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Hong Kong protesters subvert Jimmy Choo billboards with anti-government messages

Advertising billboards have been used by protesters in Hong Kong to get their messages across as the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement rumbled on today, Monday 29 September.

Jimmy Choo poster

Tram shelter billboards carrying posters advertising luxury fashion brand Jimmy Choo, located on an arterial road in the centre of the financial district of Admiralty, have been defaced with anti-establishment slogans believed to be connected to the Occupy Central protests that started on Sunday night.

On one poster, the Jimmy Choo logo has been sprayed through and the words “Discover The Men’s Collection” changed to “Discover yourself” in English. In traditional Chinese, the message “Kick out capitalism” is written on either side of the logo.

On another poster, besides the words “Fuck capitalism” in English, is written in Chinese: “We need democracy, not billboards.”

Jimmy Choo defaced billboards

On a third poster, a Jimmy Choo model has a speech bubble drawn next to him that reads, in traditional Chinese slang and roughly translated, “Government should provide structure and develop our city, not enslave residents”.

Defaced Jimmy Choo poster

Another bank of Jimmy Choo tram shelter posters in the area, which has been blocked off by the Occupy Central protests as students remain sitting in groups in the road, also carry anti-government, pro-democracy messages, but the other ad sites in the area have been untouched. The wording below, roughly translated from traditional Chinese, reads: “Only believe in yourself, do not trust the government to help you.”

Jimmy Choo posters

Update: Tuesday 30 September. The billboards, which are managed by outdoor ad firm POAD, have been removed, as this picture taken tonight shows.

Stripped billboard site in Admiralty

The Occupy Central movement kicked off on Sunday evening in opposition to the way Hong Kong’s chief executive is elected. The movement has been dubbed the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ as umbrellas were used by protesters to protect themselves from pepper spray used by police.

Reporting on the protests proved difficult last night. CNN’s Ivan Watson had to stop his report after being hit by tear gas, as can be seen in this video.

Advertising and media companies in Hong Kong have given their staff the option to work from home to avoid the disruption caused by the protests, or join in the demonstrations. Spencer Wong, the CEO and chief creative officer of McCann Hong Kong, sent his staff an SMS last night that read: “The company will not blame or punish anyone who supports something more important than work.”

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