About the Digital Collection
The J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT), founded in 1864, is one of the largest enduring advertising agencies in the U.S.
The J. Walter Thompson Newsletters digital collection comprises the agency's internally produced newsletters, which date from 1916 through 1986. The newsletter addressed issues of importance to the entire company, with articles on account news, client lists--or account gains and losses--and biographies and short notes on JWT staff, including professional accomplishments, promotions and transfers, visits to other JWT offices, and personal events (i.e. marriages, births, and deaths).
The Main Newsletter Series also documents the results of both general and client-specific market research surveys, as well as general discussions of various markets and industries; television, radio, and print media developments (sometimes including listings of programs sponsored by JWT clients); and news from and profiles of JWT's offices and divisions around the world.
There are some gaps in publication of these newsletters, most notably 1931-1945 and 1970-1975. Coverage of international affairs varies substantially, though all of the titles in this series provide some news from JWT's offices overseas. The richest sources of JWT international news are the newsletters of the 1970s and 1980s, when there is a substantial increase in the frequency and depth of attention paid to JWT operations globally.
One particularly useful source is Thumbnail Sketches, a column published regularly in the newsletter from 1946 to 1964 which profiled JWT staff. Also common were reports on JWT advertising campaigns and their subsequent impact on both the market and the client; from 1946 until roughly 1962, the newsletters featured the Campaign of the Week, detailing particularly successful campaigns.
The newsletters in the Main Newsletter Series were all published by the New York office, sometimes with local office newsletter inserts. Copies of advertisements or management correspondence were sometimes attached as well.
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The preservation of the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections and the Duke Digital Repository programs are supported in part by the Lowell and Eileen Aptman Digital Preservation Fund