Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings

Lai See

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 August, 2006, 12:00am

Profanity edict for pr consultants just a case of emotional censorship

Lai See has always felt a little sorry for public relations consultants. In public they are allowed only one emotion - enthusiasm.

How depressing to learn, then, that some are even subject to emotional censorship in the private realm.

From Ogilvy Hong Kong, one of the town's biggest PR agencies, comes news that managing director Clara Shek has ordered her employees not to swear in the office.

'It occurs to me that certain individual staff have been swearing in the office out of frustration,' according to Ms Shek's memo to senior staff. 'I found this unprofessional behaviour totally unacceptable and offensive to many others. I did a quick check and found that people did get offended by this kind of behaviour.'

It gets worse. 'I ask that you communicate with your respective team members that swearing and loud profanity affects other people and is not allowed in the office and violation of this will result in termination of their employment. If we hear it the first time, the concerned staff will get a verbal warning. If this happens again, a written warning will be given. And if this happens a third time, the staff will be terminated.'

Lighten up, Ms Shek. Anyone who has to spend as much time with journalists as your flacks do is entitled to the occasional profane oath.

No roman holiday for next snappers

The paparazzi prowess of Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's Next Magazine knows no geographical bounds.

The latest issue splashes with a cover story about tycoon Li Ka-shing and his girlfriend Solina Chau Hoi-shuen who are shown holding hands in the streets of Rome.

Mr Li, seemingly unaware of his photographic escort, checked into the Westin Excelsior Hotel last Sunday morning and ate lunch (cost Euro330 per head) with his inamorata at the Eden Hotel before visiting the headquarters of 3 Italia (which Lai See imagines as a bottomless pit with a door attached).

According to Next, Mr Li met with Orascom Telecom chairman Naguib Sawiris, already a strategic partner in Hutchison Telecom International, to discuss a possible investment in Wind, the third-largest phone operator in Italy, which plans to list next year.

Hutchison Whampoa, Mr Li's flagship, offered no comment on the report.

li money goes

to work

Talking about Mr Li, it is nice to see him walking his talk in philanthropy.

Yesterday it was disclosed that he had donated his 29.5 per cent stake in CK Life Sciences, worth about HK$2.4 billion, to the Li Ka-shing Foundation.

We understand that most of his private portfolio - save for his holdings in Cheung Kong, Hutchison Whampoa and Husky Energy - gradually will be injected into the charitable entity.

CK Life has not paid a dividend since it went public four years ago. This latest move may mean that is about to change.

progress goes long way for cathay

Cathay Pacific Airways has named its newly acquired 100th aircraft 'Progress Hong Kong'.

The name was picked by a panel headed by chief executive Philip Chen Nan-lok from 1,400 entries. At the time of the handover, Cathay named its newest plane 'The Spirit of Hong Kong'.

Progress Hong Kong will be flying between Hong Kong, Taipei, Sydney and Dubai in the next week. Catch it if you can.

new steward in jockey club saddle

The aforementioned Mr Chen will be inducted today as a steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. He and one other unnamed person will replace chairman Ronald Arculli, the chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, and Paul Cheng Ming-fun, the chairman of Link Reit.

The smart money expects John Chan Cho-chak, (right) managing director of Transport International Holdings, to take Mr Arculli's place atop the racing hierarchy.