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Advertising Council records, 1935-1999 and undated 19 Linear Feet — 12,150 items

The Advertising Council Records span the years from 1935 to 1999, and primarily consist of public service advertising campaigns developed by the Advertising Council. The campaigns are documented through council booklets, brochures, published articles, and sample advertisements which were distributed to Ad Council members and participating advertising agencies. Particular ad campaigns that are well represented include U.S. Savings Bonds and United Service Organizations (USO) during World War II; Religion in American Life; the Red Cross; the creation of Smokey the Bear and related fire prevention campaigns circa 1941 to 1951; and a campaign to explain the American Economic System, circa 1950 to 1957 (Cold War anti-communism). Various campaigns throughout the 1960s and 1970s are also represented to a lesser extent, including the War on Poverty, Equal Opportunity, and Child Abuse.

The collection is organized into two main series: General Files and Campaigns. The General Files Series contains Ad Council materials that are not specific to particular campaigns, such as annual reports, correspondence, and Ad Council promotional materials. The Campaigns Series, which comprises about two-thirds of the collection, contains pamphlets, brochures, posters, newspaper articles, and memos concerning the strategies of over 100 public service advertising campaigns. Large-format materials from both of these series have been relocated to the Oversize Materials.

Related collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library include the J. Walter Thompson Co. Archives: Domestic Advertisements Collection, the War Effort Mobilization Campaigns Poster Collection, the Edgar Hatcher Papers, the Warwick Baker O'Neill Records, and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Archives. The "official" archives of the Ad Council resides at the University of Illinois--Urbana/Champaign.

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The J. Walter Thompson Company World War II Advertising Collection documents the war-related activities of the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) advertising agency during 1940-1948, including a few post-war assessments. In particular, it shows JWT’s contributions to the war effort by its in-house documentation and work on government, civilian, and war-supporting charitable organization accounts. Materials include lists, memos, press releases, correspondence, notes, and advertisement tearsheets and proofs. Many of the materials in this collection are products of campaigns conducted under the auspices of the War Advertising Council, as well as those sponsored by civilian clients. These advertisements and pamphlets supported food rationing, fuel and rubber conservation, the purchase of War Bonds, the United Services Organization (USO), military recruitment, and women's employment in war-related jobs. Other advertisements arose from JWT's work in 1941 and 1942 for the Navy Relief Society. Items produced by the JWT London Office supported British War Relief (Ministry of Food, 1940-1941) and the Food Facts series (recipes and cooking tips for foods available despite rationing).

The collection includes corporate-sponsored advertisements relating to the war effort. Companies represented include: the American Association of Playing Card Manufacturers (recreation for convalescent service-men, in cooperation with the Red Cross); Anthracite Industries, Inc. (fuel conservation); Eastman Kodak Company (U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps); and the Institute of Life Insurance (ads to fight inflation produced in cooperation with the Office of Economic Stabilization, and a "Keep Well" campaign). Other advertisements were backed by Lambert Pharmacal Co. (women's employment); Libbey Glass Company (recruitment of women Marines and nurses' aides); National Retail Dry Goods Association (nurse recruitment); Owens Illinois-Glass Company (paper salvage); Petroleum Industry War Council (campaigns for saving tires, rubber, and gasoline); Shell Oil Company and other petroleum and rubber companies (salvage of scarce materials); and Textron (nurse recruitment).

Related materials may be found elsewhere in the J. Walter Thompson Co. Archives, including the papers of JWT executives such as Samuel W. Meek, Walter O'Meara, Helen Lansdowne Resor, Stanley Burnet Resor, Ruth F. Waldo and James Webb Young. Similar materials may also be found in the R.C. Maxwell Company Outdoor Advertising Archives; the War Effort Mobilization Campaigns Poster Collection; and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Archives.