The Hong Kong Tourism Board has withdrawn its multi-million-dollar City of Life advertising campaign from the East Coast of the United States because its theme was deemed inappropriate after the September 11 attacks. Board public relations manager Donna Mongan said it would be especially 'lacking in sensitivity' to continue the campaign in New York. '[The move] is similar to those of many companies who have pulled ads featuring the two twin towers and have had to rethink their marketing strategies,' she said, adding that the slogan would be used again once things had settled down. The board has also withheld a portion of its advertising budget from some US states. 'We have not cut our budget but are holding a portion that might otherwise have been used for the last quarter of 2001,' Ms Mongan said. Ian Swain, visiting president of US tour operator Far and Wide, criticised the move to withdraw advertising, saying it would take a long time to achieve the same level of recognition currently enjoyed by Hong Kong because Americans had short memories. Mr Swain said US travellers were shying away from long-term plans to travel to Hong Kong because of job instability and the economic downturn. The time frame between deciding to travel and making a booking had shrunk from six months to less than 30 days, making travellers more spontaneous about deciding when to visit, he said. Mr Swain was one of 200 travel industry representatives from 21 countries enjoying a $1.25 million trip to Hong Kong, courtesy of the Tourism Board, for the launch of a campaign to promote the city as a major tourist destination.