Shower of cash lands Vietnamese media firm in hot water at book launch in Hue

By VnExpress   June 21, 2017 | 08:19 am GMT+7

The sight of money raining from the sky in the ancient city quickly sparked outrage on social media.

Authorities in the central city of Hue on Tuesday fined a media company for organizing a book promotion that involved releasing real cash from a hot-air balloon.

Ballooning Media Co. Ltd. held the launch of “Dare to Get Rich” by Pham Tuan Son at the city's Freedom Stadium last Friday.

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Pham Tuan Son on board the balloon. Photo by Nhat Linh.

The event involved Son going up in the hot-air balloon and showering VND5,000 and VND10,000 bills down onto 150 actors waiting in the stadium, who were filmed trying to grab the cash as part of a promotional video for the book.

The company was fined VND7 million ($300) for failing to gain permission to post advertising boards and banners promoting the event, according to Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The money stunt was only for filming purposes, so authorities could not fine the organizers for that particular action, said Cao Chi Hai, deputy director of Hue's Department of Culture.

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VND5,000 and VND10,000 bills were dropped onto the stadium.. Photo by Nhat Linh.

The event quickly received public backlash on social media, with many people saying they found it offensive and harmful to Vietnamese culture.

Son claimed the stunt was purely symbolic, and only aimed to deliver the message: “Opportunities to make money and to get rich are all around us. The question is whether we can see them and grab hold of them.”

“I just wanted more people to know about my book. It's up to them if they find it offensive or not,” said Son.