and pull down the ad” as it’s deliberately misleading the audience.

As of yesterday, the authority has received 318 complaints against the commercial since it first aired around two weeks ago. It said it would look into the complaints in accordance with established procedures.

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