John Singleton (Australian entrepreneur)

John Singleton (Australian Entrepreneur)

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John Singleton (Australian entrepreneur)

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John Desmond Singleton AM (born 9 November 1941) is an Australian entrepreneur. He built his success and wealth in the advertising business in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s. He now has diverse investment interests in radio broadcasting, publishing and thoroughbred breeding and racing.

Early life

He was born at in the Sydney suburb of Enfield and educated at Fort Street High School, New South Wales.

Advertising career

He commenced a career in advertising in 1958 as a mail boy in the Sydney office of J. Walter Thompson and after five years took a creative role at Berry Currie Advertising. Five years hence he was the Creative Director at that agency. In 1968 together with his Art Director partner Dunc McAllan, he started his own agency in Sydney and the pair soon teamed-up with Rob Palmer and Mike Strauss who had an existing small Melbourne shop with media buying accreditation to start Singleton, Palmer and Strauss, McAllan. SPASM opened with offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

SPASM (and Singleton in particular) are notable in the history of Australian advertising for embracing an ocker voice in their communications at a time when multi-national agency groups were making their presence felt with the advent of strategic planning and British or American-imitating tones of voice. SPASM's clients were largely local Sydney retailers and rather than using polished voices, Singleton's ads embraced the tone of working-class man. A successful campaign was...
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