Guide to the WPP Group records, 1986-2015 and undated


Founded in 1971 as a manufacturer of shopping baskets; converted into a holdling company in 1985 and grew to become one of the largest advertising and communications conglomerates in the world.

Collection Details

Collection Number
WPP Group records
1986-2015 and undated
3.0 Linear Feet
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Spans 1986-2015 and includes annual reports, financial statements, correspondence, artifacts, newsletters and other publications and printed materials. Includes materials pertaining to the acquisition of the Ogilvy Group (formerly Ogilvy & Mather). Acquired as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

More Biographical / Historical Info


Organized alphabetically.

Using These Materials

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Collection is open for research.

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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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], WPP Group records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Annual reports, 1986-1995
(7 folders)
Box 1
Annual reports, 1996-2003
(4 folders)
Box 2
Articles, 1986-2013
Box 2
Atticus Awards, 1994-1999
(2 folders)
Box 2
Center for Research and Development--Options and Opportunities for Consumer Businesses: Advertising in a Recession, 1990
Box 3
Corporate Responsibility Report, 2006-2008
Box 3
Directories, 1987-1995
(2 folders)
Box 3
Financial reports, 1995-1999
Box 3
Financial reviews, 1987
Box 3
Group Navigator, 1996-2006
Box 3
Interim reports, 1987-2001
Box 3
Marketing Fellowship program, 1996-1997
Box 4
Martin Sorrell speech: Beans and Pearls, 1996
Box 4
Newsletter--Network WPP, 1989-1996
Box 4
North American Client Index, undated
Box 4
Ogilvy acquisition, 1989
Box 4
Promotional merchandise: postcards, t-shirt designs, undated
Box 4
Research International--Innovation in Advertising Research, 1995
Box 4
Samuel Montagu--Capital restructuring proposal, 1992
Box 4
Shareholder materials, 1988-1999
Box 4
The Catalog: Inventory of WPP Innovations that Can Help Group Companies Win, 1999-2000
Box 4
WPP: 30 Years of Communications Service, 2015
Box 4
WPP: Partnership in Practice, 1997
Box 4
WPP Retail Seminar, 1996
Box 4
WPPed Cream, 2014
Box 4
Newsletter--The Wire, 1997-2005
Box 5
Promotional merchandise: baseball cap, t-shirts, undated
Box 5
The World of WPP, 1989
Box 5
WPPed Cream, 2007-2008
Box 5

Historical Note

WPP plc (Wire and Plastic Products) founded 1971 as a manufacturer of wire shopping baskets and carts. Martin Sorrell acquired a controlling interest in 1985 and renamed it WPP Group. Sorrell became CEO. Major acquisitions of advertising agencies: J. Walter Thompson 1987; Ogilvy Group 1989; Young & Rubicam 2000; Grey Group 2005.

Related Material

Related materials may be found in the following Hartman Center collections:

J. Walter Thompson Company Don Johnston papers; J. Walter Thompson Company Publications; Kenneth Roman papers; Wunderman Archives.

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The WPP Group records were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1998-2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Richard Collier, March 2016.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 1998-0321, 0998-0322, 1999-0383, 2015-0001