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Singapore Press Holdings to Receive Inaugural 4AS Patron Award

Presentation to be made at the Singapore Creative Circle Awards 2003 Gala
Dinner

Singapore, 21 November 2003 –
The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore (4AS) will be presenting Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) with the first 4AS Patron Award at the annual gala dinner for the Creative Circle Awards (CCA) on Monday, 24 November 2003. The CCA is an annual event recognising the best advertising work in Singapore. The 4AS Patron Award is a new award given out to a selected organisation that has made and continues to make significant contributions to the local advertising and marketing communications industry.

This prestigious award will not be given out annually, but only when an organisation merits this high-level recognition. The decision to award SPH the 4AS Patron Award came about after several rounds of discussion and deliberation by the 4AS Executive Committee, which is made up of top-level practitioners of the leading local and international advertising, media and marketing communications agencies.

Anthony Kang, President of 4AS and Managing Director of Dentsu Singapore said: "SPH is the obvious choice to receive the inaugural 4As Patron Award because of its rich 158-year heritage as a media owner, and its role as a major multimedia content provider through print, broadcast and internet in Singapore. Its consistency in active corporate citizenship and commitment in supporting various programmes enhancing our industry in both good and bad times make SPH absolutely deserving of this honour.”

In fact, SPH was the first organisation to come forward in 1980 as a major sponsor to help the industry re-launch the CCA (first started in the 1960s) into a big-scale annual event. Since then, SPH has steadfastly remained the most ardent supporter of this prestigious creative event of the advertising industry.

Tham Khai Wor, SPH´s Executive Vice President of Marketing said: "We are honoured to be the recipient of the inaugural 4AS Patron Award. As a leading media owner in Singapore, we have always made it a priority to work with our accredited advertising agencies and advertisers to raise the standards of advertising in Singapore, and help grow the industry.”

One example is partnering the agencies to develop creative ways of using print media beyond the traditional rectangular spaces, such that the advertisements engage readers more deeply. This includes SPH´s heavy involvement in the memorable and highly successful SPIN press campaign featuring scented advertisements. Other creative media-buy concepts it has helped to pioneer include newspaper wrap-arounds, advertisements in fancy shapes, front-page stick-ons and more.

"All these serve to widen advertisers’ choice of tools to more effectively bring across their messages – not just for tactical advertisements but also for major branding campaigns. Our entry into online and broadcasting media in recent years provides our advertisers with even more choices and synergies,” added Tham.

Despite growing competition in a challenging business environment, SPH has consistently maintained more than a 50 per cent share of the local advertising pie, making it one of the most profitable newspaper operations in the world.

One of success factors, said Tham, is the company´s constant upgrading of its services. “We have recently invested millions in state-of-the-art KBA Commander Presses, which will not only boost our printing capacity by 40 per cent, but also enable us to meet the trend of a rising demand for colour pages among advertisers. With the new machines, we can print 280,000 newspaper sections of 56 colour pages each. It has enabled us to print our revamped Sunday Times fully in colour, in turn allowing the advertising industry more creative flexibility to achieve maximum communication impact.”

The 4AS Patron Award also recognises SPH´s efforts in corporate social responsibility within and beyond the advertising industry. Advertising industry initiatives that the company supports include the CCA, The Crowbars and the Ad Ball. SPH is also a staunch supporter of local arts through sponsorship of such premier events as the NAC-SPH Golden Point Awards, Singapore´s Writers´ Festival and TheatreWorks´ Writers´ Lab, which promote creativity and nurture local writing talent. For its unwavering support to help build a culturally more vibrant Singapore, SPH has won the Distinguished Patron of the Arts Award for 11 consecutive years.

Said Tham: “Our flagship newspapers, The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao, practically grew up with Singapore. Initiatives like the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, the SPH Scholarship, and our support of various worthy causes such as the arts and education, are our way of giving back to the community that we are a big part of."

Over the years, SPH has received many other accolades, including being named the 2002/2003 Newspaper of the Year by the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers´ Association (PANPA). In addition, the company is also up for awards in the Chinese Language Print Category at the SCCA 2003.

Jointly issued by Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore (4AS) and Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

About 4AS
The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore can trace its beginnings back to 1948 prior to the separation of Singapore from Malaya. Also known as the 4AS, this non-profit association represents advertising and marketing communications practitioners, agencies and related suppliers in Singapore. The 4AS works in tandem with various associations and government bodies to improve the stature and prominence of the advertising and marketing communications industry.

About SPH
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading news and information provider, offering quality content for print, Internet, TV and radio. It publishes 14 newspapers in the four official languages and six lifestyle periodicals. Everyday, 2.78 million individuals, or 90 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications while the online editions of its six main dailies enjoy some 120 million pageviews a month. SPH has ventured into the broadcast medium and operates two popular free-to-air TV channels, Channel U in Chinese and Channel i in English. It also operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, under a joint venture company UnionWorks with NTUC Media.

For more information (media only) contact:

Tracy De Rozario

Assistant Projects Manager
Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore
Tel: 6836 0600 Fax: 6836 0700 Hp: 9488 5501 Email: tracy@4as.org.sg
www.4as.org.sg

Irene Ngoo
Assistant Vice President, Corporate Relations
Singapore Press Holdings
Tel: 6319 1216 Fax: 6319 8150 Email: ingoo@sph.com.sg

Tan Wee Hoon
Promotions Manager, Product Development and Branding
Singapore Press Holdings
Tel: 6319 1130 Hp: 9634 6065 Email: weehoon@sph.com.sg