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Penn Libraries News

J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America, 1887-2014

Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipe advertisement in German

The Penn Libraries have purchased J. Walter Thompson : Advertising America, 1887-2014, a digitized collection of advertising materials produced by J. Walter Thompson, one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most innovative advertising firms.

Materials in this digitized collection consists of publications, reports, research, memoranda, correspondence, meeting minutes, creative briefs, scripts, speeches, newsletters, artwork and advertisements created by the staff of J. Walter Thompson.

The contents of J. Walter Thompson : Advertising America, 1887-2014 have been selected from the J. Walter Thompson archive, held at Duke University Libraries, and have been digitized and cataloged by Adam Matthew Digital.

The documents published here range from the late nineteenth century up until the late 1990s with the bulk of material from after World War II. The collections included in the collection are the Publications, Account Files for nine key clients, Staff Newsletters, Staff Writings & Speeches, Chicago Office Research, New York Office Research, New Business Records, Information Center Records, Corporation Vertical Files, Review Board Records, Staff Meeting Minutes and a selection of Print Advertisements. A huge number of brands, companies, and industries are represented from automobiles to cosmetics and cruises, and the collection includes complete files on some of J. Walter Thompson’s key accounts.

Nine brands have been selected from JWT’s clients for in-depth case studies: Kodak, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Oscar Mayer, Pan Am World Airways, United States Marine Corps, R.T. French, Scott Paper, and White Castle Restaurants. For these brands, complete Account Files have been digitized, offering account histories, research and data reports, advertising schedules, JWT memoranda and correspondence with clients, campaign presentations and proposals, product labels and packaging designs, original artwork and advertising proofs, briefs and scripts, and newspaper clippings. These files are complemented by selections from complementing selections from JWT’s Corporation Vertical Files, Review Board Records, and New Business Records collections for several of these brands.

J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America presents a visual gallery of more than 1,600 advertising images. These proofs and clippings include magazine, newspaper, colour, black-and-white, proofs, tearsheets, and clippings for more than 80 JWT clients.

JWT operations and corporate culture are documented in the complete files of JWT publications, internal newsletters, and staff meeting minutes. These include client lists and in-house directories of publications for advertising placement.

J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America also includes the complete records of JWT’s Chicago Office Media Resources and Research Department and the New YOrk Research Department. These contain market research reports and other studies; office administrative files contain clippings, policy statements, press releases, departmental overviews and mission statements, and writings and speeches by key departmental executives.



July 17, 2019