Singapore’s Popular Bookshop blasted for “corrupting minors” and using gimmicks to attract customers after it used posters featuring topless models as part of a campaign to promote reading at its Nanjing bookstore

Nanjing bookstore attacked for ‘naked reading’ campaign

Staff Reporter



A nude model searches for a book on a high shelf in this promotional poster for the store. (Photo/CFP) A large cardboard cut-out at the Nanjing store. (Photo/CFP)

A bookstore in Nanjing, capital of eastern China’s Jiangsu province, has been accused of poor taste after it used posters featuring topless models as part of a campaign to promote reading, reports the state-run China News Service. The posters showed topless models standing in front of bookshelves or sitting on chairs reading with their chests strategically obscured by books. The store, a branch of Singapore-based Popular Holdings, was blasted for “corrupting minors” and using gimmicks to attract customers. The store said the posters were part of a campaign that the company was holding in both Nanjing and Shanghai entitled “Reading naked brings your soul closer to books” which aims to show that reading can take different forms. People should strip off all the ornamentation of daily life in order to read. “There is no limitations to reading, it penetrates into every area of life,” the company said.Some readers doubted whether people would read a book just because the naked young women were reading them, and questioning what the relation was between reading and being naked.Others said the bookstore has sullied its reputation by using such a blatant gimmick. The store’s spokesperson said traditional print bookstores have been struggling to boost sales through discounts but to no avail. He said that only by trying to get people interested in reading would they be able to secure sales and the future of the industry. He added that the styles and slogans used in the posters are positive and not pornographic.

Similar marketing campaign were deployed at a book fair in Hong Kong in 2011. Models were used to promote books in and about the fair. The fair received heavy criticism for this, as some of the models revealed a lot of skin and stole the limelight by licking ice cream provocatively and even taking a public bubble bath.

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

One Response to Singapore’s Popular Bookshop blasted for “corrupting minors” and using gimmicks to attract customers after it used posters featuring topless models as part of a campaign to promote reading at its Nanjing bookstore

  1. good2begone says:

    If it encourages reading….I am all for it. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

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