J. Walter Thompson Company. International Advertisements collection, 1900-2004 and undated, bulk 1965-1990

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Summary

Creator:
J. Walter Thompson Company
Abstract:
The J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT), founded in 1864, is one of the oldest and largest enduring advertising agencies in the world. It opened its first international office in London in 1899, and by 1930 the agency had established offices in some 30 countries. At present, JWT manages offices or partnership arrangements in approximately 90 countries. The J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) International Advertisements Collection spans the years 1900-2004 and consists primarily of print advertisements, along with some transparencies, photocopies of advertising, and other collateral material that document some of JWT's international advertising campaigns through the 20th century. Clients include a variety of local, national and multinational commercial firms, as well as government institutions and public service organizations. The holdings of the collection are uneven, with the bulk of the advertisements dating from the mid-1960s up to about 1990. There are limited early advertisements from Chesebrough-Pond's, General Motors, and other clients dating from the late 1920s and early 1930s in print and on microfilm from the various offices established during those years. There are almost no international advertisements from roughly 1933 to the middle of the 1950s. The United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth countries, and Latin America account for most of the advertisements from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s. While the holdings since about 1980 are much larger than earlier holdings, they are by no means complete, and vary substantially from office to office. Key multinational clients represented in the collection include Chesebrough-Pond's, Eastman Kodak, Ford, General Motors, Kraft, IBM, Pepsi, R.J. Reynolds, and Unilever. English translations of foreign-language advertisements are often provided by JWT's Asian and Pacific Offices. European and Latin American Offices provided translations far less frequently. Advertisements for members of the British Commonwealth are generally available in English only or in both English and the local language. Spanish-language advertisements produced by JWT offices in the United States, intended for the domestic Spanish-speaking population as well as for Latin America, may be found in the J. Walter Thompson Company Domestic Advertisements Collection.
Extent:
43 Linear Feet
18,000 Items
Language:
Material in English , Dutch , French , German , Italian , Spanish , Chinese , Hindi , Japanese , Thai
Collection ID:
RL.00715

Background

Scope and content:

The J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) International Advertisements Collection spans the years 1900-2004 and consists primarily of print advertisements, along with some transparencies, photocopies of advertising, and other collateral material that document some of JWT's international advertising campaigns through the 20th century. Clients include a variety of local, national and multinational commercial firms, as well as government institutions and public service organizations. The holdings of the collection are uneven, with the bulk of the advertisements dating from the mid-1960s up to about 1990. There are limited early advertisements from Chesebrough-Pond's, General Motors, and other clients dating from the late 1920s and early 1930s in print and on microfilm from the various offices established during those years. A larger selection of early advertisements may be found on Microfilm Reel #41 (35 mm). Contact Reference Staff for access.

There are almost no international advertisements from roughly 1933 to the middle of the 1950s. The United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth countries, and Latin America account for most of the advertisements from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s. While the holdings since about 1980 are much larger than earlier holdings, they are by no means complete, and vary substantially from office to office. Key multinational clients represented in the collection include Chesebrough-Pond's, Eastman Kodak, Ford, General Motors, Kraft, IBM, Pepsi, R.J. Reynolds, and Unilever.

English translations of foreign-language advertisements are often provided by JWT's Asian and Pacific Offices. European and Latin American Offices provided translations far less frequently. Advertisements for members of the British Commonwealth are generally available in English only or in both English and the local language. Spanish-language advertisements produced by JWT offices in the United States, intended for the domestic Spanish-speaking population as well as for Latin America, may be found in the Domestic Advertisements Collection.

The collection is organized into the following geographical series: Africa, Asia/Pacific, Canada, Europe, and Latin America. The multinational series are arranged alphabetically by country. For countries with multiple offices, the folders are arranged alphabetically by the office of origin. When it has been determined that more than one office within a country has been responsible for a client, the advertisements for that client are housed at the beginning of the country's collection in a "Multiple Office" group, listed alphabetically by product and the office involved as applicable (for exception, see below).

Advertisements are arranged according to the parent company of the product being marketed (i.e. Miracle Whip, Philadelphia cream cheese, Miracoli pasta and tomato sauce, and various salad dressings are all filed together under Kraft, within a given country). Because of corporate buyouts and name changes, it may be useful to search for a product under an older or more recent parent company (for example, Standard Brands and Nabisco, or Unilever and Brooke Bond Oxo). In some cases, the parent company may not be as well known as the brand name (such as Reckitt and Colman, parent company of Gerber Baby Foods), or could not be determined, so some flexibility in searching for products and companies is recommended.

The collection of advertisements from the Montreal Office is an exception to some of the notes and guidelines above. With 28 boxes of advertisements in French and English spanning 1921 to the 1990s, the Montreal Office Subseries is almost as large as the remainder of the entire collection. To maintain the integrity of these holdings, all advertisements from JWT/Montreal are housed together in the Montreal Office Subseries, even when Toronto and/or Vancouver also produced advertisements for the same client (for example, Labatt).

In addition, a small collection of international advertisements, mounted on foamboard for display purposes, is itemized at the end of this finding aid under the heading Mounted Advertisements.

Biographical / historical:
AFRICA
  1. Egypt: Alexandria, 1927
  2. South Africa: Cape Town, 1930
  3. South Africa: Johannesburg/Sandton, 1932
  4. South Africa: Port Elizabeth, 1928
ASIA/PACIFIC
  1. Australia: Brisbane, 1984
  2. Australia: Melbourne, 1929-1934, 1937
  3. Australia: Perth, 1984
  4. Australia: Sydney, 1929
  5. Hong Kong, 1977
  6. India: Bangalore, 1958-1959, 1979
  7. India: Bombay, 1929
  8. India: Calcutta, 1934
  9. India: Madras, 1955
  10. India: New Delhi, 1944
  11. Indonesia: Jakarta, 1930, 1982
  12. Japan: Osaka, 1931, 1957
  13. Japan: Tokyo, 1956
  14. Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, 1975
  15. New Zealand: Aukland, 1976
  16. New Zealand: Wellington, 1930, 1974
  17. Philippines: Manila, 1956
  18. Singapore, 1978
  19. Sri Lanka: Colombo, 1956, 1981
  20. Taiwan: Taipei, 1983
  21. Thailand: Bangkok, 1983
CANADA
  1. Montreal, 1929
  2. Toronto, 1911-1916, 1930
  3. Vancouver, 1958
EUROPE
  1. Austria: Vienna, 1930, 1960
  2. Belgium: Antwerp, 1927
  3. Belgium: Brussels, 1930, 1958
  4. Denmark: Copenhagen, 1927, 1967
  5. Finland: Helsinki, 1985
  6. France: Paris, 1927-1940, 1949
  7. Germany: Berlin, 1927
  8. Germany: Düsseldorf, 1983
  9. Germany: Frankfurt, 1952
  10. Germany: Hamburg, 1983
  11. Greece: Athens, 1974
  12. Italy: Milan, 1951
  13. Italy: Rome, 1962
  14. Netherlands: Amsterdam, 1957
  15. Netherlands: The Hague, 1928
  16. Norway: Oslo, 1985
  17. Poland: Warsaw, 1929
  18. Portugal: Lisbon, 1929, 1967, 1973, 1981
  19. Romania: Bucharest, 1929
  20. Slovenia: 1993
  21. Spain: Barcelona, 1932, 1966
  22. Spain: Madrid, 1927, 1966
  23. Sweden: Stockholm, 1927, 1969
  24. Switzerland: Zug, 1964
  25. Switzerland: Zurich, 1965
  26. Turkey: Istanbul, 1930, 1985
  27. United Kingdom: London, 1899-1916, 1919
  28. United Kingdom: Manchester, 1980
LATIN AMERICA
  1. Argentina: Buenos Aires, 1929
  2. Bolivia: La Paz, 1978
  3. Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, 1931
  4. Brazil: São Paulo, 1929
  5. Chile: Santiago, 1929, 1944
  6. Colombia: Bogotá, 1944
  7. Ecuador: Guayaquil, 1982
  8. Ecuador: Quito, 1982
  9. Mexico: Mexico City, 1943
  10. Panama: Panama City, 1955
  11. Puerto Rico: San Juan, 1955-1978
  12. Uruguay: Montevideo, 1929
  13. Venezuela: Caracas, 1955, 1964

Since the J. Walter Thompson Company opened its first international office in London in 1899, the agency has grown into a multinational company with offices in dozens of countries on every inhabited continent. To the general public, the most visible form of the agency's presence around the globe has been the advertisements themselves. In some cases, advertisements for the products of multinational corporations such as Eastman-Kodak, IBM, Kraft, Pepsico, R.J. Reynolds, and Unilever reflect the spread of American commercial culture and economic influence across the globe. Other advertisements promote local products, organizations, or public service campaigns. Whatever the subject matter, the advertisements usually reflect the synthesis of American and international advertising with local culture and fashions.

Acquisition information:
The J. Walter Thompson Company. International Advertisements Collection were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a transfer in 1994, with additions in subsequent years.
Processing information:

Processed by Richard Collier, Elizabeth Frederick, Katherine Rose, April 1997. Additional processing by Richard Collier in 2007.

Encoded by Richard Collier, Elizabeth Frederick, Katherine Rose

Completed October 2007

Accessions 97-097, 98-535, 99-244, 02-236 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

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Collection is open for research.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], J. Walter Thompson Company. International Advertisements Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.