Guide to the J. Walter Thompson Company. Denis Lanigan papers, 1955-1986
Founded in 1864, the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) is one of the oldest and largest enduring advertising agencies in the United States. It is headquartered in New York. Denis Lanigan was an executive who managed JWT Offices in Frankfurt, London and New York before being named Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. Collection includes correspondence and memoranda, policy manuals and reports, account files and research reports that document Lanigan's career in JWT offices in Frankfurt and New York. Companies represented include Chevron, Kellogg, Kodak, Kraft, Nestle, Pepsi, R.J. Reynolds and Unilever. Acquired as part of the John. W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.
- Collection Number
- J. Walter Thompson Company. Denis Lanigan papers
- 29.0 Linear Feet
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- English, Spanish, Thai and German.
Includes correspondence and memoranda, policy manuals and reports, account files and research reports that document Lanigan's career in JWT offices in Frankfurt and New York. Companies represented include Chevron, Kellogg, Kodak, Kraft, Nestle, Pepsi, R.J. Reynolds and Unilever. Acquired as part of the John. W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.
Organized into two series: Frankfurt Office; and New York Office.
Access to the Collection
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. 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.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives 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.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], J. Walter Thompson Company. Denis Lanigan papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The Frankfurt Office series spans the years 1958 to 1964, with the bulk of the material dating from 1959 to 1960 and from 1963 to 1964. The papers primarily document activities of JWT's Frankfurt Office during the years Lanigan served as Joint Manager. Specific topics covered are efforts to increase and improve the use of television and print advertising in Europe, especially England and Germany; to improve coordination of international JWT Offices to better serve client interests; to increase European business; and to handle a variety of personnel, public relations, and marketing concerns. The papers consist of typed and handwritten correspondence, telexes and telegrams, memoranda, notes, reports, one photograph, press releases, speeches, contracts, newsletters, clippings, product samples, collateral literature and advertisements. Clients of the company represented in the collection include Chesebrough-Pond's, Findus, Ford, Johnson Wax (or Johnson-Gruenol), Kaufhof, Kraft, Lever-Sunlicht, Pan American Airways, Pepsi, Rowntree, Singer, Triumph, Warner-Lambert, Wick, and others. Correspondents include clients; executives from JWT offices such as George Black, David Campbell-Harris, Bill Hinks, Constance B. Ivie, Don Johnston, Jens von Leutzendorff, Sam Meek, D. M. Saunders, Lubertus Smilde, Norman Strouse, Thomas Sutton, and Edward G. Wilson; media consultants such as Eric Boden; and persons affiliated with various companies and organizations.
Approximately 70 percent of the collection is in English and the remainder is in German, with the exception of very small amounts of French, Italian, and Dutch. English is the sole language of the Articles subseries and the Layton Awards subseries, and the predominant language in the Correspondence subseries, the Other JWT Offices subseries, and the Meetings subseries. English and German are used in roughly equal amounts in the Clients subseries, the New Business subseries and the Marketing and Research/Abteilung Marktforschung subseries. German is the predominant language in the Memoranda/Haus-Mitteilungen subseries.
The Correspondence subseries documents Lanigan's transition from JWT's New York Office to the Frankfurt office, coordination between the Frankfurt and London Offices, Frankfurt's day-to-day operations, German and American attitudes toward advertising, and reviews of a German-made film on U.S. advertising called Bilder aus der neuen Welt (Pictures from the New World). The film profiles JWT, Benson and Mather, Dr. Dichter, Ogilvy, and McCann-Erickson advertising agencies. The subseries also contains information on accounts, including market strategies, difficulties in dealing with the European management of Playtex, the coordination of Unilever, acquisition of the Pan Am account in Vienna, and the production of television ads for various clients. Correspondents from the New York office include Paul Albright, George Black, Aldis Butler, M. Lee Calvert, Robert Carman, Malcolm Davis, Peter Dunham, Robert Hawes, William Hinks, Connie Ivie, Sam Meek, O'Neill Ryan, Norman Strouse, Clifford Snyder, and Lubertus Smilde, and from the London office Thomas G. Hardie and D.M. Saunders. Other correspondents in this subseries include persons affiliated with various media consulting firms; economic research organizations; the advertising agencies Troost and McCann-Erickson; and Booz, Allen, and Hamilton International; and organizations such as Advertiser's Weekly, the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, and the Gesellschaft Werbeagenturen.
The Other J. Walter Thompson Offices subseries consists of correspondence between Denis Lanigan and executives from JWT's international offices. Files for the London and New York Offices contain the most material, while Amsterdam, Milan, and Paris are also substantial among the thirty-five offices documented. Topics include aspects of film production for clients, the impact of legislation and public perception on advertising internationally, training and personnel matters, Frankfurt Office visitors, and international public relations for JWT. Some issues that are covered specifically include 1962 total advertising expenditures in the UK; Lord Robens' speech on advertising and politics; a major German exhibit on advertising and the consumer (“Der umworbene Mensch”); information on outdoor advertising in Italy; market research on the German beer and bread markets; the need for establishing a JWT Office in Vienna; the development, testing and introduction of new Lever products in Germany such as CD and SIGNAL; efforts to improve the overall quality of film advertising in Germany including the unsuccessful attempt to recruit well-known theater director Peter Zadek; and an evaluation of the need for better assessing client conflicts of interest, arising in part from the conflict between Canada Mink and the Swedish SAGA Mink as JWT clients in Europe. Correspondents from the London Office include James Archibald, Jeremy Bullmore, Christopher Cross, Bill Hinks, Norman Basset, Carl Ivens, Elizabeth Oxley, Michael Patmore, Douglas Saunders, and Tom Sutton; and from the New York Office, Gordon Conley and Edward Wilson among others. Current and prospective accounts discussed in this subseries include Alcan, Brinkmann, Bristol Myers, Burroughs, Braemar, Brillo, Canada Mink, Champion, Chesebrough-Ponds, Dunlop, Eastman Kodak, Findus, Ford, Kaufhof, Kelloggs, Kraft, Lintex, Lux, Merrill Lynch, Nestle, Oxo, Singer, Scott, Therachemie, Triumph, and Vic's (UK name of Vick's/Wick).
The Clients subseries consists of materials pertaining to JWT's day-to-day work for its clients, including market strategies, campaign development, and the production of advertisements. It includes background information on JWT's relationship with Ford in Germany and Switzerland, a review of Kraft advertising in Germany, and information on special promotions for Pepsi in Europe. Well-documented accounts in this subseries include: Chesebrough Pond's, Dunlop, Ford, Intercontinental Hotels, Johnson Wax, Litton Industries, Kaufhof, Kraft, Maggi, Merrill Lynch, Norda, Playtex, Pepsi, SAGA, SIGNAL (a Lever product), Triumph, Warner-Lambert, and Wrigley.
The New Business subseries documents Frankfurt's strategies to acquire new clients. The subseries includes both successful and unsuccessful new business presentations for the following companies and organizations: Beecham/Ribena, Constructa, Dow Chemical, Eastman Kodak, Famous Artist Schools, FAZ, Horlicks, Jopa, Langeberg Sales, Oetker, Osram, Philips, Lever, SEL, Singer, and the World Coffee Promotion Committee.
The Memoranda/Hausmitteilungen subseries offers insight into the internal policy and communications of the Frankfurt Office. The subseries specifically documents shifts in the Marketing Department's organization and training, information on television advertising, art-buying, the company's media archive, personnel policies, and daily operations. Clients discussed in this subseries include Findus, Florida Citrus Growers, Nordsee, RCA, SIGNAL, and Scott.
The Meetings subseries documents Lanigan's participation in JWT European Managers' Meetings. Topics discussed at the meetings include JWT's international public relations, management coordination of international accounts, ideas for new business presentations, the economic implications of the European common market, and interoffice communication and exchange of personnel.
The Articles subseries contains advertising and promotional plans for JWT agricultural clients (California Raisin Advisory Board, Pineapple Growers Association, Olive Advisory Board). Other topics include copy research and grocery trade; advertising effects on economic growth; and international advertising markets and campaigns.
The Marketing and Research/Abteilung Marktforschung subseries documents research projects, correspondence (primarily with the New York Office), and memoranda of Frankfurt's Marketing and Research division (Abteilung Marktforschung).
The Layton Awards Series consists of materials relating to the annual Layton Awards for British advertising, an event sponsored by the graphics firm C and E Layton.
Consists of letters to and from Lanigan as well as copies of correspondence from or to other executives of the Frankfurt Office, including Peter Gilow. Also contains interoffice communications such as notes, memoranda, and reports, as well as some personal correspondence.
Although Lever-Sunlicht is a 100% subsidiary of Unilever, JWT-Frankfurt's correspondence with this client is filed under the letter “L” and not “U.” Similarly Eastman Kodak Company is referred to in correspondence as “Kodak,” and files under “K,” and special to the German filing system are the entries of “Sch” and “St” following “S.” Arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically by correspondent.
Constitutes Denis Lanigan's incoming and outgoing correspondence with over thirty-five JWT offices worldwide. It contains letters, telexes and telegrams, memoranda, notes, clippings, client lists, printed materials, policy statements, reports, drafts of speeches, and meeting minutes.
Arranged alphabetically by city, then chronologically.
Comprised of call reports (Kontaktberichte), market research, minutes (Protokolle), clippings, invitations, contracts, letters of terms, purchase orders, articles, speeches, bills, ads, graphs, and correspondence with and regarding JWT clients.
Although Lever-Sunlicht is a 100% subsidiary of Unilever, JWT-Frankfurt's correspondence with this client is filed under the letter “L” and not “U.” Similarly Eastman Kodak Company is referred to in correspondence as “Kodak,” and files under “K.” Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by client.
Comprised of correspondence, notes, sample contracts, charts, memos, public relations action proposals, articles, advertisements, speeches, proxies, consumer surveys, and research policy statements relating to the acquisition of new business accounts for JWT.
Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by company or organization.
Consists of internal correspondence, statements of company policy, drafts of speeches, newsletters, other publications of JWT's Presse- und Informationsdienste (media and information services), and lists of print media in the company archive. Also includes the charter of the “JWT Dinner-Club,” an organization for JWT's male executives.
Comprised of agendas, minutes, memos, correspondence, and one photograph relating to European Managers' Meetings. Includes a list of dates and locations of all European Managers' Meetings that took place from 1958to 1964.
Includes JWT Research Department's bulletins, JWT news releases, speeches, writings, copies of JWT house advertisements, a report on copy research, clippings, articles, newsletters, and an international advertising convention's program.
Comprised of European Research Meeting minutes, research projects, speeches, reports, minutes (Protokolle), correspondence, and memoranda. Includes a 1960speech by Norman H. Strouse which introduced a series of marketing seminars; monthly reports on work for clients and products such as Dunlop, Elida, Ford, Kraft, Lux, Nordsee, Pepsi, Ponds, and Wick; and a memo on the 1960 Esomar Conference.
Contains notes, invitations, letters, exhibit catalogs, rules and entry forms, speeches, articles and correspondence relating to the Layton Awards. Includes a 1960 speech by Prince Philip criticizing the current state of British advertising.
|1926 January 25||
Denis George Lanigan born in London, England
Attended Drayton Manor School
Served in the Royal Air Force
Received Master of Arts Degree in Economics from Kings College, Cambridge
Worked in Bank of England Overseas and Foreign Department
Joined Marketing Department of JWT
Worked as an Account Representative for Unilever
Transferred to JWT-Frankfurt as Management Supervisor
Moved to New York Office as Account Supervisor for Unilever
|1959 October 5||
Married Jean Sanderson
Worked at JWT-Frankfurt as Joint Manager
Appointed Director of JWT-London, responsible for coordinating Unilever accounts
Succeeded Tom Sutton as Managing Director of JWT-London
Elected Senior Vice-President of JWT parent corporation
Named Executive Vice-President of JWT-Europe and elected to Board of
Became Chairman of JWT-London Group Subsidiaries
Promoted to Chairman of JWT United Kingdom Group and President of European
Became a Vice Chairman in New York Office, responsible for finance and personnel
Named Vice Chairman-Chief Operating Officer, JWT-New York
Elected to the Board of Directors of JWT Group, Inc.
Retired from JWT
Denis and Jean Lanigan had two children, Mark born in 1960 and Katherine in 1962. Mr. Lanigan currently resides in London.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Eastman Kodak Company
- John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History
- Kraft Foods Company
- Lanigan, Denis, 1926-
- Lever Brothers
- Pepsi-Cola Company
- Unilever (Firm)
The Denis Lanigan Papers were transferred to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library from the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) Archives in 1987 and from the JWT Frankfurt Office in 1995.
Frankfurt Office series processed by: Sylvia Pfeiffenberger; Completed December 1996.
Additions processed by Richard Collier, March 2017