J. Walter Thompson Company. Shirley F. Woodell papers, 1943-1958
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- J. Walter Thompson Company
- 1.7 Linear Feet
- Collection ID:
- Scope and content:
The papers of Shirley F. Woodell span the years 1943 to 1958. They consist of correspondence, memoranda, reports, maps, notes, itineraries, and a photograph album. The collection documents the operations of the J. Walter Thompson Company in Mexico, the Caribbean area, and Latin America, primarily through correspondence and reports written by Woodell during and immediately after his business trips. The bulk of the collection consists of Woodell's accounts of his field trips written, often daily, to J. Walter Thompson Company executives and staff. There is also correspondence to representatives of some of the company's clients. The collection documents the process of marketing a wide variety of American products, from cosmetics to automotive parts, in an international market. Local uses of products and the ways in which competitive products affected the markets for clients' products were also described because local economic and cultural factors affected decisions about advertising and distribution.
The correspondence and reports convey information relevant to advertising, however the collection also includes more general observations of an American traveler in foreign countries. Social customs, traditional cultures, political situations, and Indian peoples of many countries are noted throughout the manuscripts. Clients of the J. Walter Thompson Company represented in the collection include Chesebrough-Pond's, Ford Motor Company, Eastman Kodak Company, J.B. Williams Company, Kraft Foods Company, Pan American World Airways, Parker Pen Company, Reader's Digest Association, and Standard Brands Incorporated. A business trip Woodell made during his earlier employment with McCann-Erickson Worldwide is also documented. A record of one business trip to England, France and Belgium is included.
In correspondence, memoranda, and reports, Woodell describes meetings with product distributors, retailers, dealers, and other advertising executives, including information about their business operations as well as their personal characteristics. Print and radio advertisements, billboards, and signs are discussed with regard to both their market success and attendant production problems. Costs, production facilities, and translations from English to Spanish, Portuguese, or French were often problematic. Traveling on behalf of his company and its clients, Woodell was responsible for a myraid of details and conducting business at a distance from the company's New York office was often difficult. He was occasionally exasperated by delays or apparent lack of attention to his requests for information or assistance. Woodell also describes his accommodations, parties and other social functions that he attended.
The Photograph Album, titled "Friends," contains candid portraits of personnel from the J. Walter Thompson Company's New York Office and its various International Division offices, and representatives of the company's client businesses.
- Biographical / historical:
Date Event 1907, Sept. 25Born, Louisville, Ky. 1907-1919Lived in Havana, Cuba 1926-1928Export advertising clerk, Holeproof Hosiery Company, New York 1927A.B., Columbia University 1928-1941Advertising manager, Packard Motors Export Corporation, New York 1938Founder and first President of the International Advertising Association 1941-1943Sales manager, International Division, National Broadcasting Corporation, New York 1943-1944Account executive, Foreign Department, McCann-Erickson Corporation, New York 1944-1945United States Navy Department 1946-1960J. Walter Thompson Company, International Department 1960Retired from the J. Walter Thompson Company; lecturer at the business school of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; International Advertising Association "Man of the Year" award
- Acquisition information:
- The Shirley F. Woodell Papers were transferred to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library from the J. Walter Thompson Company in 1987.
- Processing information:
Processed by: Donna Longo DiMichele
Completed October 11, 1993
Processing of this collection was supported in part by the J. Walter Thompson Company Fund and the John and Kelly Hartman Foundation.
Encoded by Stephen Miller
- Rules or conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
- Marketing -- Latin America
- John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History
Kraft Foods Company
Eastman Kodak Company
J. B. Williams Company
Ford Motor Company
Pan American World Airways, Inc.
Parker Pen Company
Reader's Digest Association
Standard Brands Incorporated
Woodell, Shirley F., 1907-
- Mexico -- Description and travel
Latin America -- Description and travel
Caribbean Area -- Description and travel
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- Terms of access:
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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- Preferred citation:
[Identification of item], J. Walter Thompson Company. Shirley F. Woodell Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.