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The J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT), founded in 1864, is one of the oldest and largest enduring advertising agencies in the United States. Don Johnston held many positions at JWT, beginning his career as a trainee in the Detroit mailroom and retiring as CEO and President. The Don Johnston Papers span the years 1964-1996 and document his career in various positions with JWT. The collection includes international and domestic inter-office correspondence, personal and administrative files, management manuals, presentations, speeches, budgets, billings and profit reports, and video-cassettes that relate to planning for JWT projects, committee meetings, marketing research, contracts with clients, management directives, and JWT's corporate mission and philosophy. The papers also touch on Joseph O'Donnell's attempted hostile takeover of the JWT Group, and the purchase of JWT by the WPP Group. Clients represented include: Ford Motor Company, Unilever, Chevron, General Foods, and Uniroyal Tire. Offices represented include: Buenos Aires, Toronto, Chicago, Santiago, Detroit, Paris, Frankfurt, Bombay (Mumbai), London, Tokyo, New York, and Johannesburg.

The Don Johnston Papers span the years 1964-1996 and document his career in various positions with JWT. The collection includes international and domestic inter-office correspondence, personal and administrative files, management manuals, presentations, speeches, budgets, billings and profit reports, and video-cassettes materials that relate to planning for JWT projects, committee meetings, marketing research, contracts with clients, management directives, and JWT's corporate mission and philosophy. The papers also touch on Joseph O'Donnell's attempted hostile takeover of the JWT Group, and the purchase of JWT by the WPP Group. Clients represented include: Ford Motor Company, Unilever, Chevron, General Foods, and Uniroyal Tire. Offices represented include: Buenos Aires, Toronto, Chicago, Santiago (Chile), Detroit, Paris, Frankfurt, Bombay (Mumbai), London, Tokyo, New York, and Johannesburg (South Africa).

The collection is organized into four series: Memoranda, Administrative Files, Personal Files, and Audiovisual Materials.

The Memoranda Series includes business correspondence to and from Johnston during his career with JWT and mainly pertains to the day to day operations throughout the worldwide operations of JWT as a transnational entity.

The Administrative Files Series includes reports, plans, inter-office correspondence, general administrative files, as well as information on fund-raising for the JWT archives at Duke University.

The Personal Files Series includes newspaper and periodical clippings, as well as personal correspondence.

The Audiovisual Materials Series consists of promotional works and interviews by Johnston during his tenure with JWT.

Related materials within the JWT Archives may be found in these collections: the Burt Manning Papers, the Thomas Sutton Papers, the Rena Bartos Papers, the Harry Clark Papers, the Joseph O'Donnell Papers, the Greg Bathon Papers and the Denis Lanigan Papers.