Each business has a different way of doing public relations. But an electronics store in Hà Nội made an “unforgettable” reputation for its latest PR campaign. Late last month, Trần Anh Electronics Store hired young women wearing bikinis to welcome visitors and introduce air-conditioning products. And the company succeeded in creating quite a buzz, as the company’s name has become familiar with many locals.
Some people might praise the company’s plan to use PR girls in swimsuits as a creative way of advertising, but the majority of the public said it was tacky and created a bad reputation.
Images of promotion girls in two-piece swimwear helping customers park their motorbikes and leading them into the store, where they introduced products, have sparked fury on social media.
Despite an explanation from marketing director Trần Anh, who said that it was not a PR programme and the company had co-operated with a partner to make a sex education clip, a lot of net citizens expressed their criticism, saying the company tried to create a scandalous promotion to get attention.
“It’s hard to find a connection between air conditioners and gender,” said a reader.
Lan Hương, an office worker, said this type of advertising was especially disturbing because women, elders and children were in the store. Hương said she and her family would never go to the store after the incident.
Worse still, Hà Nội’s Department of Culture and Sports has decided to impose a VNĐ40 million (US$1,794) fine on Lê Việt Chung, from the marketing department of Trần Anh Electronics Store, for employing promotional girls in bikinis to greet customers.
Nguyễn Thanh Phong, chief inspector of the department, said the company had organised the marketing event without permission from the authorities.
Thief must be strong enough to commit a crime
People say that health is a treasure, and it might true for a thief like Nguyễn Văn Thành.
Taking advantage of the fact that the Unification Day and May Day holidays last four days, Thành decided to break into a supermarket to steal money.
As an employee at Xanh (Green) Supermarket, Thành knew every corner of it, so he carried a backpack containing rope, a flashlight, gloves, a hammer, food and drinking water and climbed onto the store’s roof the previous day to hide.
Thành waited until midnight when the supermarket security guard fell asleep, then entered the room where money is kept through the ventilation system using rope.
After breaking the safe locks and disabling the codes, he stuffed a large amount of money into his backpack.
But the backpack was too heavy, so he could not use the rope to escape through the ventilation system.
After a moment of thought, Thành decided to escape by the front door. But God not smile at him.
When he opened the industrial roll up door, the noise awakened security guards, who then called out to local residents for help. Thành was later arrested with more than VNĐ2.7 billion (US$121,000) on him.
He must have struggled to carry such a big package of money because Thành was only 1.6m high with a small figure, according to a police investigator.
Perhaps he can sign up for a gym after the incident, or at least start lifting weights in prison. -- VNS