Guide to the J. Walter Thompson Company. Staff Meeting Minutes, 1927-1938
Chiefly verbatim minutes of staff meetings of the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) including Account Representatives' Meetings, Creative Organization Meetings, JWT Forum, Monday Evening Meetings, and Apprentice Group Meetings. Also included are advertisements, photographs, and other printed material attached to minutes as background material for the meetings. Topics discussed at the various staff meetings include account histories, new business prospects, market research, activities of foreign and domestic JWT offices, development and use of advertising media (print, radio, billboards, film, television), social trends, and general business conditions. Some minutes include market research reports.
The Account Representatives' Meetings deal mostly with specific accounts and offices, and with business conditions. The Creative Organization Meetings and JWT Forum usually consisted of a lecture by a staff member and focused on advertising practices and account histories. The Monday Evening Meetings were a lecture series featuring prominent outside speakers on general interest topics. The Apprentice Group Meetings were luncheon lectures by senior staff members. Among the outside speakers at the various staff meetings were Clarence Darrow, Edward J. Steichen, and Margaret Bourke-White. Speakers from inside the company included Stanley B. Resor, John B. Watson, William L. Day, William C. Esty, and Ruth Waldo. All minutes are from the New York office of JWT. All minutes are from the years 1927-1938. There are some gaps within those years.
The collection contains a set of photocopies of the all the meeting minutes, designated as "Use Copies." Also included is a set of originals of all the meeting minutes which are restricted.
A summary list of the meetings, with selected topics of discussion and speakers, follows the container list. In addition there is also an detailed index compiled by company staff, which may be contemporaneous with the minutes. The indexes for the meetings are filed at the end of each series. The company index is fuller than the summary list, but its form is idiosyncratic and cumbersome.
- J. Walter Thompson Company. Staff Meeting Minutes, 1927-1938
- J. Walter Thompson Company.
- 4.8 Linear Feet, 3600 Items
- Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Access to the originals is restricted. Photocopies are available for general use.
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All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in the J. Walter Thompson Company. Staff Meeting Minutes have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
The minutes of weekly Representatives’ meetings form the bulk of all minutes. Representatives and guest speakers from within and outside JWT discuss advertising campaigns and their results, account histories, new business prospects, strengths and weaknesses of advertising media (magazines, newspapers, billboards, radio, and TV), ethics and standards in advertising, and general business conditions.
Creative Organization staff meetings were held on a weekly basis between March 1932 and May 1933, with additional meetings in January and February 1934. Top company officials and creative staff attended the meetings, at which one staff member usually lectured on a subject such as advertising practices and media, trade advertising and advertising to specific groups, client campaigns, research, foreign office activities, and legal aspects of advertising. Some of the meetings included question and answer periods.
JWT Forum is a resumption of the Creative Organization staff meetings. The new meetings, attended by top company officials and the creative staff, were held bi-weekly and featured lectures by staff members. Discussions included advertising practices and media, client campaigns, activities of domestic branch offices, and legal aspects of advertising.
Monday Evening Meetings were enrichment lectures by outside speakers presented each week from March through May 1930 in the JWT lecture hall. Speakers included editors and publishers, Clarence Darrow, Rudy Vallee, and motion picture censor Will Hays. Stanley Resor also gave one talk about his trip to the JWT San Francisco and Los Angeles branch offices. All surviving speeches are by men.
The Men’s Apprentice Group, made up of new NY Office employees, was established in 1935. Members of the group attended weekly luncheon meetings chaired by Howard Kohl and generally featuring a company speaker. The group also published a bi-weekly newsletter from 1935 to 1938 originally called the Junior News Letter and then the Flash. A Women’s Apprentice Group was founded in 1937 but no additional information about the group has been found.
Original meeting minutes for the Account Representative Meetings, Creative Organization Meetings, JWT Forum Meetings, Monday Evening Staff Meetings, and Men’s and Women’s Apprentice Group Meetings.
[Identification of item], J. Walter Thompson Company. Staff Meeting Minutes, 1927-1938, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
The Staff Meeting Minutes were transferred to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library from the J. Walter Thompson Company in 1987.
Processing of this collection was supported in part by gifts from the J. Walter Thompson Company Fund and the John and Kelly Hartman Foundation.
Processed by: Rhonda Mawhood
Completed August 22, 1994
Encoded by Stephen Douglas Miller, Alvin Pollock
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.