Hong Kong's Untimely Tourism Campaign

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Hong Kong's Untimely Tourism Campaign

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APRIL 9--In an exquisite example of unfortunate timing, as the SARS epidemic rages in the Pacific Rim, magazine advertisements placed by the Hong Kong Tourism Board promote the city as a vacation destination that "will take your breath away." The half-page ad is appearing this month in a variety of British publications, including Cosmopolitan (which is where TSG found the below ad, placed prominently on page six of the fashion mag's April edition). Shortness of breath is one of the principal symptoms of severe acute respiratory illness, or SARS. The illness, which apparently began in China and then moved to Hong Kong, has resulted in about 100 deaths and more than 3000 cases worldwide. The tourism ad campaign was planned before the SARS outbreak and print ads could not be yanked in time. (1 page)

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