Trading volumes on the stock market dwindled last Friday as investors made their way towards the World Cup Sevens rugby at Hong Kong stadium. Even Central's legal offices were half-empty as most of their gweilo partners braced for an afternoon of mauling, tackling and beer-guzzling. Local companies were keen to participate in the frenzy. Hewlett-Packard Hong Kong, the official imaging partner to the Sevens, provided digital photography booths for picture-happy fans. Lighthouse, a digital signage and video-panel maker, installed a 7.11-metre-by-5.33-metre screen outside the stadium that broadcast live coverage of the games for three days. The screen, similar to the one used for the Coca-Cola display at London's Piccadilly Circus, had already been used for Singapore National Day and a Red Hot Chilli Peppers tour. Lighthouse turned thousands of people unwilling to shell out $1,000 for tickets into full-fledged spectators. 'It can boost public awareness of our company and help sponsor the event in a more active way,' said Lighthouse managing director Mark Chan. Lighthouse's high-resolution screens can also be spotted at the airport, Star Avenue and Chungking Mansion on Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. 'We hope to prove that we are able to install one of these high-resolution screens inside the stadium,' Mr Chan said. 'The existing one is too old. It's time for a change.' skin-deep strategy Skin-lightening cosmetics remain a huge business in Hong Kong, despite concern that the products pose significant health risks for Asian women. Never mind that some mainland whitening products have been found to contain toxic ingredients such as mercury and lead. Hong Kong women - and, increasingly, men - are willing to spend big for a fair complexion. Even relatively conservative firms are catering to Asians' predilection for whiter skin to purvey a growing variety of make-ups, bleaches and creams purporting to make palefaces of the richest Asian complexions. The summer sun brings the briskest sales for such products, however. Estee Lauder has launched a $10 million spring campaign to beat competitors to the punch. The firm trumpeted its new skincare regime, Cyber White, on the covers of six leading beauty magazines this month and created a 'cyber tunnel' between the Causeway Bay MTR ticket concourse and Sogo department store. Poster advertisements featuring melanin-deficient actress and model Carolyn Murphy astride the escalators, shimmering under projected lights, reminded passers-by of the white ideal. 'It is very different from the usual quiet launch for us,' said Shirley Tai Yim-ting, Estee Lauder's brand general manager. 'But it is important to pre-empt the market and build a high recall rate from potential customers.' movable chairs Chairs are shuffling at the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4As) of Hong Kong since the departure of Mike Wong as chairman. Viveca Chan, group chairman and chief executive of Grey Global Group China and Hong Kong, takes up the chairmanship of the association, while Tom Kao, the Asia-Pacific deputy chairman of BBDO, becomes vice-chairman. Committee members include Royce Yuen, managing director of Ogilvy & Mather (HK); Janice Chan, Greater China managing director of M&C Saatchi; Ian Thurbon, Asia-Pacific chief executive and executive vice-president of TBWA; Mabel Leung, managing director of Starcom Worldwide; and Rob Sherlock, the regional creative director of Foote Cone & Belding. The association said it would work with educational institutions to recruit enthusiasm and talent to the advertising world. 'Working closely with local universities and corporate clients, 4As will expand the Ad School programme and define entry requirements for those wishing to join the advertising industry,' Ms Chan said.