Sent over from Stan Waterman by email:
I got this from the Shark Research Institute (www.sharks.org) and
thought I ought to pass it along...
----- Original Message -----
From: Asiatic Marine Limited
To: Asiatic Marine Limited
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 9:21 AM
Subject: MasterCard/Shark Fin Promotion
Amongst some of the bad news coming out from Asia Pacific including the
spread of SARS, there is I am afraid another 'atypical' promotion from
Hong Kong for shark fin.
This promotion comes from MASTERCARD, as part of the MasterCard Premium
Selection within Hong Kong.
The advert recently seen in the SCMP (Post Magazine) reads-
Proudly presenting our May Programme of fine dining experiences:
Shark's Fin Buy One Get one Free (through one of their merchants) as
well as discounted dining at 2 other local hotels on offer.
Earlier this week I emailed MasterCard (HK) and then tried contacting
the respective advertising manager, leaving messages to call me back.
To this date he/she has not acknowledged my email nor returned my calls?
This polite form of response is not unexpected in Hong Kong.
As yet there is also no reply from the Corporations Headquarters where I
cc'd the email to various staff whom I expected might have had something
to add or say. Perhaps they have not had the time.
In the meantime before countless fins are given away I personally would
like to see this advert immediately withdrawn before it runs its course
through the month of May and for MasterCard (HK) to issue a statement
that such advertising campaigns might be better researched in the
future, and that using shark fin may not be such a rewarding example of
enticing customers to spend their money.
Having shark fins on offer, in a 'buy one get one free' promotion, is
what supermarkets use to entice customers to buy things like toilet
roll; the fins of the ocean's (a) apex predator and (B) a species that
is already globally threatened by the very shark fin trade does not need
this kind of non-sensical advertising nor to be given away as a
perceived infinite resource.
As I sit here looking at my MasterCard, (now seriously thinking what to
do with it) I urge you all over the weekend to write emails to those
concerned. There are plenty of us shark conservationists out there to
make a difference (remember Citibank, Hong Kong Tourist Board and many
other internet campaigns), so forward this email to colleagues & friends
etc as well. Ask those concerned at MasterCard to review their regional
advertising promotions and to be more accountable for the products they
use to attract big/small time spenders.
And you might want to think closely about how and on what you spend your
hard earned $$ before handing over your MasterCard for payment.
Some of the staff listed below are on the MasterCard website:http://www.mastercar...a_contacts.html
Georgette Tan, Vice President, Asia Pacific:
Joyce Lau, Staff, Hong Kong: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Gamsin, Vice President, Global Communications & Corporate Public
Chris Monteiro, Vice President, Global Marketing Communications:
Asia Shark Watch
Asiatic Marine Limited