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05.05.11 [The Korea Herald] Gangnam Aims To Boost Image With Star Power (Rain Mentioned)

Top entertainers to promote district

Gangnam District Office is capitalizing on the popularity of big-name celebrities to promote the southern part of Seoul that recently gained international recognition for hosting the Group of 20 summit last November.

As part of its aggressive marketing efforts to attract more domestic and foreign tourists to the district, the office on Wednesday appointed singer and actor Rain as its “goodwill ambassador.”

The office expects Rain to play a crucial role in enhancing the “friendly” image of the district featuring upmarket shopping areas, traditional tourist attractions and top medical facilities, officials said.

Rain, Jang Nara and Park Jung-hun are “goodwill ambassadors” for Gangnam District Office. (Yonhap News)

Rain was recently chosen as the most influential person in the world in a Time magazine poll. He took the top spot in the Time readers poll for the third year, proving his die-hard popularity throughout the world.

Rain is not the only celebrity appointed by the Gangnam office. Singer and actress Jang Nara was also named publicity envoy early this year. Jang, who has risen as a top star in China through her movies and soap operas, has helped the office attract Chinese tourists.

The office has placed advertisements featuring her smile at Incheon International Airport and several subway stations frequented by foreign tourists.

The office has also appointed veteran actor Park Jung-hun as publicity ambassador. He recently was involved in several street patrol events to ensure the safety of school kids on the streets.

The goodwill ambassadors appointed by the district office have been working on a voluntary basis, officials said.

Seoul Metropolitan Government has appointed celebrities as its publicity ambassadors since 2003. They include actors Jang Geun-seok and Kim Soo-ro, and soccer star Hong Myung-bo.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldm.com)

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