Poster gets attention, but some say message stinks

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 October, 2011, 12:00am


There are many words in the English dictionary to describe what it is like to be in love, but the one used on a poster in MTR stations in Hong Kong has not exactly tugged at the heartstrings of some commuters.

Shaw Mei-kwan is starring in the comedy play Love is Shit, written by Hong Kong playwright Wong Chi-lung, which has been advertised on posters all week in MTR stations. The one-woman play is being shown at the Shouson Theatre at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in Wan Chai from November 17 to 20.

The play's Chinese name on the advertising poster is Love is Snow - which refers to the female protagonist whose name is Snow. But because of the similarities between the English translations of snow and shit, the producers decided to use the derogatory term in the English title as a little twist to grab attention.

This it has done, but not without annoying a few people along the way.

'My children are adults now, but I definitely would not like my 14-year-old grandson seeing this,' Sia Lee, an X-ray technician at a private clinic in Central, said. 'There are enough bad influences as it is.'

Cosmetics importer Coco Lau, who has two boys aged 16 and 18, agreed: 'I think it's offensive and not healthy,' she said.

The show's co-producer, Horace Tsang, insisted they had done nothing wrong, although he admitted that they were deliberately playing with the wording and that the production's title translated into English from Chinese was not exact.

'Yes, the translation is not exactly right, but many people's relationships turn to poo-poo,' Tsang said.

Tsang said that people liked the English title because their target audience was female office workers aged 25 to 35 who had been through bad relationships. The MTR said it had not broken any law by using a poster that contained a swear word.

'Advertisements in the MTR network are handled by our sales agent,' MTR Corporation spokeswoman Nicole Tsang said. 'All advertisements should comply with terms and conditions as specified in the advertising rate card and the laws of Hong Kong.'