Singo’s full page ad ‘apology’ to VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith

By AdNews | 2 April 2024

Advertising Hall of Fame inductee John Singleton has used a full page ad in The Australian to support Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith.

The ad, more a letter of hundreds of words, is titled: An apology to Ben Roberts-Smith. From a coward.

A full page broadsheet advertisement in The Australian runs to more than $100,000, according to the newspaper’s rate card. Via a media agency, this would come at a discount.

The former SAS soldier, and Seven Queensland general manager, lost a landmark defamation case against The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times over articles accusing him of war crimes in Afghanistan.

In the Federal Court, Justice Anthony Besankoon found, on the balance of probabilities, that Roberts-Smith was complicit in the murder of unarmed prisoners.

“An innocent bystander was killed? How not?” Singleton writes.

“Ben Roberts-Smith we thank you. We, the great majority envy your courage, strength, commitment and the torture you must now endure. We are in your debt.”

Singleton thanked Kerry Stokes, the chairman of Seven West Media, who reportedly bankrolled the legal fees of Roberts-Smith.

He said the media had grabbed hold of an “illegal” leak from a public servant.

“They target big, tough, impressive VC winner … not given to showing any public exterior,” Singleton wrote.

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