Airbrushing life: HSBC cormorant fishing advertisement

Just a small thing that’s been bugging me. That HSBC ad with the old Chinese guy and his cormorant fishing aid.

Note the bird. Its instincts are to dive for fish … and eat the catch. The ingenious Chinese, when harnessing its fishing skills, realised that you need to find a way to stop it eating the fruits of its own labours. Know how they do it? They sensibly tie a tether around its neck to stop it swallowing.

I know this because I, and every other tourist to Guilin, have marveled at this co-operation between human and nature and observed the nifty neckwear.

And yet, in the ads, the glossed up avian star sports a bare throat. Some smart cutting going on?

HSBC, formerly the Midland. “We brought you opium. Now we bring you respect.”

More on animals. Watching scientists dissecting a giraffe on TV and wondering why they’re wearing bright orange gitmo suits.

Madam Miaow says … visit Anna Chen’s website here:


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5 thoughts on “Airbrushing life: HSBC cormorant fishing advertisement”

  1. The reed/twine IS tied around the neck of the bird and it is located towards the lower 1/3 of the neck. The fisherman is wise enough to know that the fish can be transported and then coughed up- take look again and you can see the twine in your "evidence".
    Cormorant what may…

  2. First it's wasps, then it's pigs and now you've got tweety birds as the main story. Have you swallowed an animal encyclopedia?

    What's next Pussy Cat whoh whoh whoh whoh whoh.

  3. Hello Madam Miaow. I was introduced to your blog by Renegade Eye. A blog I follow with interest. I have been following you in silence. I finally decided to break my silence. 🙂

  4. Ha! That's a good point, Yin. So we are worth something in their evil capitalist scheme after all.

    Guilin is so classically beautiful. Taking the boat up the river is like sailing through a painting.

    Indeed, it was Channel 4's Inside Nature's Giants. They reckon the giraffe is one animal that's reached the extreme end of its evolution because it's such a mad design (oops! not intelligent design. Not with Richard Dawkin on set.)

    Know how it holds it's head and huge neck erect? (The giraffe, not Richard and his mighty brain.) That's its default position due to massive tension in a thick ligament that runs all the way down the rear of its neck to its back like a spring.

    Fascinating stuff.

  5. I need to go guilin. Such gorgeous views. =)

    It makes me laugh that the only adverts with chinese people in them are banks e.g: Thomas from Halifax, That chinese family in the previous HSBC advert and now the chinese man. =)

    Yay for more chinese on tv. =)

    Dissecting animals? You're watching channel 4/channel 5 aren't you? they always have crazy things like that.

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