- Scope and Content:
The John O'Toole Papers cover the years 1954-1990, with the bulk of materials dating from the 1980s, roughly the period when O'Toole served as Chairman of Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB), and as an executive with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA). The collection primarily consists of correspondence; speeches; research reports; business presentations; and slides related to FCB management and advertising activities. The collection also includes several proofs; clippings; and a film of television advertisements for Merrill Lynch. Advertisers represented in the collection include British Airways; Clairol; Colgate-Palmolive; Frito-Lay; Gillette; Heinz; Jockey; Pepsi; Sunkist; and Volkswagen.
- Biographical / Historical:
|1929 || Born, Chicago, Ill. |
|1951 || BA, Journalism, Northwestern University |
|1951-1953 || U.S. Marine Corps Reserves |
|1953-1954 || Copy Writer, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn |
|1954 || Copy Writer, Foote, Cone & Belding Communications, Inc. (FCB) |
|1965 || Creative Director, FCB's Los Angeles Office. |
|1967 || Creative Director, FCB's Chicago Office. |
|1969-1981 || President, FCB's New York Office. |
|1981 || Published book The Trouble with Advertising. |
|1981-1985 || Chairman of FCB, Inc. |
|1986-1988 || Director, American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA). |
|1988-1995 || President, AAAA. |
|1995 || Died. |
During his adolescent years, John O'Toole wrote several plays for a local radio station and over 200 poems for newspapers, magazines and anthologies. At age 18, one of his books of poetry was published; the proceeds from this publication paid for his first year of college.
O'Toole worked as a waiter, radio announcer and meter reader before beginning a career in the advertising business. O'Toole's first advertising job was for Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, where he served as copywriter on the accounts Royal Crown Cola, Ac'cent, and Amity Leather Products. In 1954, he joined the staff of Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB), where he began as Copy Writer and subsequently became Copy Supervisor, Vice President, Creative Director of the Los Angeles and Chicago offices. During his career, he wrote copy and campaign themes for more than 40 television commercials. Some of his major clients included the First National Bank of Chicago, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, General Foods, Armour Soap Works and Kraft Foods.
O'Toole also served prominently in the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), as Director and then President of the Association. He also served as Director of the National Advertising Review Council, and served on the Board of Directors of John Nuveen Mutual Funds.
- Acquisition Information:
The John O'Toole Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in 1995 and 1996.
- Processing information:
Processed by Jessica Wood, November 2009
Encoded by Jessica Wood, December 2009
Accessions 95-124, 96-051 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
The collection is arranged into 13 series: Administrative Files; American Association of Advertising Agencies Files; Client Files; Correspondence; International Offices; Meetings; New Business; Personnel; Reports; Slides; Writings and Speeches; Audiovisual Materials; and Oversize Materials. The Administrative Files Series consists of administrative records, clippings, company promotional materials, printed matter, memorabilia, budgets, organizational information, expense records, and files related to various FCB programs and initiatives. The American Association of Advertising Agencies Files Series contains correspondence, meeting programs, itineraries, presentations and minutes, as well as research materials and reports from the period during which O'Toole served as Director of the AAAA. The Client Files Series contains presentations, correspondence, reports, charts, proofs and tearsheets for domestic and international FCB clients. The Correspondence Series contains O'Toole's personal and business correspondence, including office-wide memoranda, including those sent by O'Toole while he was company Chairman and several folders of carbon copies. The International Offices Series contains reports, correspondence, and organizational information related to the operations of FCB's international offices. The Meetings Series contains correspondence, memoranda, agendas, minutes, reports, presentation scripts, and other documents relating to meetings of FCB staff and of various advertising organizations. Also includes files related to luncheons and dinners of FCB staff, advertising organizations and various societies outside of the advertising business. The New Business Series contains materials related to the attempts of FCB to acquire new accounts, primarily including drafts and scripts of general agency presentations designed for prospective clients. The Reports Series contains reports and charts covering topics such as advertising techniques, research, media, industries, and demographics. Also includes annual reports, operations reviews and creative reviews for company-wide performance. The Slides Series contains slides of advertisements for FCB and competing agencies. The Writings and Speeches Series contains primarily speeches written and delivered by O'Toole, relating to various advertising topics. Includes some speeches and articles written by other FCB staff or other advertising professionals. The Audiovisual Materials Series includes a 16mm reel of advertisements presented at a World Creative Directors' Conference, a 16mm reel of advertising spots for Merrill Lynch, and an audiotape of a recording of the song "Quick Changes," to which John O'Toole wrote the lyrics. The Oversize Materials Series includes large-format items removed from previous series.
- Physical Location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Rules or Conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard