PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 May, 2005, 12:00am

Smartone advert within an advert confusing
At first glance, there would appear to be few links between the Motorola E375 and Sharp SX813. One is an ordinary 2G camera phone and the latter is SmarTone's much-touted exclusive 3G handset.

So we were surprised to note recently that both shared an advertising budget.

SmarTone has placed a large advertising billboard in Causeway Bay displaying its Sharp SX813. The mobile operator has even put in a real video screen on the 'billboard phone' so that on-lookers experience 3G capabilities.

But the operator's choice of footage is somewhat distracting - a music video performed by Cantonese heartthrob Alex Fong Lik-sun, featuring not only him but also his Motorola E375.

Mr Fong is the featured celebrity for promoting Motorola's E375 handset. The video plays in its full 'advertorial' version (ending not with the good-looking Mr Fong but with a close-up of the Motorola handset), all inside the screen of SmarTone's celebrated Sharp 3G handset.

Potential SmarTone customers - including an Earful reader - were left scratching their heads as to which phone to choose.

Some Games playing ahead of the Beijing Olympics
China Mobile and China Netcom are the official telecoms service provider for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, but it seems that Australian giant Telstra had made its mark on the Beijing Games even before the two mainland firms were selected by the Games' organisers.

A source recently told Earful that Telstra helped the Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games prepare the bidding document submitted to the International Olympic Committee.

In fact, in 2000 - one year before China won the right to host the Games - officials from Beijing flew down to the Sydney Olympics to learn the logistics of hosting the event, where Telstra was the official telecoms supplier. Today, Telstra is still serving as a consultant to the committee.

This makes Earful wonder if Vodafone, 3.3 per cent shareholder of China Mobile, and working closely with the mainland giant in preparation for 3G, has any plans to capitalise on the globally-televised event through its association with the official supplier.