Media and Advertising

Mining vs. real estate ads

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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