Dear Alice,

It seems like every time I pass through a major station in Tokyo there is someone handing out free packets of pocket tissues with an advertising insert. Is this form of marketing unique to Japan? I’ve never seen it in any other country. What really puzzles me is that sometimes the person handing out the tissues seems to be giving them only to certain people. Just the other day, in Shibuya, a tissue guy didn’t offer me one of his packs, and when I put out my hand to ask, he actually refused! What the heck is that? Was he discriminating against me because I’m foreign and he assumed I can’t read his advertisement?

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