Bates Worldwide, Inc. records, 1934-2005 and undated 784 Linear Feet — 5.1 Gigabytes — Audiovisual objects in RL00090-SET-0001 are not included because they require Audiovisual processing before access!! — 336,000 Items
The Bates Worldwide, Inc. ("Bates") Records span the years 1934-2003 and include correspondence, corporate policy manuals, photographs, publications, graphic designs, print advertisements, electronic records and videocassettes that document the activities of this major global advertising agency over the course of its corporate life. Bates began as a simple proprietorship, but as the company grew its organizational structure took on different forms: a partnership, then a corporation before becoming a publicly traded transnational entity, and finally becoming a subsidiary in a global holding company. From the 1970s on, Bates' growth and international expansion was fueled by a long series of mergers, partnerships and acquisitions that continued until the company was itself acquired, first by Saatchi & Saatchi and later by the WPP Group. Materials in the collection relate to Bates' permutations into a variety of corporate entities, including Ted Bates & Co., Ted Bates, Inc., Backer Spielvogel Bates, and Bates Worldwide, Inc., along with its subsidiaries (such as Campbell-Mithun and Kobs and Draft) and parent organizations (Cordiant Communications Group, Saatchi & Saatchi). Thus, the collection provides a window into the larger corporate culture of mergers, consolidations, acquisitions and takeovers that led to the formation of giant transnational advertising conglomerates and marked a profound shift in the landscape of the advertising industry during the late 20th century.
Bates built its early reputation as an advertising agency with a particular talent for promoting pharmaceutical products (Carter's Pills, Anacin analgesics) and common household goods (Mars candies, Wonder bread, Palmolive soap, Colgate dental cream). Advertising policies developed around a philosophy Bates called the Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which informed an imperative to identify and promote a single, unique and compelling reason for consumers to use any given product or service. As the company grew into a global business, USP evolved into more complex forms, including the Bates Brand Wheel. Major clients include Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co., Carter-Wallace Corporation, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Hyundai America, the Joint Recruiting Advertising Program of the combined U.S. Armed Services, M&M/Mars Inc., Miller Brewing Company, Pfizer, the U.S. Navy and Wendy's International. There is also some information on the company's founder, Ted Bates, as well as on Rosser Reeves, Bates' first copy writer and the chief architect of the USP concept.
The collection is organized into ten series and one cumulative subject index--Client Files, Corporate Communications Department, Creative Department, Financial Records, Human Resources Department, Memorabilia, New Business, Print Books, Vertical Files and Audiovisual Materials. The Client Files Series includes research reports, storyboards and graphic designs for Bates' clients. The Corporate Communications Department Series includes company-wide memoranda, public relations policy manuals, and a large file of biographical sketches and photographs of Bates' executives, as well as news clippings and press releases relating to the company and its clients. The Creative Department Series primarily focuses on Bates' efforts to stimulate creativity throughout its worldwide offices through participation in internal and industry-wide advertising competitions. The Financial Records Series includes general ledgers and other accounting reports. The Human Resources Department Series includes employee benefits literature and information on company affairs including press releases and staff memoranda. The Memorabilia Series includes promotional clothing, games, office posters and awards. The New Business Series includes materials relating to requests for proposals from prospective clients. The Print Books Series contains material from over 100 albums of proof sheets and print advertisements from existing clients. The Vertical Files Series consists of an alphabetical file of general information collected to aid in various aspects of company operations. The Audiovisual Materials Series contains periodic review collections of advertising, video memoranda, speeches, retirement presentations and highlight compilations prepared for prospective clients and award show consideration. A Subject Cross-Reference Index at the end of the finding aid links materials pertaining to specific clients, corporations, events and policies scattered throughout the various subject series.
Some materials were received as electronic files. Disks were assigned consecutive numbers reflecting the order in which they were encountered. If a work has a corresponding or associated electronic file, the file is included in the container list. The contents of each disk have been migrated to the Special Collections server. Consequently, the contents of these disks are available only in correspondingly numbered electronic subdirectories. Consult a reference archivist for access to the electronic files.