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Abstinence ad said to be publicity stunt

Abstinence ad said to be publicity stunt

Updated: 2012-03-22 07:43

By Shi Yingying in Shanghai and Cao Yin in Beijing (China Daily)

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Tu Shiyou, a 38-year-old Web celebrity who advocates chastity, is advertising for a man who can go without sex for three years after marriage, a move an online promoter claimed is just a publicity stunt that he helped organize.

Abstinence ad said to be publicity stunt

Tu has some other exacting demands for any potential partner. Her requirements were posted on Sina Weibo, one of China's largest micro-blogging platform, on Tuesday.

The Hubei native is now looking for a man to call her own, and the conditions include he must be unmarried, under 40 and have a master's degree or above.

Another condition that may be difficult to meet is that her partner must agree to abstain from pre-marital sex.

Tu came to public attention in February when she published a medical certificate online to prove that she is a virgin and launched Preserve Virginity, a website that promotes sexual abstinence for women under 23.

But seeking publicity was the major reason for advertising the requirements, according to the man who claimed to have helped organize it.

"Tu came to me and asked for my advice to boost her web identity earlier this year - that was when I came up with the idea of a marriage-seeking advertisement," Wang Penghui, the deputy general manager for the online social network, said on Wednesday.

Wang said he made up the draft for Tu's lonely-hearts advertisement on March 2, and they choose to post the ad after the annual national legislative meeting, which ended last week, to grab more media attention.

Calls to Tu went unanswered on Wednesday.

Without revealing the names of his previous "Web stars", Wang said he had created many Web celebrities.

Tu's ad certainly garnered publicity with almost 60,000 micro-bloggers leaving comments. More than 3,000 people took part in an online poll on Sina Weibo on the rights and wrongs of pre-marital sex.

Tu, according to some comments, was just the latest example of someone using the Web to gain publicity.

Mao Taotao, a public relations official with Sina, said it will not intervene with online posts so long as they do not violate laws and regulations.

Yu Guoming, a professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at Renmin University of China, said the public should not be surprised at some people using the Internet for publicity.

"Online hype and self-promotion are normal on the Internet," Yu said.

Hu Shoujun, a sociology professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the era of online hype will end soon, as netizens are becoming more savvy.