Mobilise Shanghai Public to be Part of the World’s Biggest Commercial

Join Jackie Chan, Bill Gates, PSY and world famous people in the fight to End Polio Now.

Shanghai, China, April 15, 2013 --( The public in Shanghai is called to participate in the World’s Biggest Commercial campaign, in support of the global “This Close” movement initiated by Rotary International to raise awareness for the fight of polio to become the second human disease ever eradicated (“This Close,” as in we are “this close” to ending polio).

Aiming to set a new Guinness World Record, the interactive World’s Biggest Commercial campaign gives the population in Shanghai an opportunity to join world figures such as Jackie Chan, Bill Gates, PSY and Amanda Peet in the fight to end polio now by taking one simple action – on May 18, 2013 Saturday, take a photo of themselves making the “This Close” gesture with iconic Shanghai landmark serves as backdrop, and upload the photo to the Rotary’s End Polio Now website

For the convenience of the public taking pictures featuring the impressive Shanghai skyline and the charming Bund view, M on the Bund restaurant will open its terrace for public access from 11:30am to 5pm, and Zeal from 6pm to midnight. Other suggested spots include People’s Square, Temple of the Town God, Fuxing Park, Xintiandi, Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre, or any places that represent Shanghai. Participants may take pictures at one of these locations at their convenience throughout the day. To date, 14,244 photos have been submitted by people from over 140 cities around the world.

The citywide activity is jointly organised by the Fresh Start branch of the Rotary Club of Shanghai and its sponsored Rotaract Club of Shanghai, with an aim to mobilise a mass effort in the most populated city in China to be part of the global collaboration for polio eradication, after China was declared polio-free in November 2012. “To my knowledge, this is the first time the entire population in Shanghai is invited to participate in this global health initiative,” says Philippe Hugot, chairman of Fresh Start. “We want to engage the public in a fun and interactive way to show that we care, and to recognise the privilege of living polio free.”

As a highly infectious disease, polio still strikes children mainly under the age of five, with the possibility to cause paralysis and sometimes death. There is no cure for polio, but for as little as USD 60 cents (equivalent to RMB 4) worth of oral vaccine, a child can be protected from the disease for life. However, a funding gap means immunization campaigns are being cut in high-risk countries, leaving children more vulnerable to polio. If polio is not stopped now, the disease could stage a comeback, affecting an estimated 200,000 children every year. The “This Close” campaign comes at an important time given the number of cases have been reduced by 99% with only three countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan) where the wild poliovirus still exists.

The “This Close” campaign kicked off on February 23, 2013 on Rotary International’s 108th anniversary, and the World’s Biggest Commercial campaign will continue to run until June 30, 2013.

For participation or enquiries about the Shanghai activity on May 18, 2013 and the “This Close” campaign, please contact Philippe Hugot, +86 137 0171 7830,

Editor’s Notes:
Rotary, a humanitarian service organization with nearly 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas, made polio eradication its top priority in 1985. Rotary has since contributed USD 1.2 billion, and its members have logged countless volunteer hours to help immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries. Overall, remarkable progress has been achieved in the fight against polio. Since 1988, the number of polio cases has been reduced from 350,000 a year to fewer than 700 cases in 2011. The Americas were declared free from polio in 1994, the Western Pacific region in 2000, and Europe in 2002.

China was first declared polio-free in 2000, however following an outbreak in Xinjiang in 2011 traced to Pakistan, it quickly mobilised more than 4.5 million vaccinations in the region and in November 2012 was again declared polio-free.

The infographic 2013 is available at

About Fresh Start
Fresh Start is a new branch of the Rotary Club of Shanghai started in 2012 that empowers young entrepreneurs and business leaders to serve the community. The club meets weekly at 7:30 am on Friday mornings for breakfast, fellowship and to plan its service projects. Fresh Start leverages its members skills and networks to do good in the community, with an emphasis on supporting sustainable social enterprises and entrepreneurs in Shanghai.

About The Rotaract Club of Shanghai
The Rotaract Club of Shanghai (RACS) is a non-profit social organization composed of young professionals and graduate students living in Shanghai that is involved in cultural activities and volunteer projects around China. It is the first of its kind in Mainland China, and one of more than 7600 Rotaract clubs all over the world with an active membership of over 180,000. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Shanghai, the RACS plans and executes voluntary, social, fellowship and leadership projects to develop its members into skilled and socially responsible world citizens.

Media Contact
Jenny Lo +86 138 1699 4945,
Fresh Start Shanghai
Jenny Lo
86 138 1699 4945
Rotary China website:
Rotary International: