Media and Advertising

Mining vs. real estate ads

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Don't operate illicit coal mines.

Here's an ad from the front page of today's The Beijing News that at first glance looks like a government PSA: "Operating illicit coal mines is illegal."

Turns out it's been placed by a real-estate developer, who urges readers to "Invest in Wangpu," a development in the SOGO area south of Xuanwumen. The ad announces annual returns of 8.5% - is that really more lucrative than dealing in illegal coal?

It must be part of an edgy new campaign - previous weeks' ads had been pretty run-of-the-mill, but last Thursday, the company came up with the text "Holding up banks is illegal." Next week: "Embezzlement is illegal."

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