There’s one event that Samsung’s insane marketing budget won’t be able to buy this year – the fireworks extravaganza at one of the world’s tallest buildings — the Taipei 101 — after local officials turned down a reported $1.4 million offer in favor of Taiwanese tourism authorities.

According to the AP, Samsung offered NT$40 million ($1.4 million) to project its name and logo across the top floors of the building (formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center) once the fireworks were over. Instead, tourism authorities were able to buy the rights to display its ”Time for Taiwan” banners in both English and Chinese.

While the building’s owners refuse to disclose whether local bidders beat Samsung’s bid, Taiwan’s Vice Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (who is also partly in charge of overseeing tourism) said a Samsung sponsorship on New Year’s Eve “would be inappropriate under the current atmosphere.”

Given Samsung’s complete dominance of the Android smartphone market, Taiwan’s actions could well be a protective measure, working to serve in the interests of HTC, which is undergoing a strategic shift in an attempt to reverse its declining handset sales.

The Taiwanese company recently appointed its new chief marketing officer, Benjamin Ho, and as the AP reports, has been pushing its new 5-inch HTC J Butterfly Android smartphone in Japan, where smartphone makers are also struggling to match Samsung’s sales.

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