Mannings succumbs to dose of optimism

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 May, 1996, 12:00am

Mannings, the Hong Kong chain of chemist stores, has a clever new method of raising funds for advertising.

Spencer Po, the retailer's director of merchandise and marketing, has written to suppliers of items sold at the shops with the following 'request'.

'Dear Mr [company representative], Mannings has decided to embark on a new venture to get greater exposure on television.

'Our main objective is to promote branded products, and in so doing, we hope to achieve a wider sales spectrum plus an increased volume in sales.

'To do this, we need your EXTRA support in backing us with funds to launch a series of television/radio/ press advertisements.' Attached is a sheet of paper which asks for a contribution - the one sent to me specified $2,000. Added were the following notes: '1. Please sign one copy and return to Mannings not later than 31 March 1996. Should we have not received reply from you, we presume you concur the proposal and charge will be debited automatically.

'2. For all advertised products, we expect to received a promotional discount of minimum 6 per cent.' What an excellent scheme. I propose that customers of Mannings write to the firm's head office, at 26 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, letters such as the following: Dear Sir, We would like some money.

Give us some.

$2,000 would be good.

If we don't get a prompt reply, we will assume you agree and will help ourselves from the cash registers in your shops.

All the best, etc etc. John Budge, of Wilkinson and Grist, was intrigued by the name of a company named in the Supreme Court writs yesterday: Chinglish Investment Co.

We didn't know you could buy shares in a language! At the recent annual general meeting of Prime Success International Group, managing director Chen Hsien Min revealed that his English name is Keeper, because he played in goal for his school soccer team for seven years. Good thing his school game wasn't cricket, which features defence positions known as Silly Mid-On, Square Leg and Deep Mid-Off. What a disaster the new Equal Opportunities Commission is.

In its first test case, the Lippo Securities trousers issue, practically everyone in Hong Kong, including the perpetrators, agreed the no-trousers rule was wrong.

But not commission boss Fanny Cheung Mui-ching.

On Monday, the pathetic display of ignorance and intolerance shown by the residents of Richland Gardens protesting about the proposed opening of an AIDS clinic nearby, needed urgent condemnation by anyone in a position to comment on discrimination.

But Fanny Cheung failed to deliver.

She is obviously too weak and womanly for the task. Clearly we should get rid of this feeble girlie and put a man in the job.

If that doesn't goad her to action, nothing will. What a bad idea to call the new disco in the Bank of America Tower 'JP Encounter'.

I don't know about you, but the very last person I would want to encounter on a wild night out is a Justice of the Peace. According to a recent feature in Time magazine, the price of yachts in Hong Kong has gone through the roof, I hear from Steve Matthews, of the University of Hong Kong.

As the day of reckoning approaches (398 to go), the wealthy in the territory want to make sure that they can get to Singapore under their own steam if necessary.

'This opens up the possibility of refugee camps for Hong Kong's boat people . . . presumably lined with Bally boutiques and shark's fin restaurants,' he said. One wouldn't want there to be any misunderstandings about the new law for security guards that comes into effect on Saturday.

It states that old guards over 65 will have to retire unless they work in single-block buildings.

It doesn't say anything about the old guard who, as we all know, can work up to the age of 93 and remain in command. Possibly the worst hotel press release I have seen in my life has just been released upon us by the China Hotel in Guangzhou.

It was sent in by Alison Bareham, of Executive Media. It read: Dr Homy [sic] Kissinger visits China Hotel The last secretary of state from America, Dr Hamy [sic] Kissinger visited Guangzhou on April 21, 96.

Dr Hemy [sic] Kissinger enjoyed their stay at the China Hotel and were pleased with the Hotel's attentive service and delicous cui-sine.

The use of the plural in the last paragraph can be forgiven since the writer seems to think Homy / Hamy / Hemy Kissinger is a sort of god-in-three-persons.

He probably wouldn't disagree.