Already, the three major stock issues in this country have injected $16 million into the ad industry. And it is expected that up to $10 million will be spent promoting the $1.3-billion 75% float of Qantas, which will take place by May of next year.
Much more than this would have been spent on security issue advertising had it not been for restrictions on publicity and promotions.. Basically, companies along with federal and state government business enterprises publicly offering shares could only use tombstone ads in newspapers to promote new stock offerings.
The laws, administered by the Australian Securities Commission, are quite strict. Pressure to loosen the Australian laws in light of the large number of public floats was expected six months ago when the ASC reviewed the legislation. However, on the eve of the launch of the Woolworth's campaign, the ADV ruled that the law would remain as it stood.
This introduced another dilemma: the fine line between corporate advertising and 'float advertising,' which could be considered as the priming of a company or offer by making it seem big, profitable and an attractive share proposition. In the case of Woolworth's, according to ASC, the $3.4-million corporate campaign did not overstep this line.
Penny Warneford is news editor for Ad News in Sydney.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)