Miss Asia hopefuls let down as Caisy and rival steal the show

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 12:00am

And the winner is ... Caisy.

The territory's No2 broadcaster Asia Television created the buzz for its Miss Asia Pageant, making a return on Sunday after being suspended for five years, by claiming it would be the best ever in terms of the quality of the contestants - 18 beauties from around the region.

That may have been so, but as far as viewers of the extravaganza were concerned, the most memorable part of the show was its top sponsor - Caisy - a Guangzhou-based beauty products maker.

Media Eye noted the company's commercial appeared 41 times among the 80 advertisements (excluding 15 house ads) that aired during the nine advertising breaks during the 135-minute show.

Our patience was severely tested by this brainwashing and to make matters worse for ATV, the product's spokeswoman was none other than Marsha Yuan - a former Miss Hong Kong, the beauty pageant staged by rival TVB. She also got more airtime than Miss Asia.

For the record, with ATV being seen as a patriotic broadcaster, it was no surprise when the Miss Asia crown went to Hangzhou's Lu Jingjing, despite contestants from Thailand and Korea being tipped as favourites.

Earth girl

Jingjing is certainly proving a popular name in the beauty stakes these days - with mainland Olympic diving queen Guo Jingjing being signed up by Red Earth, the cosmetics arm of retailer Esprit, to be the company's face in China and Hong Kong for the next year.

Red Earth launched its autumn and winter products with a series of photographs of Miss Guo taken by photographer Wing Shya.

She will take part in nationwide marketing activities from next month.

'We were attracted by the confidence that shows in her eyes,' said a Red Earth spokeswoman. 'It represents women of today and suits our image.'

It also helps that Red Earth mascara is waterproof.

chua talks up his show

Robert Chua may be a television veteran, but he is never short of new ideas.

He is the man who created Hong Kong's all-time favourite television show Enjoy Yourself Tonight and Everyone Wins. He launched Asia's first online consumer forum ComplainAsia.com and also proposed that the government launch a game show to promote hygiene and another to lure tourists after the Sars outbreak.

Now he wants to provide entertainment for a disabled audience.

His Interactive TV channel, soon to be launched on Hong Kong Cable TV, will feature a talk show with two hosts, one talking and the other using sign language. Viewers will be invited to take part by sending mobile text messages. The show will air every Sunday, but it is hoped it will be expanded to seven days a week.

'It's something I want to do,' Mr Chua said. 'I want to educate the community including disabled people about social trends and issues.'

yao fever rages

The NBA continues to cash in on the slam dunking power of its biggest Asian star, Yao Ming.

Cable TV will launch a 24-hour NBA channel next week that will include live broadcasts of some games not covered by rivals ATV and ESPN.Yao fever is still raging in the mainland after the giant Houston Rockets star played a pre-season game against the Sacramento Kings in his home town of Shanghai.

Nielsen Media Research reports that more than one million Shanghai viewers tuned into the city's TV Sports Channel and CCTV-5 for the game - more than any other city in the country.

However, one surprising fact was that the average age of NBA fans in the mainland's richest city is 55 and above, and they accounted for 25 per cent of the audience.

About 22 per cent of the viewers were in the 45-54 age group, 20 per cent between 35 and 44, and the 25-34 age group only made up 7 per cent of watchers.

Who says basketball is for teenagers?