A good move against absurd ads

Updated: 2012-02-10 08:07

(China Daily)

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The Hainan provincial population and family planning commission will reportedly launch a "slogan-cleaning project" this year to remove "sharp-toned" family planning advertisements. The age when slogans such as "fewer kids, more pigs" and "severe punishment without mercy for violating family planning rules" were the norm will thus become history, says an article in Oriental Morning Post. Excerpts:

Perhaps the creators of the family planning slogan, "fewer kids, more pigs", used kids and pigs together so that it would have a greater impact on semiliterate villagers, but in doing so some rural officials exposed their attitude toward life.

The decision of the Hainan provincial government to remove such ads deserves praise and should be followed by other provinces and regions. In fact, apart from family planning, such absurd ads have also been used by other departments' publicity. For example, some buses have signs saying, "Spit outside" and some power department warning signs read, "Touch high voltage cable, you will die; if you don't die, you will be severely punished".

Such signs have not only failed to generate the intended response, but also become the butt of jokes. These slogans reflect how some officials in the past tried to solve problems through simple and, at times, crude ways.

They also make it important for today's officials to keep the "people-oriented" principle in mind. Though officials have started eschewing their old ways, they are still far from being adept at communication skills and sophistication.

(China Daily 02/10/2012 page9)