Lai See

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 November, 2010, 12:00am

The all-singing and all-dancing China Eastern

Glamour and flying have long been fairly close bedfellows. And China Eastern Airlines capitalised on these elements to draw crowds of, it must be said, mainly camera-wielding men, to its stand with a troupe of attractive 'flight attendants' that has been regularly giving singing and dancing routines over the past two days at the Zhuhai air show.

We're not sure if they are actual flight attendants but their alluring routines proved a big hit with spectators and the China Eastern Airlines stand attracted more visitors than others when the attendants gave a performance.

Air China, the country's flag carrier, has a more subdued stand. The chief attraction is three wooden cutouts of a pilot and two flight attendants with the face removed so visitors can poke their own faces through and be photographed either as a pilot or a flight attendant.

China Eastern appears to have won this contest and, hopefully, will one day transfer its obvious skills in marketing to the operations of its airline.

Disgrace insurance

One of the fastest growing areas of the insurance market is something called 'disgrace insurance'. Brands are increasingly taking out insurance against their celebrity endorser doing a Wayne Rooney or a Tiger Woods, that is, ahem, getting caught with their pants down.

According to Britain's The Grocer, high-profile celebrity sex scandals have pushed up these policies by about 30 per cent over the last few years. Brand owners face losing millions if they are forced to terminate partnership deals as a result of a public scandal.

'Either you lose the money or you get a policy that will pay the cost of you restarting a campaign,' Mark Symons, underwriter at insurance provider Beazley, told the magazine. Recent cases have seen Coke can plans to put Rooney's (pictured) face on Coke Zero products following allegations about his sex life. It is estimated that brands endorsed by Woods saw up to US$12 billion wiped off their value after his marital misdemeanours came to light.

The cover rests on whether an ambassador's actions can be said to be unforeseen or out of character, and therefore detrimental to a brand. Sounds like another lawyer's paradise.

First Eastern chief right on cue

Full marks to Victor Chu, chairman of First Eastern Investment. Speaking to a Hong Kong investment conference in London just minutes after news first broke about Prince William and Kate Middleton's engagement, he had this to say: 'I am sure the Hong Kong government will extend an invitation to Prince William and Miss Middleton to spend part of their honeymoon in Hong Kong.' The man's on message.

HK's 'affordable' hotels

It may come as a shock to Hong Kong's hoteliers but we can reveal that our city does not feature in the top 10 most expensive hotel rooms in the world.

According to Business Insider, the most expensive room is to be found at The Royal Penthouse Suite, President Wilson Hotel, Geneva. For a mere US$65,000 a night, you get a private elevator to their top floor room with views of Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva.

Next for US$40,000 is the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa on top of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The main focus of the of the room is the king size eight foot round rotating bed. Outside on the balcony there is a jacuzzi, and the room also includes a full size gym with a sauna and spa room.

In third place, Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel, New York at US$35,000 a night and Penthouse Prestige Apartments, Hotel Martinez, Cannes, at the same price. In fifth place, The Presidential Suite, Hotel Cala di Volpe, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia at US$31,000.

The most expensive room in Asia is at the Ritz-Carlton Suite, Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, which can be had for US$25,000 a night making it the ninth most expensive hotel room.

Stone costs a fancy US$46m

We all know that diamonds are said to be a girl's best friend but you would need to have a very good friend to get your hands on a rare pink diamond that smashed the world record for a jewel at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva on Tuesday, selling for more than US$46 million.

London jeweller Laurence Graff paid $46,158,674, for the 24.78-carat 'fancy intense pink' diamond, which he modestly named 'The Graff Pink'.

'It is the most fabulous diamond I've seen in the history of my career and I'm delighted to have bought it,' Graff said.

Dealers say that ongoing doubts about the stock market have helped drive up the value of gold and precious jewels.