The Consumer Council has advised people to look beyond celebrity endorsements when shopping for gym and health club memberships. It said they should consider whether the club fits their needs, and be wary of promises that seem far-fetched. This follows the recent launch of a fitness franchise in Hong Kong themed after action superstar Jackie Chan. Rival chain Fitness First is also set to launch a new celebrity-based endorsement line-up. Fitness First said actor Michael Tong Man-lung would appear in its advertising and promotional material, as well as current spokesman actor Simon Yam Tat-wah. A council official said: 'Go in with your eyes wide open. Consumers must look beyond the advertising puffery and focus on the tangible in the terms and conditions.' He also reiterated the council's concerns that consumers should be wary of pre-payment plans, as some do not allow members to terminate their membership early and they may be left out of pocket. Celebrity endorsement has become increasingly popular with local health clubs. Other celebrity gym endorsements include actress Charlie Young Choi-nei, who publicly supports Philip Wain International clubs while the face of Canto-pop king Aaron Kwok Fu-sing is featured on billboards for budget chain Physical. Fitness First Hong Kong managing director Kent Richards defended the use of celebrities, and said all those featured in the club's advertising were members who visited the chain's outlets regularly. He said the new celebrity line-up was part of a programme entitled 'Friends of Fitness First', which showcased the club's ordinary members alongside stars who used the club. A spokeswoman for California Fitness, a partner in the Jackie Chan venture, said no attempt was being made to persuade people that by joining the club they could become an action superstar. 'But he is a perfect role model and it just shows no matter how old you are, you can benefit from fitness.' The company said the star of such films as Shanghai Knights and Drunken Master would be helping develop martial arts classes.