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Guide to the J. Walter Thompson Company. John R. Maher Papers, 1970-1987 and undated

Abstract

Founded in 1864, the J. Walter Thompson company (JWT) is one of the oldest and largest enduring advertising agencies in the United States. John R. Maher was an executive for JWT specializing in corporate development as well as account management. The John R. Maher Papers date from 1974 through 1986, with the bulk of the material spanning 1985-1986, roughly the period during which Maher managed corporate development for JWT. The collection contains information regarding companies proposed for acquisition by JWT; details from the acquisition of Winona Research; research and presentations regarding the state of advertising in China; strategic planning information for JWT Group and its subsidiaries; as well as some information about mega mergers and so called mega agencies. The materials include correspondence, reports, news clippings, presentation slides, corporate logos, contracts, financial documents, revenue projections, and promotional brochures. Companies mentioned in the files include Hill & Knowlton; Gallop Organization; Kobs and Brady; Simmons Market Research Bureau; and Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby. Acquired as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

Descriptive Summary

Collection Number
RL.00725
Title
J. Walter Thompson Company. John R. Maher papers
Date
1970-1987 and undated
Creator
J. Walter Thompson Company
Extent
3 Linear Feet, 2100 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

The John R. Maher Papers date from 1974 through 1986, with the bulk of the material spanning 1985-1986, roughly the period during which Maher managed corporate development for JWT. The collection contains information regarding companies proposed for acquisition by JWT; details from the acquisition of Winona Research; research and presentations regarding the state of advertising in China; strategic planning information for JWT Group and its subsidiaries; as well as some information about “mega mergers” and so called “mega agencies.” The materials include correspondence, reports, news clippings, presentation slides, corporate logos, contracts, financial documents, revenue projections, and promotional brochures. Companies mentioned in the files include Hill & Knowlton; Gallop Organization; Kobs and Brady; Simmons Market Research Bureau; and Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby.

Arrangement

This collection of general office files is arranged alphabetically. There are four major topic areas within the collection: China, potential acquisitions, strategic planning and Winona Research. There are also several folders regarding the phenomenon of mega agencies and mega mergers wherein agencies continually acquire other agencies, research into expanding the JWT Company into the Southwestern United States, Kellogg company client report, start up documents for the MRB group, and presentations on USA brand leadership and the future of networks. Materials in all folders include general papers including notes, correspondence, presentations, revenue projections and clippings from newspapers and magazines. Other materials include black and white slides and artwork for logos.

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

1. General Office Files, 1974-1986

5 boxes

Contains information regarding companies proposed for acquisition by JWT; details from the acquisition of Winona Research; research and presentations regarding the state of advertising in China; strategic planning information for JWT Group and its subsidiaries; as well as some information about mega mergers and so called mega agencies. Materials include correspondence, notes, reports, news clippings, presentation slides, logos, contracts, financial documents, revenue projections, and promotional brochures.

China, 1977-1986

Contains research materials on advertising in China, including news clippings; reports; materials related to preparing a trip to China; slides from a presentation given on advertising in China; and information about JWT client activity in China.

Box 1
China research communications and planning, 1985-1986
Box 1
China research materials, 1979-1985
(2 folders)
Box 1
JWT Client Involvement in China and Communications Report, 1985
Box 1
Presentation printouts and slides, 1985 Sept. 12
Box 1
Advertising Review and Opportunities for JWT, report, 1985 June 21
(2 folders)
Box 1
Roy Glah clippings and correspondence, 1977-1982
Box 1
Hill and Knowlton lobbying, circa 1985
Box 1
JWT Compant Germany, organizational research and evaluations, 1975-1986
(2 folders)
Box 1
Kellogg: Compensation study and reports, 1985
Box 2
Mega agency presentation and clippings, 1986
Box 2
Mega agency presentation text and printed slides, 1986
Box 2
Mega mergers, clippings and handwritten notes, 1974-1986 and undated
Box 2
MRB Group startup materials, correspondence, logo artwork, policies, planning and clippings, 1984-1986 and undated
Box 2
Network Television Today and Tomorrow speech, 1985
Box 2
Potential acquisitions, 1981-1986

Contains information regarding companies JWT either considered or attempted to acquire. Acquisition papers include correspondence; company financial statements; revenue projections; “authorization to negotiate acquisition” forms; company research; clippings; acquisition strategy information; and promotional materials.

Gallop Organization acquisition papers, 1982-1985
Box 2
Hank Meyers associates, Inc. acquisition papers, 1981-1986
Box 2
Kobs and Brady acquistion papers, 1984-1986
(2 folders)
Box 2
Krupp Taylor acquisition papers, 1984-1986
Box 3
Overview of acquisition candidates, acquistion papers, 1985-1986
(2 folders)
Box 3
Research for acquisition candidates, 1983-1985
Box 3
Response Communications, Inc. acquisition papers, 1981-1985
Box 3
Ted Thomas Associates, Inc. acquisition papers, 1982-1986
Box 3
Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby acquistion papers, 1984-1986
Box 3
William Douglas McAdams, Inc. acquistion papers, 1985-1986
Box 3
Strategic planning, 1985-1986

Contains strategic planning and review documents and presentations regarding JWT Group and its subsidiaries.

Hill and Knowlton Strategic Plan for years 1986-1988, undated
Box 3
Investment research reports, background data, 1986
(2 folders)
Box 4
JWT Company Marketing Plan for 1985-1987 and Strategic Review for Operations Committee meeting, 1985
Box 4
JWT Company Strategic Plan and Review for 1985-1987, 1985 Sept. 17
Box 4
JWT Company Strategic Plan presentation to Executive Committee, 1986 Aug.-Sept.
Box 4
JWT Group Strategic Plan for Board of Directors meeting, 1985 Dec. 3
Box 4
JWT Group Strategic Review and Plan for Board of Directors meeting, 1985 Dec. 3
Box 4
JWT Group Strategic Review, circa 1986
Box 4
Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein, Inc. Strategic Plan Review presentation, 1985 June 26
Box 4
Simmons Market Research Bureau, Strategic Plan Review presentation, 1985 May 28
Box 4
Texas expansion research and reports, 1983-1985
Box 4
USA Brand Leadership Report, clippings, and notes, 1981-1984
Box 4
Winona Research, 1982-1986

Contains acquisiton papers and contracts from the acquisition of Winona Research by JWT, including correspondence; company financial statements; revenue projections; “authorization to negotiate acquisition” forms; company research; clippings; acquisition strategy information; and promotional materials.

Box 5
Acquistion papers and contracts, 1986
Box 5
Company financial documents, 1982-1985
Box 5
Due dilligence review by Price Waterhouse, 1986
Box 5
Purchase agreement drafts, 1986
(2 folders)
Box 5

Historical Note

Chronology

Date Event(s)
March 9, 1932 Born, Brooklyn, NY
1953-1956 Served in U.S. Navy
1962 Account Supervisor, Benton & Bowles
1967 Director of Advertising and Promotion, Continental Airlines
1974 Account Director, J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT)
1976 General Manager, JWT Washington Office
1979 Deputy Manager, JWT North American Operations (New York Office)
1981 Senior Vice President, JWT Operations
1982 Group Account Director, JWT
1985 Placed in charge of Corporate Development, JWT Group
1986 Market Research Bureau (MRB Group) acquires Winona Research
1987 Elected Vice President of MRB Group

Subject Headings

Related Material

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], J. Walter Thompson Company. John R. Maher Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The J. Walter Thompson Company. John R. Maher Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a transfer in 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Molly Bragg, March 2010

Encoded by Molly Bragg, March 2010

Accession 870330 is described in this finding aid.