Hong Kong needs to sell itself overseas through a quality advertising campaign if it wants to attract foreign visitors and escape the recession, according to the chief executive of international advertising agency M&C Saatchi. The Saatchi chief, Michael Moszynski, criticised the Hong Kong Tourist Association for giving the agency just seven days to come up with a pitch for its advertising contract. 'Hong Kong's response is to do something faster and cheaper because during a recession everyone is doing the same; and you just cannot do it,' he said. The agency, which had been approached by the association, had refused the offer because of the time limit. Mr Moszynski said faster and cheaper was not the right strategy as there had been a flight to quality. 'You have to spend your way out of a recession,' he said. Speaking at the launch of Carlsberg Brewery's $12 million Hong Kong advertising campaign, Mr Moszynski said Hong Kong had traditionally looked internally but needed to think more about its external target market. M&C Saatchi co-founder Maurice Saatchi said it had been a very difficult year in Asia for advertising agencies. However, M&C Saatchi's operating revenue for this year was predicted to be 46 per cent up on the previous year. 'The forecast for 1999 is for similar growth,' he said.