D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles Archives, 1929-1995 and undated

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Summary

Creator:
D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles
Abstract:
The Archives document the history of Benton & Bowles advertisements; the merger of the D'Arcy MacManus Masius and Benton & Bowles companies; the early careers of William Benton and Atherton W. Hobler; research and publication about the history of Benton & Bowles; employee training, recruitment, and management; corporate publications; and marketing research. Includes material from three companies: D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Benton & Bowles, and D'Arcy MacManus Masius. Specific formats include memoranda; correspondence; reports; corporate publications, such as house organs, research reports, manuals, credentials, and employee reference material; press releases and a press book; speeches; clippings; photographs in color and black-and-white, and negatives; films and DVDs of advertisements; book manuscripts; audio tapes; financial papers; and a scrapbook. Clients represented in the Advertisements Series include the Procter & Gamble Company, General Foods Corporation, Allied Chemical Corporation, Avco Corporation, Colgate Palmolive Co., Florida Citrus Commission, International Business Machines Corporation, and West Point Pepperell. The unprocessed addition (554 items, dated ca. 1950s-1980s) comprises 16-mm film reels of commercials. Brand names and clients include Crest, Post cereals, Scope, Yardley, Hardees, Grape Nuts, Hasbro, and Pampers. Acquired as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History. (01-103).
Extent:
152 Linear Feet
30,220 Items
Language:
English.
Collection ID:
RL.00314

Background

Scope and content:

The D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B) Archives consists of advertising agency records spanning the years 1929 to 1995. The bulk of the material dates from the 1950s to the mid-1980s. The Archives includes material that documents aspects of three advertising agencies: D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B), Benton & Bowles (B&B), and D'Arcy-MacManus & Masius (D-MM).

The Archives as a whole provides a comprehensive overview of Benton & Bowles advertisements (1932-1995) and commercials (1950s-1980s), primarily those created by the agency's New York office. Other major topics include the advertising careers of William B. Benton and Atherton W. Hobler; research and publication about the history of Benton & Bowles by Gordon Webber and Frank Smith; television programs created by B&B in the 1950s; aspects of employee training, recruitment, and management; and marketing research. The Archives also documents the merger of the D'Arcy-MacManus & Masius agency with Benton & Bowles to form DMB&B in 1985. There is very little information in the Archives about the D'Arcy-MacManus & Masius agency prior to the merger. Also, material about Benton & Bowles offices other than New York is limited, and found mostly in B&B house organs.

The D'Arcy-MacManus Masius Files comprise a very small amount of materials in the Archives. Although the D'Arcy agency had its roots in 1906, the Items gathered here date only from 1972-1985, mainly 1981 to 1985. They consist of corporate publications, notes, and clippings. The 75th Anniversary edition of "Between Us" contains an overview of the history of D'Arcy-MacManus & Masius, especially of the D'Arcy Advertising Company, and its clients. Profiles, a resource book, provides information on all of the divisions of the D'Arcy -MacManus Masius Worldwide group of advertising agencies.

The Benton and Bowles Files are by far the largest part of the Archives. They include primarily print advertisements (the largest series in the Archives), but also over 500 films, significant documents relating to the work of the agency, photographs, and corporate publications. The Benton & Bowles Files span the years 1929 to 1985, although most of the material dates from 1950s and after. Item types in the collection include internal memoranda; reports; speeches; printed material (manuals, leaflets, pamphlets, and house organs); photographs; research notes; credentials; employee training material; press releases and clippings; book manuscripts; audio tapes of oral history interviews; and financial papers. The Benton & Bowles Files provide documentation of the history of print and television advertising; television programming; the history of the B&B agency and its corporate culture; corporate communications; marketing research; and advertising executives.

The earliest Items in the B&B Files are two small bank books recording account activity of the fledgling agency from 1929 to 1935 and copies of William ("Billie") Benton's long letters to his mother, 1929-1938, in which he confides details of his new advertising agency as well as family matters. A small number of other Items date from the 1930s and 1940s and illustrate isolated aspects of the agency's business in that period.

Long series of various agency house organs begin in 1947 and provide the most complete and continuous views of Benton & Bowles, its clients, advertising campaigns, personnel, and various offices in the U.S. and abroad.

The Advertisements Series is the largest section of the Archives and contains comprehensive files of print advertising campaigns developed mainly by Benton & Bowles from 1932-1980. The series includes primarily proofs, along with some tearsheets, of consumer and trade advertisements, most from U.S. magazines and newspapers. Files for a few clients include unusual material, such as packaging or client newsletters. Most of the advertisements were removed from large scrapbooks into which B&B employees had pasted them; many have suffered glue damage, but they remain an invaluable source for studying the development of a number of advertising campaigns over long periods of time. Longtime clients of B&B included Procter & Gamble and General Foods, among many others. Neither the Advertisements Series nor any other part of the Archives contains substantial documentation of the creative processes behind the advertisements and advertising campaigns.

For additional information about the Advertisements Series, see the data collection sheets in the Information Folders about the DMB&B Archives. The data collection sheets provide notes about: languages, other than English, used in the advertisements; countries, other than the United States, for which advertisements were produced; the use of celebrities in the advertisements; themes or social and political issues that can be studied in the advertisements; and the use of comic illustrations. The data collection sheets also note the existence of collateral literature for certain advertising campaigns. The Information Folders also contain a list of Benton & Bowles clients and the dates of agency-client relationships.

The Audiovisual Series (RESTRICTED) contains over 500 reels of 16mm film varying in lengths from 200' to 1600'. The majority of the films are compilations of commercials created mainly by Benton & Bowles for many different clients. Also included are several dozen reels of vintage television programs (shows created or sponsored by B&B), several stockholders' meetings, speeches, new business presentations, and outtakes. At the time of this writing, most of the films have not been viewed in their entirety, indexed, or reformatted. However, a selection of films has been reformatted for research use.

Addition (accession #2001-0103) (554 items, 7.5 linear ft.; dated [ca. 1950s]-[1980s]) comprises 16-mm film reels of commercials. Brand names and clients include Crest, Post cereals, Scope, Yardley, Hardees, Grape Nuts, Hasbro, and Pampers. Viewing of commercials is restricted until videocassette use copies are made. For a container list, contact Research Services.

Biographical / historical:
D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles
Date Event
1985, Nov.
Established by the merger of the Benton & Bowles and D'Arcy-MacManus and Masius advertising agencies; John S. Bowen became Chief Executive Officer; Harold Bay became President
1990
Roy J. Bostock named Chairman and CEO
Benton & Bowles
Date Event
1929
William B. Benton and Chester W. Bowles opened the first office in New York City
1932
Benton & Bowles incorporated; Atherton W. Hobler became a partner in Benton & Bowles
1936
William B. Benton resigned and sold his interest in the company
1941
Chester W. Bowles resigned and sold his interest in the company; Atherton W. Hobler became President
1941-1950
Hobler served as Chairman of the Board
1948
First television copy writer, Gordon Webber, hired
1950
Hobler became Chairman of the Executive Committee
1958
First international office opened in London
1959
Broadcast Commercial Production department established with Gordon Webber as director
1967
L. T. Steele became Chairman of the Board
1968
Victor G. Bloede became President and Chief Executive Officer
1971
John S. Bowen became President and Chief Executive Officer; Victor G. Bloede became Chairman of the Board; L. T. Steele became Chairman of the Executive committee
1972
Medicus Communications established as a subsidiary company
1979
Manning, Selvage and Lee (public relations firm) acquired
1981
B&B Direct created as partner company
D'Arcy MacManus Masius
Date Event
1906
D'Arcy Advertising Company founded by William Cheever D'Arcy
1971
D'Arcy-MacManus International established from merger of D'Arcy Advertising and MacManus, John & Adams
1972
D'Arcy-MacManus International and Masius, Wynne-Williams exchange stock to form D'Arcy-MacManus & Masius (known as Masius & D'Arcy-MacManus in Europe)
Acquisition information:
The D'Arcy Masius Benton Bowles Archives were transferred to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library by D'Arcy Masius Benton Bowles in 1991 and 2001.
Processing information:

Processed by: Donna Longo DiMichele; Finding aid completed and edited by Ellen Gartrell and Katherine Hufstetler. Processing of this collection was supported in part by gifts from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and the John and Kelly Hartman Foundation.

Completed 1994; additional processing completed 2008

Additions processed by Ruth E. Bryan, Debborah Carson, Michael Shumate

Encoded by Katherine Hufstetler, Alvin Pollock, Stephen Douglas Miller, Richard Collier, Ruth E. Bryan

Last updated 2008.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Contents

Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


Restrictions:

Collection is open for research.

However, original audiovisual materials are closed to researchers. Some use copies are available in the collection. Consult research services for further information.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in the D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles Archives have not been transferred to Duke University in their entirety. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles Archives, 1929-1995 and undated, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.