Missing Person on the Subway

On my way home from work yesterday I saw this ad on the subway:

Missing Person

At first I was really confused by the composition of the ad, but in fact someone had slipped their own (quite professional-looking) ad behind the plastic ad display cover. (They chose an oral contraceptive ad.)

The content of the ad:

> 寻人启事

And in English:

> Missing Person Notice
Lu Jinhua: Female, 24 years old, 1.60 meters tall,
from Zhoukou, Henan. On May 12th, 2007
at about 7:00 pm she left home and has not returned since. Her family
is extremely worried and concerned. If anyone knows her whereabouts,
please contact Gao Jiabao at 13764498186. A reward will be given
on the spot!!! If Jinhua herself sees this advertisement,
please get in touch right away!!!

I was impressed by the sly way they got hundreds of people to view the ad on the subway (although the ad probably won’t last until tomorrow morning). And they got their ad on the internet, through me.

This whole thing has me curious, because the ad seems so professionally done. And maybe Jinhua doesn’t want to be found. Seems like there’s a story there.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. yeah, it’s abnormal to have such an ad exquisitely printed, usually people use black and white photocopies.
    The guy mentioned that the missing person herself sees the poster, that means, she should had a normal intelligence.
    Hope not for an accident reason. :$

  2. I think it has two meanings in it. One is that Jinhua left home for some personal reasons. The other is that she maybe had accident.

  3. What is with all photos (at least majority of them) of Asians always have the “V” in them?!

    This could be also some kind guerrilla advertisement campaign.

    Remember this one:


  4. maybe she was smart enough to escape an abusive relationship, and is trying to lay low, or maybe somebody thinks she knows too much about something.

  5. owshawng Says: July 28, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    maybe she was kidnapped and has been forced to become a sex slave or married to some farmer in the middle of nowhere. Happens to thousands of women every year in the midddle kingdom.

  6. Just pointing out a typo in your English translation.

    She’s 24 not 22.

  7. Albert,

    True enough. Fixed. Thanks.

  8. I’ve heard tales that sometimes missing persons are in fact runaway migrant workers and such being sought by their bosses. Anybody else ever hear that one?

  9. Journ-O-LST-3 Says: October 29, 2007 at 3:54 am

    The ad does not look that professional per se. It’s a fairly simple design and nicely done but all and all it’s just a picture with words. The only real difference between that and most of the missing posters is the color and that the words start on the top of the page instead of everything being under the picture.

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