Phuket to host ‘Global Ad Awards’, maybe

Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: Adman Patrick Ferrara has launched a campaign to promote ‘Global Advertising Awards’, to be held in Phuket in Febuary 2011, and he claims it will outdo, and eventually overtake, the 2010 Cannes Lions advertising fest.

According to Advertising Age, Mr Ferrara is holding out the prospect of the new Phuket event becoming the ‘world’s most coveted award’ within three to five years.

The cost of entry will be lower than Cannes, and the judges will be clients instead of peers, with awards covering print, television, radio, the Internet and other media he said.

The Ad Association in Thailand is supposedly committing 16 million baht in funding to the cause.

But Advertising Age, the benchmark ad industry publication in the United States, points out that this sum would hardly make a dent in the cost of hosting the representatives of “50 of the world’s top advertisers and 50 of the world’s top agencies” that Mr Ferrara says he wants to bring to Phuket.

And the journal asks, “So just who is Mr Ferrara anyway?”

He apparently claims he’d be able to outdo the Cannes Lions because he helped to start them. But a Cannes Lions spokeswoman, Ad Age says, states they’ve never heard of him.

For more information, but not much, see the event’s official website at

But, hey – regardless of the hype, and despite the skepticism of Advertising Age and the anorexia of the official website, Phuket could benefit from the glitz, glamour, publicity and panache that could radiate from an event such as this. So why not give it a chance?

Kidnapper nabbed in Phuket
An American man accused of taking his 3-year-old to Thailand in violation of a custody order more than a year ago has been taken into custody in Phuket.

Samuel Lee Horton, 38, of Greenville, South Carolina, is being escorted back to the United States by FBI special agents. He was arrested in Phuket on Monday. Horton is expected to arrive in Los Angeles tonight (June 9) and is expected to make a court appearance on Thursday.

Investigators said Horton was charged by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office with violating a custody order involving his child on May 5, 2009.

After investigators learned that Horton had taken the child out of the country, a federal warrant for his arrest for ‘unlawful flight to avoid prosecution’ was issued.

Further investigation into the matter led to the issuance of a federal grand jury indictment for fraud in connection with a passport he secured for the child.

Horton faces a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment if convicted of these offenses.

Assistant U. S. Attorney David Stephens commended FBI Special Agent Lisa Quillen for her efforts in locating Horton and insuring the safe return of the child.

Expat deals at Panwa Phuket

Focus on Travel News
The Bel Air Resort & Spa at Cape Panwa in Phuket, which says it offersthe largest and most spacious ocean view suites in Phuket, is offering a ‘Thai Resident Promotion’ (for Thais and expatriates based in Thailand) with rates starting at just 1,900 baht per suite per night.

The offer is for a two-bedroom Luxury Suite with two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and large terrace for the entire family. The rate is valid until Oct 31 and requires a minimum stay of two nights.

The Thai Resident Promotion also offers two-bedroom Plunge Pool Suite or a two-bedroom Pool Access Suite for 2,900 baht per night, and a 3-bedroom Suite for 3,500.

All rates include breakfasts for 4-6 persons.

For more information or to book, see

Media sensationalized protests

Travel Daily News
Following the political tensions on the streets of Bangkok, the challenge for the Thai tourist industry now is to help travelers distinguish between the perceived threat and the actual threat.

Protests in Thailand are very compartmentalized and very contained, but that impression is difficult to convey when headlines suggest the worst. And the headlines from May are still with some travelers,” says Mark Siegel, CEO of Bangkok-based tour operator GolfAsian Co Ltd.

The Sydney Morning Herald also suggests media headlines surrounding the event were sensationalized, reporting in a June 5 story from Phuket: “The Australian government’s travel warnings to the whole of Thailand seemed overkill at best.”

Tourism stats suspect

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has released details of tourist arrivals at all checkpoints for the month of May, as well as the first five months of the year.

Despite a curfew and violent clashes in Bangkok, Thailand still welcomed 821,090 visitors last month, representing a 11% decline on 923,916 visitors recorded in May 2009.

Overall, the country’s performance improved 16% in the first five months of the year, with 6,563,099 visitors compared to 5,654,541 visitors during the same period in 2009.

Based on the ministry’s data, May was the only month showing a significant decline, with April down just 0.16% and March up 16.35%.

However, private sector representatives are critical of the ministry’s data, claiming it is inaccurate and out of date.

— Gazette Editors

Phuket News

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