A Vietnamese businessman and author has raised a few eyebrows for making a literal ‘rain of money’ during the launch of his self-help book in the central city of Hue.
Pham Tuan Son, self-introducing as a “millionaire businessman,” said he wanted to “inspire people to get rich” with the ‘money rain’ at the launch of his “Dare to Be Rich” book at the Tu Do Stadium in Hue on Friday.
The highlight of the event was when Son stepped onto a hot air balloon and started to scatter lucky envelops with VND5,000 and VND10,000 banknotes inside down to the ground when he was lifted above the stadium.
According to the organizers, 100 volunteers had been arranged to run to collect the ‘money from the sky’ to spread the “inspiration to get rich” to everyone, especially readers of the “Dare to Be Rich” book.
However, strong winds have blown a number of the ‘lucky money’ to the Nguyen Thai Hoc Street outside the stadium, sending locals rushing to collect the cash.
Other local residents have complained that the act of “scattering money from the sky” goes against the traditional and cultural values of the people of Hue, Vietnam’s former capital.
“It is unacceptable that you threw money everywhere for people to jostle to pick them up,” a senior resident said.
Spreading ‘getting rich’ message
The book launch was jointly held by the author and his publisher, First News, with the hot air balloon leased from Thailand.
Addressing complaints that his ‘rain of money’ was inappropriate, Son said he does not find the act improper.
“It is a symbolic action meant to share the message that chances to find money and get rich is everywhere around us and what matters is whether you are able to see and grab those opportunities,” he said.
The book author said he had used money from his own pocket for the stunt, but refusing to disclose the specific amount for “sensitive reasons.”
Vo Trong Quan, deputy head of public relations with First News, said the hot air balloon show was done entirely on the author’s part to advertise his book.
“First News has no truck with the activities held at the Tu Do Stadium on Friday morning,” he asserted.
Son did film the ‘rain of money’ and posted the footage on his Facebook, saying the show was a success.
The local information and communications department said it only licensed the book launch held at the Muong Thanh Hotel in Hue and “has no control of the event at Tu Do Stadium.”
“We will review the case and remind the author not to repeat this act,” Phan Tien Dung, director of the department, said.
Pham Tuan Son is the founder and chairman of the Babylons Co JSC, specializing in organizing lectures and speeches on business, investment, finance and “getting rich” in Vietnam.
Many Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper readers have commented that with his ‘rain of money’, Son looks more like a moneybag, a nouveau riche or a member of a usually fraudulent multilevel marketing company.