A district councillor is calling on a shopping mall in Sham Shui Po to take down an anime-style billboard advertisement, calling it inappropriate and not friendly-friendly.
Nicole Lau, who serves the Nam Cheong area, led a small demonstration on a footbridge outside Dragon Center on Thursday afternoon to protest the colorful billboard, which features scantily clad women posing next to slogans like “focus on the good” and “don’t forget your original intentions.”
“Recently, we’ve received a lot of comments from residents, particularly parents, who think that the billboard… contains indecent elements,” said the pro-Beijing councillor.
Pointing to the billboard by the side of the footbridge, Lau said: “As you can see, the women are wearing little clothing and are very exposed.”
She added that there are many schools in the area, and that parents feel uneasy when they walk past the billboard with their children.
In comments on Lau’s Facebook page, some netizens thanked her for taking action, but others criticized her for making a big deal out of a small matter.
“There are so many problems in Sham Shui Po,” one comment read. “And you go after something so pointless? Don’t you feel like you are wasting taxpayers’ money, doing all this trivial stuff to pretend you’re actually getting things done?”
Referring to the fact that Lau had pixelated an image of the billboard on her Facebook page, another netizen commented: “It’s your face that should be censored.”
Elphonso Lam, the local artist who designed the billboard, laughed off the criticism.
“Next step, cordon off the beaches and arrest all the women wearing bikinis,” he joked in a Facebook post.
第三季西九龍中心外牆 ''林祥焜goodgirl'' billboard上架！雖然今季因外牆維修，及受疫情影響遲到上架，卻是史上最壯觀，goodgirl整整霸佔外牆全部六幅 billboard ！#林祥焜 #elphonsolam
He also called veteran broadcaster Candy Chea “old-school” after she posted a picture of the billboard and said it “scared” her.
According to Lam, the billboard was erected in late August after a delay due to renovation work on the building. The series of advertisements is called “goodgirl.”
Lam is a well-known cartoonist in Hong Kong’s art scene who draws manga and Japanese style-inspired caricature.
His work has appeared in a Causeway Bay billboard promoting a co-working space, and he recently completed a mural at a Sham Shui Po restaurant that features a quirky amalgamation of women in bikinis, the Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower and bowls of vermicelli.
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