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Advertising In a World of Competitive Governance

May 5, 2010

Flying on Singapore Airlines has its virtues: superior service and exposure to ads for people who vote with their feet.  Frederic Sautet writes:

On long-haul flights, one can watch ads before the on-demand movies (you can actually skip the ads if you want). One of the ads is for Silversea which is a luxury condos company aimed at expats. The ad shows a video of the place with gorgeous Westerners doing some shopping, sunbathing, and having a good time. And the caption reads: “No capital gains tax; no currency controls; no restriction on foreign ownership; no inheritance tax; no withholding tax for sale of properties; no value added tax”. That’s all. Nothing is said about the place itself. Clearly, businesses in Singapore know what a difference the island-state’s tax system can make to foreigners desiring to invest their money. This is global tax competition at work for you. Actually, one should rather call it “institutional competition.” This is the way Singapore Inc. establishes its name and reputation. I can’t imagine such an ad on Olympic Air, Air France, Iberia, Alitalia, British Airways, or United, just to name a few.

I’ve written about similar ads for Free Economic Zones in Korea and elsewhere here. Btw, it’s interesting to compare these ads with yesterday’s Pennsylvanian tax ad. Differences in tone reflect the underlying political philosophies.

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One Comment
  1. May 5, 2010 5:40 pm

    “No capital gains tax; no currency controls; no restriction on foreign ownership; no inheritance tax; no withholding tax for sale of properties; no value added tax”

    should be followed by, “just DON’T bring ANY drugs.”

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