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Hong Kong Fire Service’s lycra-clad mascot causes a stir

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Hong Kong Fire Service's lycra-clad mascot causes a stir

By Sherie Ryder, BBC UGC and Social News Stuart Lau, BBC Monitoring

In the world of social media, we can find lots of uplifting stories about heroes and helpers, but we can also find controversy caused by almost anyone.

In Hong Kong 'Anyone' happens to be a character created for the Hong Kong Fire Service to raise safety awareness.

The mascot, clad in blue lycra from head-to-toe, was brought out in a press conference on Monday, much to the shock and amusement of the journalists in the room.

Anyone aims to convey that anybody can help in emergencies as part of an online campaign on the Fire Services Department's Facebook page.

Since it was set up at the end of October, more than 30,000 people have followed the account.

Skip Facebook post by 香港消防處 Hong Kong Fire Services Department

【多謝大家關注!】 任何仁:多謝大家關注! 我係乜人?任何仁就係每一個人,英文名叫Anyone。 你同我都要準備做個任何仁! 可能救自己家人,身邊人。你準備好未? #各行各業都要準備好救人 #惡搞不忘報course擊活人心等住你 #你哋諗多咗喇我邊有資格做消防處吉祥物吖 #香港人創意爆燈 #今日成日打乞嚏係時候要唞唞

Posted by 香港消防處 Hong Kong Fire Services Department on Monday, 5 November 2018

End of Facebook post by 香港消防處 Hong Kong Fire Services Department

There has been mixed reaction on social media, with some people ridiculing the character.

One Facebook user asked "Is your attire fire-proof?", while another remarked the Fire Service Department's image was "good enough to do these sort of crazy things."

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Hong Kong's main broadcaster RTHK claimed some fire bosses were unhappy with the mascot and were contemplating withdrawing him.

But Facebook users came to Anyone's defence.

"Anyone belongs to all of us," wrote one commenter. "No forced disappearance!"

Acting Senior Division Officer Wade Wong Wang-leong was reported to have reassured the public that the blue man will continue to appear as part of the Fire Service Department's social media campaigns.

The Department's first post featuring Anyone – a music video featuring a young man collapsing and the all-blue mascot stepping in to carry out CPR – has been viewed 494,000 times in five days.

Skip Facebook post 2 by 香港消防處 Hong Kong Fire Services Department

【真· 羅蘭 x 擊活の人心 – 靈異篇】 收嘢喇!外賣到喇! 農曆七月,送個外賣又話有靈體,又話要護身符,有冇咁邪先? 點知真係出事,好彩有羅蘭姐專業教路,連「新手」任何仁都可以輕易駕御,用 CPR 同 AED 救翻外賣仔一命。…

Posted by 香港消防處 Hong Kong Fire Services Department on Saturday, 3 November 2018

End of Facebook post 2 by 香港消防處 Hong Kong Fire Services Department

Anyone also sings a song to help the public remember what they can do if they find themselves in an emergency and need to give CPR.

This is not the first time a light-hearted approach to CPR has hit the headlines. In the UK, actor and former professional footballer Vinnie Jones appeared in a video clip which came under criticism for the method used.

bbc