J. Walter Thompson Company (part 2)
J. Walter Thompson Company (part 2)
Founded in 1864 as the Carlton and Smith Agency, the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) grew to become one of the largest advertising agencies in the world and the first to develop a global footprint. Widely considered the flagship American advertising agency for most of the 20th century, JWT was a pioneer and innovator credited with the development and expansion of print, radio and television advertising; an early advocate of trademark and brand management; and famed for its attention to market research and demographic lifestyle trends. JWT's advertisements helped to turn a number of its clients' products into cultural icons: Kodak, Ford, RCA; Oscar Mayer; Kraft; the U.S. Marine Corps and many others.
This site features a timeline of JWT's 150-year history that highlights key personnel; long-standing client relationships; office openings and technical achievements and innovations. It includes a more in-depth overview of materials from the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives housed within the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at Duke's Rubenstein Library, along with links and brief descriptions of the agency's collections available for research.
Timeline created by Rick Collier.
In 1930, JWT produced the first commercial television broadcast, a variety show sponsored by Libby, McNeil & Libby that aired on WMAQ in Chicago. Television programming remained intermittent until after World War II. JWT also created commercials to run in motion picture theaters beginning in 1937. In 1946, JWT produced two of the regularly scheduled weekly programs, the variety show Hour Glass (for Standard Brands) and the dramatic series Kraft Television Theatre, for which JWT produced the first live commercials in 1953. JWT established its Television Workshop in 1953 and added color capability in 1955. JWT produced and aired the first color-taped television commercial, for Lux soap, in 1958. The late 1960s saw JWT develop a spot-buying network. JWT was active in investigating cable television throughout the 1970s, in advance of media deregulation and the cable boom of the 1980s.
JWT originally managed the Shell account through its San Francisco office. In 1930 the Shell Petroleum account was won by the Chicago Office, and the following year the New York Office acquired the Shell Eastern account. Notable campaigns include "Dry Gas" (1928) referring to Shell's fomulation that produced less residue than other brands; testimonials from chauffeurs (1929-); an "Anti-Knock" campaign to launch Super-Shell Ethyl gasoline; "3-Energy Gasoline"; "Quick-Starting" (1933); "Super-Charged" (1934). Beginning in 1935, JWT coined the term "stop and go" to reflect research that showed 80% of all U.S. driving occurred within 25 miles of home, and th subsequent campaign featured cartoons from notable artists such as William Steig and J. Carver Pusey. During the late 1930s, Shell advertising took on the style of news features and a futuristic "City of Tomorrow" campaign with Norman Bel Geddes. In 1960, Shell moved its petroleum products advertising to Ogilvy & Mather, while JWT retained the account for Shell Chemical.
JWT represented Parker Pen off and on for over 50 years: in 1931; from 1941-1955; and from 1968 into the 1980s. Product launches include the Quink (Quick-drying ink pen) in 1931; the Parker 51, 1941-1942; the Superchrome, 1947; Systemark pen line, 1975; and a limited edition, numbered Bicentennial Pen that contained a wood chip from Independence Hall. In 1980 domestic advertising responsibilities were transferred to Stephan & Brady agency while JWT retained the international advertising account.
Dr. West's toothbrushes were introduced in 1921 and featured several innovations that later became the basic template for all modern toothbrushes: plastic handles, synthetic bristles that were tapered, a small curved brush head. JWT advertising and promotion emphasized these innovations and helped position Dr. West as the leading brand of toothbrush, commanding a nearly 50% market share by the 1950s. JWT was also active in the design of packaging and point of sale displays (store windows, sales counters and cabinets), creation of a line of toothbrushes for children, development of what is considered to be the first sales quota system in the drug business, and co-sponsorship with the American Dental Association of the first nationwide survey on toothbrush use. A Business Extenstion Department report called JWT's work on the account a "unique example of a long and close client-agency relationship...examples of actual agency participation at the planning and policy level."
JWT and Schlitz were associated off and on for nearly 50 years. The association goes back to 1934, but from 1935-1955 JWT represented Ballantine. JWT regained the Schlitz account in 1956 and kept it until 1961 when the account transferred to Leo Burnett, which lost the account back to JWT in 1978. Benton & Bowles was awarded the Schlitz Malt Liquor account. Notable JWT campaigns include "Move Up to Quality--Move Up to Schlitz" (1958); "Beer Makes It Good--Schlitz Makes It Great"; "Go For It!" (1979). A 1979 joint sweepstakes promotion with the National Bowling Council, entitled "Strike It Rich," won widespread acclaim, and JWT's efforts in 1980-1981, including a live beer taste test that ran during the NFL playoff season, won advertising Age's award for Best Overall Media Plan. When Stroh Brewing acquired the Schlitz brand in 1982 and demanded an agency review, JWT resigned in protest.
JWT's Cincinnati Office had sought the USPCC account beginning in 1916, but negotiations faltered over JWT's refusal to produce speculative work, a position that formed the basis of Stanley Resor's business philosophy and ethic. Correspondence resumed in 1927 and continued for seven years before JWT was awarded the account toward the end of 1934. The Cincinnati Office managed the account until 1937 when it was transferred to the New York Office. Campaigns included promotion of the game of Pinochle (1935), specific promotions of Congress and Bicycle brand cards, and a series to help civil defense teams spot enemy aircraft during World War II. As television became more popular in the 1950s, advertising to re-emphasize card-playing as an enjoyable social activity.
JWT was responsible for advertising, publicity and public relations for U.S. Lines. advertising challenges were similar to those for Pan American Air Lines, in that both passenger travel and cargo services needed to be emphasized. U.S. Lines operated what were considered the flagships of the American merchant fleet during the 1940s and 1950s, the S.S. America, and United States, luxury liners with the latest in technology and amenities. JWT managed one of the longest testimonial campaigns for the carrier, which lasted from 1950 well into the 1960s, and oversaw the account during the switch to container cargo ships and the decline of ocean travel as air travel became more popular and affordable. JWT lost the account to Newmark Posner & Mitchell in 1969.
Absorbine Jr. was introduced in 1903 as a multi-use liniment useful for both muscle aches and athlete's foot. JWT's New York Office handled advertising in the U.S. while the Montreal Office serviced the Canadian market. During JWT's tenure on the account, Young also introduced Absorbine Veternary Liniment, formulated primarily for horses, and Hooflex, a hoof conditioner and dressing. A 1977 campaign featured dancer and actor Donald O'Connor.
JWT was active in the formation of the AAPCM, a trade group of major playing card producers. Original membership included Arreo Playing Card Company, Brown & Bigelow, E.E. Fairchild, the United States Playing Card Company, and the Western Playing Card Company. While the initial intent was for competing card manufacturers to band together to promote card playing activities, the group also undertook some card player advocacy. The group sponsored a survey of bridge players that ultimately forced the American Contract Bridge League to standardize their playing rules. It also undertook the first national survey of card playing in the United States, in 1941. In 1940 the organization helped create the National Intercollegiate Bridge Tournament which grew to include 6,000 participants from 180 colleges by 1959.
The Kellogg Company grew out of nutritional concerns that preoccupied the Kellogg brothers while they were working at Battle Creek Sanitarium. Requests for cereals from former patients prompted W.K. Kellogg to form his own business. First called Sanitas, then The Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, the company began manufacturing corn flakes and later other cereal varieties under the Kellogg's brand.
The Institute of Life Insurance was formed in 1938 after a resolution adopted at the annual meeting of the National Association of Life Underwriters to form a central source for information and public relations for the life insurance industry. JWT Vice-Chairman Henry Flower was instrumental in its creation. Initially, there were 76 members; membership grew to 160 by 1949 and eventually to include 90% of the life insurance businesses operating in the United States and Canada. JWT acquired the account in 1939; the first advertisements appeared in 1941. Early advertisements featured the Institute's president in a series of informal "Hindsight and Foresight" talks. During World War II, campaigns discussed wellness, inflation and family welfare. In the 1950s and 1960s, advertisement copy emphasized the importance of life insurance for heads of families, the general benefits of life insurance, and efforts to improve the image of insurance agents. The Institute also co-sponsored public-interest television programming during the 1960s. In 1975 the account was transferred to Grey Advertising.
Established in 1939 under the direction of Arno Johnson, then Director of Research, the Consumer Panel was a monthly report on U.S. consumer purchases. Originally the panel consisted of 400 non-farming families, but the scope was expanded to 2,000 families during its second year and grew to 5,000. Participants kept records of their household purchases and reported them to JWT's Research Department. The Panel was designed to provide an accurate depiction of middle-income consumer buying. Original criteria for Panel constitution included white, non-farming families, excluding the poorest 22% and the richest 3% of Americans, the result intending to represent what Johnson described as "the 75% of the population which buys 85% of all consumer goods." Data collected--price paid, brand, size, quantity purchased--was cross-checked against manufacturers' actual sales records in order to verify accuracy. Beginning in 1960 the Consumer Panel was transferred to the Marketing Research Corporation of America; also in that year, a Television Panel was instituted, in which 1,100 families kept a diary of their viewing history.
JWT handled advertising for J.B. Williams' products 'Lectric Shave, Aqua Velva aftershave, and Kreml shampoo. In 1956, JWT research led to a re-formulation of Aqua Velva with a new color and scent, and the "Ice Blue" redesigned packaging won Gold Medal and Best in Show awards from the Package Design Council.
The U.S. Brewers Association, a trade group, formed in 1862, and renamed as the U.S. Brewers Foundation in 1944, and continued under that name until its demise in 1986. JWT campaigns focused on the health benefits of beer, a"Good for You" slogan that remained in use 1945-1960, and encouragements to include beer with meals and socializing: "Beer Belongs" (1945-1958) and "Beer and Ale Belong with Daily Meals" (1964). A 1952 campaign described beer as "America's Beverage of Moderation."
Pan Am was begun in 1927 by a group of Word War I veteran pilots, originally flying routes in the Caribbean. They developed national routes in the 1930s, and turned to JWT in 1942 to promote their passenger and cargo services. JWT coined for the airline the slogan "The World's Most Experienced Airline" which remained in use for many years. Notable campaigns emphasized "around the world" air service, the "Jet Clipper" concept, computer reservation systems, and the launch of the Boeing 747 airplane. In 1967 JWT Account Supervisor Robert Weikart called the Pan Am account "the truest, bluest, all-woolest, 18-karat, international account at Thompson. They are truly global." Financial difficulties with the airline caused JWT to lose the cargo portion of the account in 1970, and the passenger account in 1978.
7-Up was invented by Charles Grigg in 1929 as a lemon-lime flavored patent medicine containing the mood enhancer lithium Citrate. Over time the recipe changed to the popular soft drink formula. JWT was initally awarded the advertising account in 1942 and held it until 1978, when the agency was dismissed in the wake of 7-Up's acquisition by Philip Morris. JWT's Chicago Office produced a number of notable campaigns for 7-UP, including "Fresh UP" (1950s), "Wet 'n' Wild" (1960s), the Uncola (1967) and Un Do It (1977). JWT also participated in the launch of Diet 7-Up and the rollout of disposable liter and half-liter bottles, the first in the U.S. soft drink industry. 7-Up had a significant presence at the 1964 World's Fair, constructing the 7-Up pavilion complete with 110-foot clock tower and the "International Sandwich Garden." JWT's "Uncola" campaign has been recognized as one of the most memorable in American advertising history; the longevity and appeal of the campaign is borne out by N.W. Ayer, JWT's successor agency at the brand, resurrecting the Uncola campaign in the 1990s.
Mentholatum's "Deep Heat" Rub was developed in 1953 and nationally distributed by late 1954. Originally serviced by the New York Office, in 1972 the account transferred to the Chicago Office. Mentholatum moved its advertising account to Jordan Case & McGrath in 1981 over a conflict with JWT's Absorbine Jr. account with W.F. Young.
JWT serviced the Garrett corporation through several modes of corporate organization over a relationship that lasted nearly 50 years. The Signal Gasoline company was established in 1922 and served the U.S. west coast markets. Beginning in 1942, JWT produced corporate advertising for Garrett, mainly out of the Los Angeles Office. JWT maintained the relationship when Garrett merged with Signal in 1964 to become Signal Oil and Gas. Garrett was a subsidiary of Signal Companies (SCI) in 1977 when JWT was awarded the corporate advertising account for all of SCI. In 1985 the Allied Corporation merged with SCI to form Allied-signal and retained the services of JWT through 1989.
JWT was instrumental in the creation and continuation of the Ad Council. Beginning in 1939, James Webb Young began making contacts and organizing meetings to organize the advertising industry to handle public relations campaigns aimed at generating support for humanitarian and other activities associated with the war in Europe. In April 1941 Stanley B. Resor, then president of the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT), outlined the advertising industry's role in the coming conflict. In an article published in New York City Sunday newspapers, he spoke of advertising agencies' two goals: to keep consumers purchasing goods in order to help offset war expenses, and to relate the "truths" behind the government's policies and programs. These activities led to the establishment of the War Advertising Council in 1942. Advertising campaigns that supported the war effort were designed by the War Advertising Council and approved by appropriate U.S. government agencies during World War II. Actual advertisements were in turn sponsored by various businesses that would often add their company name to the advertisements. With the support of clients such as Kraft, Chesebrough-Pond's and the U.S. Brewers Associaion, JWT also blended product advertisements with national homefront messages. JWT was also responsible for recruitment material for the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve (USMCWR) and efforts to recruit women into war production industries. After the end of World War II, The War Advertising Council continued to produce public service campaigns. The name changed to the Advertising Council, more popularly known as the Ad Council.
JWT's San Francisco Office represented McClatchy newspapers from 1944, and McClatchy Broadcasting beginning in 1946.
The Ford Dealer Association (FDA) formed in 1933 to translate corporate marketing strategies to the realities of local and regional markets. The FDA was organized into regional districts and metropolitan area committees, and a Ford Dealer Advertising Fund was established to create advertisements that would create a middle ground between the factory and individual dealerships. After JWT won the Ford account in 1943, the agency began to approach the FDA beginning in 1944. JWT signed the Atlanta area committee in August, 1944, and quickly added other localities and metropolitan areas. local and regional campaigns include "Ford Fever," "Texas, Ford and You," "Test-Drive It Today at Your Ford Dealer's," and seasonal and model-year-end clearance promotions. JWT developed a Regional Advertising Group, and currently represents 85% of Ford's dealer network.
Relations between Ford and JWT go back to the early 1900s; JWT held the Ford advertising account briefly around 1910-1911 and over the years several former JWT staffers took positions at Ford. In August, 1916, Stanley Resor wrote to C.A. Brownell, former executive at JWT who was then working at Ford, to announce Mr. Thompson's retirement and to congratulate Ford on their new car, describing it as "one of the most conspicuous recognitions on the part of a big manufacturer, of the value of beauty in commercial life." In 1942 John Thompson of the Ford News Bureau (and a former JWT executive) sought to set up a meeting between the automaker and JWT. Correspondence continued through 1943. In November 1943 Bob Collier of Ford wrote Danny Danker at JWT Hollywood: "Neil Ryan and Henry Stanton (both of JWT) are due here tomorrow. Out of this conference, many interesting things may transpire." JWT had actually been courting Chrysler when Ford indicated their interest. JWT acquired the Ford account in December 1943, and opened with a campaign slogan "There's a Ford in Your Future" which appeared in 1945. The account was originally serviced by the Chicago office, and moved to New York in 1945 before transferring to Detroit, where it remains today. JWT would help Ford launch the 1949 Ford (the first complete redesign of an automobile in the postwar era), Thunderbird, Mustang, Taurus, Explorer, Ranger and Escort, among others. The Mustang launch marked the first ever advertising "roadblock" when JWT bought media time on all three broadcast networks to announce the new car. Notable campaigns include "Better Idea," "Have You Driven a Ford Lately?" and "No Boundaries." Ford campaigns have featured prominent artists including Charles Schultz and Howard Scott. In 1999, JWT executed the first global advertising roadblock with their "Global Anthem" campaign. Currently JWT participates in Team Detroit, a multi-agency global communications collaboration. The success of Ford's brand and marketing strategies allowed Ford to be the only one of the Big Three U.S. automakers to refuse bailout funding after the economic downturn of 2008.
JWT acquired the Reader's Digest account in 1945. In 1957, a booklet entitled "Lasting Ideas," a collection of quotations from prominent people that was intended for limited release through trade magazines and national newspapers, turned into an unexpected public relations success when overwhelming calls for reprints forced a second printing. JWT began the magazine's first television campaign in 1959, which developed into a series of teasers that featured dramatizations of articles appearing in the latest edition of "The Digest" and prompted readers to newsstands. The advertising campaign was cited in 1959 by the International Advertising Association for its contribution to international publishing. By the 1960s Reader's Digest boasted an international audience of 65 million readers across 125 countries and 13 languages, and had the largest television advertising budget of any publication. Upon co-founder Lila Wallace's death in 1984, management changes at the magazine led to the termination of its association with JWT.
In 1945 75 of 84 Blue Cross Association's regional plans voted to assign local newspaper responsibilities to JWT. JWT produced Blue Cross's national campaign beginning in 1955, but resigned in 1965 while retaining regional advertising duties. The national account returned to JWT in the 1970s. Blue Cross and the Blue Shield Medical Care Plans merged in 1982 to become Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
JWT represented Douglas Aircraft from 1946 until its merger with McDonnell Aircraft to form McDonnell Douglas in 1967. JWT produced corporate advertising in print and television as well as public relations services. During JWT's tenure, McDonnell Douglas produced a number of iconic commercial and military aircraft, including the Vietnam-era F-4 Phantom, the Saturn rocket, DC9 and DC10 commercial jets, the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, and the F-15 Eagle which was one of the most publicized aircraft of the Gulf War. JWT successfully repositioned the DC10 for positive consumer perception after the plane was grounded in 1979 for a series of crashes and equipment failures. JWT's 1982 campaign "A Missile for All Seasons" changed perceptions over concerns about the limitations of then-new cruise missiles. JWT won the advertising and public relations account for the A-12 tactical plane in 1986 and the LHX helicopter in 1988. In 1989, after McDonnell Douglas had won the contract for NASA's Space Station, JWT's public relations campaign was instrumental in boosting public support for continued government funding. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw increased competition among commercial aircraft builders and a decline in military spending, especially after the conclusion of Gulf War activities. After several years of struggling finances, McDonnell Douglas put its advertising accounts into review in 1995, eventually awarding them to McCann-Erickson. Two years later, in 1997, McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing.
The Hour Glass was the first sponsored televised variety show, for Standard Brands and broadcast by NBC. Some episodes featured ventrloquist and comedian Edgar Bergen, one of the first radio personalities to make the transition to television. In 1947 the first dramatic television series, the Kraft Television Theatre, appeared, also by a JWT client.
JWT became the first advertising agency to record $100 million in billings.
JWT's association with the Marine Corps in some ways is as old as the agency itself. James Walter Thompson served in the Marines during the Civil War, and many JWT staff over the years have been former Marines. In 1941 the Marine Corps commissioned JWT to conduct a survey of urban and rural youth to gauge attitudes toward the Corps. JWT was awarded the Marine Corps advertising account in 1947, initially for "counseling services" and later on for advertising and public relations, and has maintained the relationship since. In 2012 Tobei Arai, group account director at JWT said that the "relationship between JWT and the Marine Corps endures because of a cultural understanding between the two organizations." JWT has produced campaigns for the Marine Corps that centered around iconic slogans, such as "A Few Good Men" (1970s) that achieved over 90% recognition and recall rates in research surveys, and "The Few, the Proud, the Marines" in the 1980s.
JWT was awarded the account for North American advertising in 1948 and for worldwide advertising responsibilities in 1966. During the late 1960s, a "limerick" campaign for New Holland farm equipment bucked an industry-wide trend of advertising and marketing agricultural machinery like industrial products by using memorable humor to connect with farmers as consumers. A bicentennial-period campaign (1974-1976) included a poem "A Farmer's Creed" that generated widespread outpouring of public praise, unsolicited letters and requests for reprints.
Northwestern Mutual was founded in 1857 in Wisconsin. JWT's developed a "Faces of Destiny" campaign for the company, a testimonial series featuring prominent businessmen photographed by noted photographers such as Yousuf Karsh. The campaign ran for nearly 20 years. Northwestern Mutual's first television campaign was as a sponsor of the 1972 Summer Olympics, and marked the beginning of the insurance company's focus on the sports-viewing demographic, where a long-running campaign positioned the firm as the "Quiet Company." "We're a Tough Act to Follow," a campaign theme that began in 1980, ran in print, radio and television, including spots during the Super Bowl in 1984. In 1989, advertising leading up to the 1990 Super Bowl included headlines "Don't Watch the Super Bowl" and "Super Bowl Party Kit."
Quaker pulled the Aunt Jemima account from JWT in 1935, but reassigned it to the agency in 1953 after a period of steadily declining sales. By the 1950s, pancakes had been stigmatized as old fashioned and high-caloried, which ran counter to prevailing fashions for modern convenience and diet-consciousness. JWT campaigns during the 1950s and 1960s resurrected the "Aunt Jemima legend," which had been abandoned in advertising since the 1930s, while promoting innovations such as the "shaker" method of preparing pancake mix along with frozen varieties of pancakes and waffles. During the 1970s and 1980s, JWT added responsibilities for other Quaker acquisitions, such as Ken-L-Ration pet foods and Fisher Price toys.
Dan Seymour (1914-1982) moved from Young & Rubicam to become the head of JWT's Radio-Television Department in 1955. Previously he had worked in radio, and was the radio announcer on Orson Wells' original "War of the Worlds" broadcast. He served as President (1964-), Chief Executive Officer (1967-) and Chairman (1972-1974).
Stephen King (1931-2006) was one of JWT's great theorists and visionaries responsible for JWT and in particular the London Office to enjoy its longstanding reputation as the "University of Advertising." He joined the London Office in 1957 in the Marketing Department and created and headed several groundbreaking departments: Advertising Research Unit (1964); New Product Development Unit (1966); Account Planning Department (1968). His ideas, expressed through speeches and numerous published writings, helped JWT develop innovative account planning tools, from the T-Plan to the Thompson Way. King served as head of the Development Unit (1976-), Director of Research and Development (circa 1983); and Chairman of Market Research Bureau, International (MRBI). He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1986. After his retirement in 1988, King served four years on the Board of Directors at WPP.
According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, JWT ran a jingle contest in 1962 which was won by Richard Trentlage of Adver/Sonic Productions in Chicago. Commercials featuring "I Wish I Was An Oscar Mayer Weiner" began running the following year, and continued well into the 1960s. The "Weiner Song" became a radio hit and a staple of high school marching bands. Another jingle campaign appeared in 1974, featuring then-4 year old Andy Lambros singing the song "My Bologna Has a First Name, It's O-S-C-A-R" penned by young copyriter Steve Merson. The bologna campaign ran through the 1970s in various forms. JWT lost the weiner and ham accounts in 1972 to Chicago-based agency Clinton E. Frank, Inc. only to regain both in 1977. In 1973 a series about food and health won an Award for Excellence in television from the Society for Nutrition Education and Family Health Magazine. JWT produced advertising for a number of other Oscar Mayer products, including Claussen Pickles, Stuffin' Burgers, and Lunchables. The Oscar Mayer brand was acquired by Kraft Foods in 1989; the account was reassigned in 2007 during a restructuring of brand strategy by Kraft.
Henry Schachte (1913-1991) joined JWT in 1963, coming from Lever Brothers where he had served as Advertising Vice President. Schachte served as Executive Chairman of the Review Board (1963); Board of Directors (1964); Manager of the New York Office; Chairman of the Executive Committee (1969-); President and Chief Operating Officer (1972-1973) before his retirement at the end of 1973. He is credited with reinforcing a sense of market discipline and pragmatism from his experience in packaged goods marketing. He was quoted in his New York Times obituary as saying in 1971, just prior to his ascendence to President: "We are rapidly developing a new breed of futurists who peer into the future and come up with visions that vary from apocalyptic to paradisaical."
Wayne Fickinger (1927-) joined JWT Chicago as an Account Supervisor, a position he had previously held at McCann Marschalk. He served as Vice President (1965), Executive Vice President (1972), Managing Director of the Chicago Office (1973), Board of Directors (1973) and President of JWT New York (1978) before being named President and Chief Operating Officer of JWT in 1979. He retired in 1982, and became Vice Chairman of Bozell & Jacobs in 1984. A specialist in packaged consumer goods, Fickinger worked on accounts for Alberto-Culver, Simoniz, Parker Pen and Gillette while at JWT.
Rena Bartos left McCann-Erickson and joined JWT in 1966 as head of Creative Research. She was promoted to Senior Vice President in 1977. Her 1982 publication "The Moving Target," was a groundbreaking study of women as consumers that paved the way for numerous other studies of ethnic, gender, lifestyle and age-group consumer groups. Bartos retired from JWT in 1987 to form the Rena Bartos Company, a research firm. The same year, Bartos was inducted into the Market Research Hall of Fame. A follow-up book, "Marketing to Women Around the World," was published in 1988.
Burton Manning joined the JWT Chicago Office in 1968 as a copywriter, and rose to head that office before becoming head of JWT USA in 1980. He resigned in 1986, but was rehired the following year after the acquisition of the agency by WPP. Manning served as Chairman and CEO of JWT Worldwide from 1987 until his retirement in 1997, the first former Creative Director to head the agency. He was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame in 1998.
Charlotte Beers joined JWT's Chicago Office in 1969. She was promoted to Senior Vice President in 1973, becoming the first woman to hold that position and the highest ranking woman at JWT to that date. Beers was named Director of Client Services in 1974 and remained until she resigned in 1979 to become Managing Partner at Tatham Laird Kudner. She was named "Ad Woman of the Year" in 1975 by the Women's Ad Club. Beers would go on to become CEO of Ogilvy & Mather before returning to JWT as Chairman in 1999. She served as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy 2001-2003 and was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2009.
Peter Schweitzer joined JWT in 1975 as Management Supervisor on the Warner-Lambert account at JWT New York, but is best remembered for his long service and devotion to the Ford account and the Detroit Office. Elected to the Board of Directors in 1986, Schweitzer became President, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Worldwide Head of the Ford account in 1993, but relinquished the title of COO the following year to stay in Detroit and manage Ford's global advertising. Upon the retirement of Chris Jones, Schweitzer took over as CEO of JWT in 2001. He was named Chairman of JWT in 2004 but announced his retirement at the end of the same year. He became Chairman Emeritus in 2005.
Burger King was a fast-service limited-menu restaurant subsidiary of the Pillsbury Company when JWT acquired the account in 1976. Early campaigns highlighted key attributes of the Burger Kink experience such as food quality, specialty sandwiches, a variety of menu options, fun and friendly atmosphere, prompt service, and value for your money. Notable slogans included "Make It Special" which highlighted a family friendly atmosphere. JWT also launched several cross-promotional campaings including one for Star Wars in 1978. In 1981 JWT planned a new campaign coined in a 1981 memo as "Battle of the Burgers." A pioneering campaign, the "Battle of the Burgers" centered around direct comparisons of various aspects of Burger King's food and service model versus those of their competitors. Subjects of the test were asked to compare taste, size, appearance, juiciness, flavor of the bun, broiling versus frying, and participate in a blind taste test. The campaign and response from Burger King's competitors became a cultural phenomenon commonly referred to as the "Burger Wars." Although JWT lost the account in 1986, Burger King's average store sales grew %145 during that time.
Joseph O'Donnell (1942-) began work with JWT as an account representative in the New York Office. He managed the Detroit and Chicago offices before being elected Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1986. He was fired in 1987 during a period of internal turmoil and later served as CEO and Chairman of the Campbell Mithun Esty agency.
Christopher Jones (1956-) joined JWT in 1984 and was named co-President and Chief Executive Officer of JWT Worldwide in 1996, the youngest ever to head the agency and the first non-American CEO there. Jones retired in 2001 due to illness and returned to England. In 2002 he joined Motion Equity Partners and was named to the Board of Directors of Forbes in 2010.
In 1995 JWT launched an interactive website under the theme "It's a World." The ambitious site was largely the work of the San Francisco Office and was intended to highlight the media and technical abilities of JWT operations, rather than to merely display a gallery of the agency's current work. The website featured online games, client information, links to JWT offices (the corporate site was intended as a hub to which each office's site would link to form a corporate network), and information about the agency and its history. JWT was also an early adopter of the Intranet to facilitate internal communications. JWT's digital media expertise dates as well to the early 1990s. The agency's e-branding and communications capabilities has continually expanded: in 2000 JWT acquired and combined digital experts Coolfire Interactive and Imaginet; Imaginet, ThompsonConnect, digital@jwt, and other operations were melded to form the Relationship Marketing Group, or RMG Connect in 2005; RMG Connect relocated to JWT's Minneapolis Office in 2009; JWT acquired San Diego-based Digitaria in 2010 and rebranded the Minneapolis Office as Digitaria Minneapolis in 2012. Ex-Republic Family CEO David Eastman became JWT's first Worldwide Digital Director in 2008.
Bob Jeffrey joined JWT as President of the New York Office in 1998, coming from Lowe & Partners where he had been Executive Vice President and Managing Director. He served as President of JWT USA (2001-) before being named Worldwide CEO in 2003. He announced his retirement in November 2013, naming Gustavo Martinez, former President of McCann Worldwide, as his successor.
Adweek magazine credits Bob Jeffrey with coining the phrase "billion dollar startup" around 2003 to emphasize a new direction at JWT: an attempt to develop the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that animated smaller agencies. In 2004 JWT hired Rosemarie Ryan as President and Ty Montague as Co-President and Chief Creative Officer of the New York Office in an effort to revitalize the agency's creative direction (the two were later promoted to co-head JWT North America). The agency formally changed its name from The J. Walter Thompson Company to JWT in 2005 and issued an agency-wide program called the "Creative Partnership Contract" outlining a set of principles intended to focus creative efforts. It was the first agency-wide doctrine articulated at the agency since "Thompson Total Branding" (TTB) in 1996, but where TTB maintained the agency's traditional account management orientation, the Creative Partnership emphasized the creative side of advertising.