Looks have knocked wealth off its pedestal as the most desirable love-match characteristic in lonely hearts' advertisements across China, a City University of Hong Kong survey has found. Being tall, youthful and good-looking is now a virtual guarantee of a date, if not a life-long union, while money has taken a back seat. 'The emphasis on money is persistent, but youth, height and looks have become the main sales points in mainland personal ads,' principal researcher and City University's marketing professor Joe Zhou Nan said. 'One surprising result is the importance of height, which is not found in personal ads anywhere else in the world. 'For shorties, your chances are not good. And if you don't declare in your ad how tall you are, forget it. You're not going to get a reply.' The survey, titled 'For Love or Money', covers 3,790 personal advertisements from men and women in 10 national magazines from 1984 to 1995. It found 99 per cent described their age, 93 per cent their height and 83 per cent their personal appearance. Only 42 per cent advertised their income. Yet 78 per cent asked for attractive qualities such as a caring, compassionate or romantic nature, 65.5 per cent specified an age range and 60 per cent wanted good looks in a partner. Only 11 per cent asked for a long-term relationship and just 0.7 per cent stated a preference for a brief liaison. 'This is because if you specify long term, you may scare off a lot of people and if you say short term, they think you aren't serious,' Professor Zhou said. The research is to be published in the Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising. A similar survey for Hong Kong is under way. City University's Professor Oliver Yau Hon-ming and Jinan University's economics professor Lin Liqiong are overseeing the research.