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Cathay Pacific’s Same-Sex Advertisement Gets Banned

Cathay Pacific’s Same-Sex Advertisement Gets Banned
Jackie Reddy

A Cathay Pacific advertisement that depicts a same-sex couple holding hands has reportedly been banned by airport and transit authorities in the Hong Kong region. The advertisement is part of the airline’s Move Beyond campaign. The airline has been publicly outspoken in its support for diversity.

The South China Morning Post has reported that a Cathay Pacific advertisement which depicts a same-sex couple holding hands has been banned by authorities which operate both Hong Kong’s international airport and its mass transit system.

The advertisement was part of the airline’s Move Beyond campaign, an initiative that was meant to spotlight the carrier’s approach to diversity. The outlet reports that two unnamed sources say that the advertisement was “rejected” by both the Airport Authority Hong Kong, which runs Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), and the MTR Corporation, which operates the region’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system.

Authorities at HKG offered little comment on the matter, but a spokesperson explained that, “The [LGBT] visual was not included in the materials submitted to the [authority].”

A spokesperson for the MTR stated that the display of advertisement materials is coordinated via agency JCDecaux, adding, “clients should follow the contract terms and conditions of agency’s guidelines, to ensure the advertisements comply with the laws of Hong Kong as well as codes of practice in the advertising industry.”

According to the outlet, the Office of the Communications Authority, which governs telecommunications and broadcasting services within the region, has confirmed that there are “no restrictions of LGBT advertising.”

Cathay Pacific has spoken out in support of its campaign, saying, “We embrace diversity and inclusion. We are very diverse and our customers are too.”

[Image Source: Cathay Pacific]

View Comments (11)


  1. OUTraveling

    May 21, 2019 at 8:41 am

    The fungal creep of the ChiComs spread further into the Pearl of The Orient..

  2. alangore


    May 21, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Communists are atheistic. Why would they care about this issue?

  3. IanFromHKG

    May 21, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Well, alangore, a couple of responses here:

    (1) Hong Kong is not communist, it is capitalist – not just as a matter of practice, this is embedded in the Basic Law (our mini-constitution). Although there certainly are atheists in HK, there is a strong Buddhist and Christian (among other religions) presence in HK, which (just to give some examples) still has public holidays for Christmas and Easter.

    (2) Prejudice against homosexuality goes further than religious beliefs. There remains a strong cultural taboo against homosexuality in Chinese culture (including in Hong Kong), although I am glad to say it is diminishing, and each of Generations X, Y and Z has an increased acceptance of LGBT+ people.

    Sadly, HK has a long post-colonial track record of trying to appease. This is apparent at all levels of government, and apparently also at the Airport Authority and the MTR (both of which, incidentally, are fully (AA) or majority (MTR) government-owned, and government-controlled). The fact that our previous and current Chief Executives (head of government) are staunch Catholics hasn’t helped the LGBT cause, and the government has repeatedly refused to introduce legislation to prevent discrimination against the LGBT+ community.

  4. FlyPointyEnd

    May 21, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    It’s been a reverse since yesterday.

  5. FlyPointyEnd

    May 21, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    It’s has been reversed yesterday.

  6. FlyPointyEnd

    May 21, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    It has been reversed since yesterday.

  7. alphaod

    May 22, 2019 at 3:20 am

    Hong Kong has always been socially backwards. Don’t go around blaming mainland influence.

  8. OUTraveling

    May 22, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Mao was not too pleased with same gender relationships.

  9. Gizzabreak

    May 25, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Contributor notes HK is socially backward’s’ (sic) and don’t blame mainland influence. Since being handed back to China by the Brits mainland influence has prevailed, is continuously increasing, and will continue to do so until HK is indistinguishable from the mainland. As for socially backward, there are vast areas of the planet that include vast numbers of those of cultural and religious belief/s that are deeply averse to (and/or unaware of) the LBGT etc, etc, revolution. Those who belong to the alternative sexual identity ‘club’ and are not geographically ‘aware’ would be well advised to ‘bone up’ on local cultures, beliefs and tolerance levels before traveling to unfamiliar territory if they would prefer to use their return travel reservations on the date/s they planned.

  10. Jma12

    May 25, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    It would be interesting to see an interracial couple ad next

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