Australia’s Biggest Private Shop Goes Public

SYDNEY – The largest Australian-owned mainstream ad agency – John Singleton Advertising – will float stock on the exchange here. The flotation is expected to raise about $11.5 million through the public issue of 9.1 million shares at a price of about $1.25 each. Agency principal John Singleton will retain a 35% stake in the agency, which includes a 10% stake in the ‘Ten’ television network. Analysts said the float will be boosted by Singleton’s high, if controversial, profile. That reputation is partly gained through Singleton’s defense of the agency’s ads for Eagle Bitter beer late last year. The ads featured a dog pulling the jeans of a young woman. When feminists complained about the commercial, Singleton said, ‘I don’t care. There’s only about eight of them and they don’t drink beer anyway.’ Among the agency’s other clients are Telecom, KFC, Davids Holdings and Quality Bakers.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)