SPH launches new logo to signal future direction - Mar 31, 2009 (BT)

BackMar 31, 2009

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

SPH launches new logo to signal future direction

Rebranding portrays group's stature as top media outfit that is moving beyond just print.

By Teh Shih Ning
Mar 31, 2009
The Business Times

(SINGAPORE) Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) yesterday launched a new corporate logo to mark the start of its 25th anniversary celebrations.

'With SPH moving beyond print, it is time to rebrand ourselves to better represent our current portfolio and future direction,' said SPH chairman Tony Tan.

Together with guest-of- honour President SR Nathan, Dr Tan unveiled the new logo at SPH's News Centre headquarters yesterday, to fanfare and confetti.

The event, which kicked off to local street percussion band Strikeforce's beats, was witnessed by the outgoing Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts Lee Boon Yang and Rear Admiral (NS) Lui Tuck Yew who is taking over Dr Lee's position.

Also present were SPH directors including deputy chairman Cham Tao Soon, former minister for communications and information Yeo Ning Hong, former chief justice Yong Pung How, and former ministry of finance permanent secretary Ngiam Tong Dow, as well as business associates such as UOB's chairman Wee Cho Yaw and some 300 employees and guests.

In his speech, Dr Tan said: 'The media industry has changed dramatically over the past decade. I'm pleased that SPH has been quick to respond to these changes in the industry and has invested in new ventures that give us potential for growth.'

He explained that while print remains SPH's core business, the company now owns online, mobile, outdoor and broadcast media, as well as non-media businesses like properties, directory searches, and events management.

Hence the need for a new logo to replace the old stylised graphic of the web and rollers of a newspaper printing press.

The new design, for which plans began in 2007, 'portrays SPH's initiative in engaging and connecting with all our stakeholders', and 'reinforces SPH's stature as a leading media organisation - confident, authoritative yet approachable', Dr Tan said.

In his speech, Dr Tan credited President Nathan with being key to the formation of SPH in 1984, through a merger of Singapore News and Publications Limited, Times Publishing Berhad, and the Straits Times Press group of which Mr Nathan was executive chairman.

Mr Nathan himself described his six years at Straits Times Press and in SPH as 'a unique experience', prior to which he had been in the civil service with no experience in the newspaper business.

He recounted: 'The day before I started work, the then prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew told me: 'Nathan, I'm giving you The Straits Times. It has something like 150 years of history. It is like a bowl of china. You break it, I can piece it together again, but it will never be the same. Try not to.'

'I am proud to say that the bowl that was handed to me and passed on to successor leaders of SPH remains unbroken - in fact it has achieved a better glow with successive years.'

SPH now faces a new media climate, Mr Nathan said, with competition from electronic media and a wider base of more critical readers.

But, he added: 'I am confident SPH with its 25 years of track record is well equipped to succeed in this new climate.'

In line with its 25th anniversary celebrations, SPH has also revamped its corporate website and SPH- owned shopping mall, Paragon, will be staging free weekend concerts in the next two months and giving out $25,000 in shopping vouchers.

SPH's CEO Alan Chan said: 'On this silver anniversary, I wish to assure all our stakeholders that as we celebrate our past 25 years of achievements, we are committed to achieving another 25 years of excellence, even in these challenging times.'