Full-page environmental ad draws flak

Updated: 2013-02-21 20:12

By Cang Wei (chinadaily.com.cn)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

The environmental protection bureau of Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, was criticized by Internet users on Thursday for buying a full-page advertisement promoting its environmental achievement, which was seen as a gesture in the face of recent criticism.

The advertisement was published after two directors of its branches were offered large sums of money by local netizens to swim in polluted rivers.

On Feb 16, businessperson Jin Zengmin offered 200,000 yuan ($32,000) on the Internet inviting the director of the environmental protection bureau of Rui'an city to swim in a contaminated river for 20 minutes.

Jin also posted four shocking pictures of the heavily polluted rivers.

On Tuesday, another netizen offered 300,000 yuan inviting the director of the environmental protection bureau of Cangnan county to swim for 30 minutes in a river covered with oil and rubbish.

The two places with polluted rivers are both under the administration of Wenzhou.

Media commented that the invitations are to draw the attention of local environmental protection officials to the severity of pollution in local waters.

But surprisingly, the environment watchdog of Wenzhou published a full-page ad in the Wenzhou Evening newspaper on Tuesday, declaring that Wenzhou was recognized as a model for environmental protection in the province in 2012, and that public satisfaction of the local environment has increased by 4.6 percent.

The ad sparked an outcry among angry netizens, who believed it was not the time for the environmental watchdog to promote its achievement.

In addition, as the full-page advertisement cost 140,000 yuan ($22,400), netizens said it is not proper for the bureau to use taxpayers' money for such self-promotion.

Related Stories:

$32,000 for filthy swim?

$16,000 offer for 10-minute swim in polluted river

$32,000 offer for 20-minute river swim