Frankfurt Office, 1958-1964

Scope and content:

The Frankfurt Office series spans the years 1958 to 1964, with the bulk of the material dating from 1959 to 1960 and from 1963 to 1964. The papers primarily document activities of JWT's Frankfurt Office during the years Lanigan served as Joint Manager. Specific topics covered are efforts to increase and improve the use of television and print advertising in Europe, especially England and Germany; to improve coordination of international JWT Offices to better serve client interests; to increase European business; and to handle a variety of personnel, public relations, and marketing concerns. The papers consist of typed and handwritten correspondence, telexes and telegrams, memoranda, notes, reports, one photograph, press releases, speeches, contracts, newsletters, clippings, product samples, collateral literature and advertisements. Clients of the company represented in the collection include Chesebrough-Pond's, Findus, Ford, Johnson Wax (or Johnson-Gruenol), Kaufhof, Kraft, Lever-Sunlicht, Pan American Airways, Pepsi, Rowntree, Singer, Triumph, Warner-Lambert, Wick, and others. Correspondents include clients; executives from JWT offices such as George Black, David Campbell-Harris, Bill Hinks, Constance B. Ivie, Don Johnston, Jens von Leutzendorff, Sam Meek, D. M. Saunders, Lubertus Smilde, Norman Strouse, Thomas Sutton, and Edward G. Wilson; media consultants such as Eric Boden; and persons affiliated with various companies and organizations.

Approximately 70 percent of the collection is in English and the remainder is in German, with the exception of very small amounts of French, Italian, and Dutch. English is the sole language of the Articles subseries and the Layton Awards subseries, and the predominant language in the Correspondence subseries, the Other JWT Offices subseries, and the Meetings subseries. English and German are used in roughly equal amounts in the Clients subseries, the New Business subseries and the Marketing and Research/Abteilung Marktforschung subseries. German is the predominant language in the Memoranda/Haus-Mitteilungen subseries.

The Correspondence subseries documents Lanigan's transition from JWT's New York Office to the Frankfurt office, coordination between the Frankfurt and London Offices, Frankfurt's day-to-day operations, German and American attitudes toward advertising, and reviews of a German-made film on U.S. advertising called "Bilder aus der neuen Welt" ("Pictures from the New World)." The film profiles JWT, Benson and Mather, Dr. Dichter, Ogilvy, and McCann-Erickson advertising agencies. The subseries also contains information on accounts, including market strategies, difficulties in dealing with the European management of Playtex, the coordination of Unilever, acquisition of the Pan Am account in Vienna, and the production of television ads for various clients. Correspondents from the New York office include Paul Albright, George Black, Aldis Butler, M. Lee Calvert, Robert Carman, Malcolm Davis, Peter Dunham, Robert Hawes, William Hinks, Connie Ivie, Sam Meek, O'Neill Ryan, Norman Strouse, Clifford Snyder, and Lubertus Smilde, and from the London office Thomas G. Hardie and D.M. Saunders. Other correspondents in this subseries include persons affiliated with various media consulting firms; economic research organizations; the advertising agencies Troost and McCann-Erickson; and Booz, Allen, and Hamilton International; and organizations such as Advertiser's Weekly, the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, and the Gesellschaft Werbeagenturen.

The Other J. Walter Thompson Offices subseries consists of correspondence between Denis Lanigan and executives from JWT's international offices. Files for the London and New York Offices contain the most material, while Amsterdam, Milan, and Paris are also substantial among the thirty-five offices documented. Topics include aspects of film production for clients, the impact of legislation and public perception on advertising internationally, training and personnel matters, Frankfurt Office visitors, and international public relations for JWT. Some issues that are covered specifically include 1962 total advertising expenditures in the UK; Lord Robens' speech on advertising and politics; a major German exhibit on advertising and the consumer (“Der umworbene Mensch”); information on outdoor advertising in Italy; market research on the German beer and bread markets; the need for establishing a JWT Office in Vienna; the development, testing and introduction of new Lever products in Germany such as CD and SIGNAL; efforts to improve the overall quality of film advertising in Germany including the unsuccessful attempt to recruit well-known theater director Peter Zadek; and an evaluation of the need for better assessing client conflicts of interest, arising in part from the conflict between Canada Mink and the Swedish SAGA Mink as JWT clients in Europe. Correspondents from the London Office include James Archibald, Jeremy Bullmore, Christopher Cross, Bill Hinks, Norman Basset, Carl Ivens, Elizabeth Oxley, Michael Patmore, Douglas Saunders, and Tom Sutton; and from the New York Office, Gordon Conley and Edward Wilson among others. Current and prospective accounts discussed in this subseries include Alcan, Brinkmann, Bristol Myers, Burroughs, Braemar, Brillo, Canada Mink, Champion, Chesebrough-Ponds, Dunlop, Eastman Kodak, Findus, Ford, Kaufhof, Kelloggs, Kraft, Lintex, Lux, Merrill Lynch, Nestle, Oxo, Singer, Scott, Therachemie, Triumph, and Vic's (UK name of Vick's/Wick).

The Clients subseries consists of materials pertaining to JWT's day-to-day work for its clients, including market strategies, campaign development, and the production of advertisements. It includes background information on JWT's relationship with Ford in Germany and Switzerland, a review of Kraft advertising in Germany, and information on special promotions for Pepsi in Europe. Well-documented accounts in this subseries include: Chesebrough Pond's, Dunlop, Ford, Intercontinental Hotels, Johnson Wax, Litton Industries, Kaufhof, Kraft, Maggi, Merrill Lynch, Norda, Playtex, Pepsi, SAGA, SIGNAL (a Lever product), Triumph, Warner-Lambert, and Wrigley.

The New Business subseries documents Frankfurt's strategies to acquire new clients. The subseries includes both successful and unsuccessful new business presentations for the following companies and organizations: Beecham/Ribena, Constructa, Dow Chemical, Eastman Kodak, Famous Artist Schools, FAZ, Horlicks, Jopa, Langeberg Sales, Oetker, Osram, Philips, Lever, SEL, Singer, and the World Coffee Promotion Committee.

The Memoranda/Hausmitteilungen subseries offers insight into the internal policy and communications of the Frankfurt Office. The subseries specifically documents shifts in the Marketing Department's organization and training, information on television advertising, art-buying, the company's media archive, personnel policies, and daily operations. Clients discussed in this subseries include Findus, Florida Citrus Growers, Nordsee, RCA, SIGNAL, and Scott.

The Meetings subseries documents Lanigan's participation in JWT European Managers' Meetings. Topics discussed at the meetings include JWT's international public relations, management coordination of international accounts, ideas for new business presentations, the economic implications of the European common market, and interoffice communication and exchange of personnel.

The Articles subseries contains advertising and promotional plans for JWT agricultural clients (California Raisin Advisory Board, Pineapple Growers Association, Olive Advisory Board). Other topics include copy research and grocery trade; advertising effects on economic growth; and international advertising markets and campaigns.

The Marketing and Research/Abteilung Marktforschung subseries documents research projects, correspondence (primarily with the New York Office), and memoranda of Frankfurt's Marketing and Research division (Abteilung Marktforschung).

The Layton Awards Series consists of materials relating to the annual Layton Awards for British advertising, an event sponsored by the graphics firm C and E Layton.

Related material:

For related material, see other collections in the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives, especially the papers of other Frankfurt office executives, the Frankfurt advertisements collection, and the Frankfurt video collection.


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Collection is open for research.

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The copyright interests in the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives have not been transferred to Duke University. 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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