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Guide to the J. Walter Thompson Company. Joseph O'Donnell Papers, 1947-1987 and undated, bulk 1986

Abstract

Founded in 1864, the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) is one of the largest and oldest enduring advertising agencies in the United States. Joseph O'Donnell was an executive with JWT and served as the company's Chief Executive Officer during 1986.

The Joseph O'Donnell Papers cover the years 1947-1987, with the bulk of materials from 1986, the year O'Donnell served as Chief Executive Officer of JWT. The collection primarily consists of correspondence, memoranda, reports of company performance, presentations and company policy information. The collection also includes personnel-related records, photographs, and videocassettes of television commercials of JWT and competing agencies. Companies represented in the collection include Beatrice Foods; Kodak; Ford; Hyatt Hotels; IBM; Kellogg's; Kraft; Pepsi-Cola; Sprint; Unilever; and U.S. Air. Acquired as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
J. Walter Thompson Company.
Title
J. Walter Thompson Company. Joseph O'Donnell papers 1947-1987 and undated, bulk 1986
Language of Material
English,, Spanish
Extent
12 Linear Feet, 6000 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Joseph O'Donnell Papers cover the years 1947-1987, with the bulk of materials from 1986, the year O'Donnell served as Chief Executive Officer of JWT. The collection primarily consists of correspondence, memoranda, reports of company performance, presentations and company policy information. The collection also includes personnel-related records, photographs, and videocassettes of television commercials of JWT and competing agencies. Companies represented in the collection include Beatrice Foods; Kodak; Ford; Hyatt Hotels; IBM; Kellogg's; Kraft; Pepsi-Cola; Sprint; Unilever; and U.S. Air.

Restrictions on Access: Files relating to personnel matters of JWT employees are closed to research for 40 years from the date of termination of employment, or 25 years from the date of the employee's death if termination date is unknown. In addition, original audiovisual materials are closed to research until use copies can be made.

Administrative Information

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

RESTRICTED: Files relating to personnel matters of JWT employees are closed to research for 40 years from the date of termination of employment, or 25 years from the date of the employee's death if termination date is unknown.

Original audiovisual materials are closed to research until use copies can be made.

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

Contains memoranda, correspondence, company policy information, leases, clippings, photographs and financial documents pertaining to the daily operations of JWT domestic offices. Original folder titles were maintained and items were arranged alphabetically.

Agency profile, 1985
(2 folders)
Box 1
Atlanta office space, 1986
Box 1
Business Building Efforts forms, undated
Box 1
Chicago lease, 1986
Box 1
1947, 1983, 1985
Box 1
Joe O'Donnell clippings, 1986
Box 1
Corporate Committee, 1986
Box 1
Council of Better Business Bureaus, 1986
Box 1
Creative Director profiles, 1986
Box 1
Detroit Advertising Association, 1986
Box 1
Directors expenses, 1986
Box 1
General files, 1981, 1986-1987
Box 1
Policies and procedures, 1986
Box 1
Press, 1981, 1986
Box 1
Number of Offices, 1986
Box 1
Patterson, Jim (Executive Vice President) photograph, undated
Box 1
Photographs, 1981-1982 and undated
Box 1
Policy on Reporting of Billings, 1987
Box 1
Salvation Army, 1986
Box 1
Subscriptions and memberships, 1986
Box 1
Tampa Group Move, Relocation Policy and Program Guide, 1986
Box 1
Thompson Recruitment Advertising, 1986-1987
Box 1

Includes files pertaining to JWT client policies, strategies and reports, as well as materials specific to particular companies. Includes campaign presentations, marketing plans, briefings, correspondence, agency reviews and some client-specific annual reports. Original folder titles were maintained and items were arranged alphabetically.

Client briefing letters, 1986
Box 1
Client development plan, 1984
Box 1
Client media pressure, 1985 Feb.
Box 1
Court/Money, 1985
Box 1
Agency contact, 1986
Box 1
Dates, 1986-1987
Box 1
Multinational Client Business Building Program, 1984
Box 1
New Business, 1986
Box 1
Presentation, slides not used, undated
Box 2
Production costs, 1985 Feb.
Box 2
Top 20 Worldwide Clients, 1986
Box 2
Warning letters, 1985 Feb.

[Form letters expressing similar dissatisfaction with JWT, addressed from a variety of clients]

Box 2
AT&T/Illinois Bell, 1982 Nov. 29
Box 2
General files, 1980-1983
(2 folders)
Box 2
Business Units profiles, 1983
Box 2
McRobbie meeting, 1984
Box 2
Meeting agenda, 1983 Oct. 18
Box 2
Burger King, 1986
Box 2
Chevron, 1986
Box 2
Continental Airlines, 1986
Box 2
DeBeers, 1986
Box 2
Discover Card, 1986-1987
Box 2
Eastern Airlines, 1986
Box 2
General files, 1986
Box 2
Account briefing, 1986 June
Box 2
Worldwide Management Review, 1986 May 9
Box 2
Eaton, 1986
Box 2
Evans Furs, 1982-1983
Box 2
General files, 1986
Box 3
Ford Division Car Creative Review, 1986 Mar. 26
Box 3
Detroit office, 1986
Box 3
D.E. Petersen meeting, 1986 Sept. 23
Box 3
General Foods, 1986
Box 3
Gerber, 1981-1983
Box 3
Goodyear, 1986-1987
Box 3
H&R Block, 1981
Box 3
General files, 1986
Box 3
Strategic Plan Review, 1986
Box 3
General files, 1981-1986
(2 folders)
Box 3
Plans Board, 1981 July 24
Box 3
General files, 1986
Box 3
Mid-Range Competitive Positioning--A Creative Overview, undated
Box 3
Presentation, 1986 July 9
Box 3
Review Board briefing, undated
Box 3
General files, 1981-1986
(4 folders)
Box 4
International Case History, 1982
Box 4
Proposed Agenda: Contingency Planning Session, undated
Box 4
U.S. Broadcast Review, 1983 Feb. 14
Box 4
General files, 1983, 1986
(3 folders)
Box 4
Better for You campaign, 1983
Box 4
Business summaries, 1983
Box 4
Management Review, 1983
Box 4
Miracle Whip Communications Workshop Pre-Test, Carry Out, 1983
Box 4
Monthly Monitoring of JWT Performance on Kraft U.S. Branded Business, 1983
Box 4
Monthly Monitor of JWT Performance on Kraft RFG Business, 1983
Box 4
Singles campaign, 1983
Box 5
UDIA, undated
Box 5
Löwenbräu, 1986
Box 5
Mattel, 1986
Box 5
McDonnell Douglas, 1986
Box 5
General files, 1981-1982
(2 folders)
Box 5
Brief Profile of JWT Chicago, 1983 May 4
Box 5
Presentation, 1983 Mar. 23
Box 5
Nabisco, 1986
Box 5
General files, 1986

[Includes international offices.]

Box 5
Annual Agency Review, 1986 Apr. 2
Box 5
Nutri-Grain, marketing plans, 1982-1983
Box 5
General files, 1986
Box 5
O'Donnell-Bowen Brief, 1986 Sept. 16

[Includes international offices.]

Box 5
Philips, 1986
Box 5
Pillsbury, 1986
Box 5
General files, 1986
Box 5
Annual Report, 1985
Box 5
Reader's Digest, 1986
Box 5
General files, 1986
Box 5
Ross Johnson files, 1986
Box 5
Rolex (London), 40th Anniversary, 1986
Box 5
Rountree/Nestlé, 1983-1984
Box 5
Salada Tea, Preliminary T-Plan, 1981 June 23
Box 6
General files, 1981-1984
(2 folders)
Box 6
JWT International Overview, 1983
Box 6
Seven-Up, test market screw-up, 1985 Feb.

[Inquiry regarding miscommunication relating to the launch of 7-Up 3-liter bottles]

Box 6
Texas Air, 1986
Box 6
General files, 1986
Box 6
Johnson-Lever Situation, Back-Up Materials, 1986
Box 6
Unilever-McNeil Pharmaceuticals, New Business Pitch, 1986 Oct. 18
Box 6
General files, 1986-1987
Box 6
Joseph O'Donnell Briefing, circa 1987
Box 6
U.S. Air, 1986
Box 6
U.S. Marine Corps, 1986
Box 6
General files, 1986
Box 6
San Francisco presentation, 1986 Apr. 1
Box 6
Warner-Lambert, 1986
Box 6

Contains correspondence and memoranda from JWT-sponsored charities, clients, newspapers and organizations, as well as memoranda between JWT employees. Also includes some private correspondence received by O'Donnell on the occasion of his 1986 promotion. Some of the letters arrived in Chronological Books. Original folder titles were maintained and items were arranged alphabetically.

Advertising Age, 1987
Box 6
Advertising Age article, 1987
Box 6
Administrative costs, 1986
Box 6
American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), 1985-1986
Box 6
American Advertising Federation, 1986
Box 6
Anniversaries, 1986-1987
Box 6
Asia Pacific Managers Meeting, 1986 Mar.
Box 7
Boys Club of America, 1986
Box 7
Brouillard, 1986-1987
Box 7
Business Practices Questionnaire, 1986
Box 7
Chronological Books, 1986-1987
(1-7 of 8 folders)
Box 7
Chronological Books, 1986-1987 (continued)
(8 of 8 folders)
Box 8
Club memberships, 1986-1987
Box 8
Company Board, 1986-1987
Box 8
Compensation, 1986
Box 8
Conference Board, 1986
Box 8
Congratulatory letters, 1986
(5 folders)
Box 8
Contributions, 1986
Box 8
Election of Officers, 1986
Box 8
Financial, 1986-1987
Box 9
International Herald Tribune, 1986
Box 9
Memoranda, 1985
Box 9
Miscellaneous, 1986-1987
Box 9
New Years letters, 1986
Box 9
New York Post, 1986
Box 9
Joseph O'Donnell files, boards and committees, 1986
Box 9
Tampering, 1986

[Refers to an Ad Council campaign concerning corporate tampering]

Box 9
Washington, D.C., Kemper Open, 1981-1983
Box 9
466 Lexington, 1986
Box 9

Contains primarily correspondence and memoranda between JWT employees and clients in international offices. Includes some materials from international advertising conferences and meetings, as well as reviews of company performance. Items arranged alphabetically by office location.

Amsterdam, 1986
Box 9
Athens, 1986
Box 9
Caracas, 1986
Box 9
Central Pacific, 1986 November Review
Box 9
General files, 1986
Box 9
JWT in China: Planning Cycle, 1986
Box 9
Dinner requests, 1985 Feb.
Box 9
General files, 1986-1987
Box 9
EMG meeting minutes, 1986 Sept. 18
Box 9
EROC meeting, 1986 June 3
Box 9
Multi-national JWT Policeman, 1985 Feb.
Box 9
Organizational Study for JWT Germany, 1986
Box 9
Trip file, 1986
(3 folders)
Box 9
Helsinki, 1986
Box 10
Beijing Ad Conference, 1987
Box 10
Presentation, 1986 Oct. 3-8
Box 10
International client structure, 1986
Box 10
Japan, 1986
Box 10
Latin America, 1986
Box 10
Latin American Managers Meeting, 1986
Box 10
Lisbon, 1986
Box 10
General files, 1986-1987
Box 10
London trip, 1986
Box 10
Three-year plans, 1986
Box 10
Madrid, 1987
Box 10
Milan, 1986
Box 10
Singapore, 1986
Box 10
South Africa, 1986
(2 folders)
Box 10
Status Report on Asia, South Pacific, 1986
Box 10
Stockholm, 1986
Box 10
Sydney, 1986
Box 10
Toronto, 1986
Box 10
Turkey, 1986
Box 10
Vancouver, 1986
Box 10

Contains programs, correspondence, schedules, itineraries, and some presentation slides related to JWT meetings and events. Also includes materials pertaining to general advertising events. Folders were titled by organizing group and arranged alphabetically.

Advertising Managers Group, 1986 Mar.
Box 10
American Association of Advertising Agencies Annual Meeting, 1986
Box 10
Board Dinner, 1986 May 7, Evviva
Box 10
Board of Directors meetings, 1984-1986
(1-2 of 7 folders)
Box 10
Board of Directors meetings, 1984-1986
(5-7 of 7 folders)
Box 11
Davos Symposium materials, packet and slides, 1986-1987
(3 folders)
Box 11
Dinners, Thompson tables, 1986
Box 11
European Managers Meeting, 1986 Mar.
Box 11
Latin American Managers Meeting, 1986 Mar.
Box 11
Managers' Meeting, JWT-USA, 1984 Sept. 11
Box 11
Sam Meek Seminar, 1985-1986
(2 folders)
Box 11
Newly Elected Board of Directors meeting, 1985 May 9
(2 folders)
Box 11
New York Board Group presentation, 1981
Box 11
No Trust Slides, undated
Box 11
Operation Group meeting, 1985 Sept.
Box 11
Operation Management Group meetings, 1986
Box 11
PDG, 1986
Box 11
VFW meeting, 1986
Box 11

Contains primarily correspondence and resumes pertaining to company hires, terminations, salaries and bonuses. Also includes some performance reviews and information on employee stock holdings. Original folder titles were maintained and items were arranged alphabetically by last name, where applicable.

[Restrictions on access:Files relating to personnel matters of JWT employees are closed to research for 40 years from the date of termination of employment, or 25 years from the date of the employee's death if termination date is unknown.]

Agnew, Jim, 1986
Box 12
Balestrino, Chuck, 1986
Box 12
Beauregard, Bob, 1987
Box 12
Bonuses, 1986
Box 12
Brussels, 1986

[Primarily consists of files relating to the Pierre Puvilland investigation.]

Box 12
Chairman visitation, 1985 Feb.
Box 12
Chicago, 1986
Box 12
Clark, Harry, 1986
Box 12
Cooper-Evans, Michael, 1986
Box 12
Credentials, 1985 Feb.
Box 12
Dell, Glen, 1986
Box 12
Detroit, 1986
Box 12
Diane's master file in machine, 1985 Feb.
Box 12
Europe, 1987
Box 12
Gill, Mike, 1986
Box 12
Gutierrez, Victor, 1986
Box 12
Hore, Marlene, 1986
Box 12
Interview request, 1985 Feb.
Box 12
Job Interview Endorsement, 1985 Feb.
Box 12
Johnston, Don, 1986
Box 12
Kenyon, Vic, 1986
Box 12
Lane, Bill, 1985
Box 12
Lanigan, Denis, 1986
Box 12
Los Angeles, 1986
Box 12
MacMaster, Norm, 1986
Box 12
Manchester, 1987
Box 12
Manning, Burt, 1986
Box 12
Martens, Tom, 1986
Box 12
Martin, Terry, 1986
Box 12
Memoranda, 1985
Box 12
Metter, Bert, 1986
Box 12
Miscellaneous, 1986-1987
Box 12
O'Brien, Wally, 1986
Box 12
Peters, Jack, 1986
Box 12
Petersen, Burt, 1986
Box 12
Rogers, Ken, 1986
Box 12
San Francisco, 1986
Box 12
Stock Incentive Plan Awards, 1986
Box 12
Stock Options, 1986
Box 12
U.S.A. General, 1986
Box 12
Washington, 1986
Box 12

Includes plans, company performance reviews, budgets and yearly reports relating to JWT and its subsidiaries. Items arranged alphabetically by title.

Brouillard Communications Regional Review, 1986 Nov.
Box 13
Chicago Office, marketing plan, 1981
Box 13
Europe Region, November Reviews, 1986
Box 13
JWT America Latina, November Review, 1986 Nov. 25
Box 13
JWT Group Reviews, 1986
Box 13
Management Incentive Plan, 1986
Box 13
May Operating Reviews, 1986
Box 13
Monthly Managers' Assessment Report, 1986
Box 13
New York Office Operational Review, 1986 Nov. 24
Box 13
Operational Reviews, 1985-1986
Box 13
1987 Plan and Budget, 1986
Box 13
Review of 1986 Plans
Box 13
Retirement Trust Status Reports, 1986
Box 14
Thompson Recruitment Advertising, Inc., 1987 Plans Submission, 1986
Box 14
Thompson Company Monitoring Report, 1984
Box 14
Three Year Historical Review, 1985
Box 14
Year 1986 in Review, 1987
Box 14

Contains scripts, notes and visual materials related to speeches and formal presentations given by JWT employees at company events, as well as at events of general advertising organizations. Items were arranged alphabetically by speech title, where available, or by venue title.

Advertising Managers Group meeting, 1986 May 7
Box 14
Advertising speech, undated
Box 14
Agency Breakfast, 1985 June 3
Box 14
Agate Club Speech, 1983 May 9
Box 14
Chicago, 1985
Box 14
Financial, 1985
Box 14
Beatrice tape, undated
Box 14
Become the Leading International Advertising Agency, 1985 Sept. 12
Box 14
Board meetings, 1986
(2 folders)
Box 14
CEO presentation, 1986
Box 14
Charts for account presentation, 1985
Box 14
Company Profile Presentation, 1986 May
(2 folders)
Box 15
Competitive Analysis Presentation to the Board of Directors, 1986 Sept. 11
Box 15
Copy Development Process Presentation, 1985 May 3
Box 15
Corporate Orientation, 1984 Oct. 25-26
Box 15
Creative Marketplace...in Target Groups, 1984 May
Box 15
Employee Review-Compensation presentation, 1985
Box 15
Expectations of Our People, Epcot Center, World Meeting, 1984 May
Box 15
FDAF Chairmen presentation, 1986 May 29
Box 15
Financial Division, State of the Agency, 1983 Apr. 1
Box 15
Group Board Meeting presentation, 1986 Dec. 2
Box 15
Helsinki speech, 1986
(2 folders)
Box 16
Helsinki talk on JWT logo, 1986 Nov.
Box 16
Hong Kong speech, 1986 Oct.
Box 16
Institute of Outdoor Marketing, 1985 Mar.
Box 16
Joe's quotes (slides), undated
Box 16
JWT-Chicago: An Assessment of 1983
Box 16
George Lazarus Roast, 1986
Box 16
Management Development Recruitment, 1986
Box 16
Burt Manning Consumer Speech, 1984 Aug.
Box 16
Media Nights, 1983 Nov.
Box 16
Milwaukee Ad Club, 1986 Jan. 22
Box 16
Mission Statement, undated
Box 16
Newly Directed Board of Directors meeting presentation, 1986 Mar. 8
Box 16
Operating Group Dinner presentation, 1983 Nov. 1
Box 16
Financial Review, 1983
Box 16
Speeches, 1984 and undated
Box 16
Operation Managers Group presentation slides, 1986 Aug. 14
Box 16
Responsibility of Annual Manager, circa 1984
Box 17
Roots of Communication, 1985 Mar.
Box 17
Senior Vice Presidents, 1983
Box 17
State of the Agency, 1983 Aug. 3
Box 17
Unidentified speech, undated
Box 17
Vancouver talk, 1986 Oct. 14-16
Box 17
Vice Presidents, undated
Box 17
What Chicago Did to Advertising, undated
Box 17
What We Have Learned, 1984 May
Box 17

Series includes film compilations of advertising spots of JWT clients, as well as clients of competitive companies. Arranged alphabetically by title.

[Restrictions on access: Original audiovisual materials are closed to research until use copies can be made]

Board of Directors Reel. Format: Umatic. 1986 Sept. 11

[Includes spots for Kodak, Union Carbide, Warner-Lambert, Diet-Pepsi, Teledyne Shower Massage, Bacardi, Winston, British Telecom, Burger King, Goodyear, R.T. French, Miller and Ford. Offices represented include Asia/Pacific, Canada, Latin America, Europe and U.S.A.

(2 copies)
Box 18
J. Walter Does That, Canadian version. Format: Betamax. Undated.
Box 18
Trends in U.S. Advertising. Format: Betamax. 1986 Oct.

[Includes spots for Health & Tennis, Pepsi Slice, Kraft Singles, Kellogg All Bran, Reynold's Wrap, and Ford Mustang. Also includes music video for Peter Gabriel's song "Sledgehammer" ].

Box 18
Burt Manning version. Format: Betamax. 1985 Oct. 24
Box 18
Joe O'Donnell version. Format: Betamax. 1985 Oct. 24

[Includes spots for Kraft TV Theater and Cheez Whiz, Marlboro, Keebler, Alka Seltzer, Mr. Clean, Coast, Hallmark, Raid, Coors, McDonald's, Wheaties, Seven-Up, Sears, Oscar Mayer and Quaker.]

(2 copies)
Box 18

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1942 May 11Born Joseph William O'Donnell, Newton, Mass.
1964B.A., Economics, Columbia University
1965-1971U.S. Marine Corps; attained rank of Sergeant
1967Columbia University Business School
1976Account representative, JWT New York Office
1978Office Manager, JWT Detroit Office
1982Promoted to head of JWT Chicago Office
1986 MarchChief Executive Officer of JWT
1987 JanuaryFired from JWT following a failed buy-out attempt
1987-1989Served as Chief Executive Officer of Campbell-Mithun-Esty
1988-1989Served as Chairman of Campbell-Mithun-Esty

Joseph O'Donnell began his career in advertising as a Traffic Department trainee at Doyle Dane Bernbach, later as an assistant account executive on DDB's Heinz account. O'Donnell advanced to become Account Executive, Account Supervisor and then Vice President of that account. He served as a partner at Cox & Company for two and a half years, where he headed the accounts of Burlington Sheets and Saab. In 1976, he began working for JWT New York, where his first assignment was with the Samsonite account. During his ten years at JWT, O'Donnell served in an executive capacity on several major accounts, including Ford; Kodak; McDonnell Douglas; Chrysler; Kraft Foods; Sears; Kellogg's; and Sprint.

Following his tenure at Campbell-Mithun-Esty, O'Donnell served as Chairman and Chief Executive of Consumer Research in Manchester, Vermont; and he also founded a cable television network called the Consumer Resource Network.

Subject Headings

Related Material

Related Material

Related materials may be found in the following Hartman Center collections of the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives:

Biographical Information

Chicago Office Records

Detroit Office Records

Iconographic Collection

Arnold Grisman Papers

Don Johnston Papers

Norman H. Strouse Papers

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], J. Walter Thompson Company. Joseph O'Donnell Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Joseph O'Donnell Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1993.

Processing Information

Processed by Jessica Wood, October 2009

Encoded by Jessica Wood, November 2009

Accession 1993-0009 is described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.