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JWT, previously known as J. Walter Thompson, is a marketing communications brand that has been operating for 150 years. Headquartered in New York, JWT houses a global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. It is the fourth-largest agency network in the world and is one of the key companies within the WPP Group (NASDAQ:WPPGY).
The company was founded by William James Carlton in 1864. Carlton's company was renamed by James Walter Thompson in 1878 to The James Walter Thompson Company, by Thompson's purchase of the company from Carlton. It was acquired by WPP Group in 1987. In 2005, the agency was "relaunched" by dropping the name J. Walter Thompson in exchange for JWT.
JWT Historical Timeline:
- 1847: James Walter Thompson is born on October 28.
- 1868: Thompson joins Carlton and Smith, a two-room operation he later buys and renames after himself.
- 1878: Ad agency “J. Walter Thompson” is officially established. It adopts the name JWT in 2005.
- Late 1800s: Thompson establishes himself as the “Father of Magazine Advertising” by:
- Pioneering the development of a creative department by hiring artists and writers to form it.
- Monopolizing selling rights for ad space in 30 leading publications, establishing magazines as a national advertising medium.
- Recognizing the importance of women as a consumer base.
- 1902: JWT begins working with Unilever, commencing the longest client-agency relationship in history.
- 1911: Helen Lansdowne Resor becomes the first female creative director in history. Previously, she had established the first-ever women’s copy group.
- 1912: JWT is the first to use and interpret raw census figures to produce first edition of Population and Distribution.
- 1915: JWT creates an ad for Woodbury Soap Company's Facial Soap that initiates the use of sex appeal, earning the ad a spot on the "AdAge" list of the 100 most important ads of the 20th century.
- 1916: The Thompson T-Square is introduced, which outlines the agency’s approach to planning.
- 1969: JWT recruits Charlotte Beers from Uncle Ben’s. She goes on to become the first female senior VP at JWT.
- 1969: JWT becomes a publicly held company.
- 1987: In the first holding company purchase within the advertising industry, WPP acquires JWT for $556 million.
- 1995: JWT launches jwt.com, becoming the first ad agency on the web.
- 1997: JWT Media and O&M Media unite to create MindShare a media planning and buying agency, leaving JWT as a creative agency.
- 2000: An ad by JWT is the first to appear in the new Millennium.
- 2003: JWT creates the De Beers right-hand ring, an extremely successful campaign that many jewelers claim increased purchases by single or unmarried women by 50-100%.
- 2009: Adweek names JWT the Global Agency of the Year.
JWT's network has nearly 10,000 employees in more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, who serve over 1,200 clients.
Key Clients include:
- Indian National Congress - Political Party
- Johnson & Johnson
- Royal Caribbean
- United States Marine Corps
Notable people who worked at JWT
- Martin Amis
- David Bowie
- Julie Christie
- Bryce Courtenay
- Ken Done
- H. R. Haldeman
- Stephen King
- Adrian Lyne
- Gabriel García Márquez 
- Alan Parker
- James Patterson
- Glenn Slater
- John B. Watson
- Fay Weldon
- Josh Kilmer-Purcell
- Caroline R. Jones
- Woodbury Soap, “A skin you love to touch” (1911)
- 7UP, “The Uncola” (1970s)
- The United States Marine Corps “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.” (1976)
- Oscar Mayer, “The Bologna Song” (1962)
- The United States Marine Corps, “Kraft Theatre” The Rose Garden (1947)
- Kit Kat “Have a break. Have a Kit Kat” (1957)
- De Beers, “A diamond is forever” (1947)
- First Grand Prix for India won at Cannes with the “Lead India” campaign (2008)
- JWT and Macy’s declare December 14 as “National Believe Day” as a part of the “Yes, Virginia” campaign. (2009)
- JWT Shanghai wins the first Grand Prix for China at Cannes with the Samsonite “Heaven and Hell” campaign. (2011)
- JWT Puerto Rico wins the Grand Prix for PR at the Cannes Lions festival for their campaign entitled “The Most Popular Song” for Banco Popular. (2012)
In popular culture
- 1930: JWT invents the grilled cheese for Kraft.
- Introduced Kraft Miracle Whip.
- 1930s: JWT conceptualizes “Snap, Crackle and Pop” for Kellogg’s.
- 1972: JWT creates the Andrex Puppy.
- 1973: JWT creates “The Bologna Song” for Oscar Mayer.
- 1939: Produced the first-ever TV program for Libby, McNeill & Libby.
- 1964: Introduced the Ford Mustang.
- Introduced the first paper towel for Scott Paper.
- 2000: Breaks the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest billboard.
- 2012 Kit Kat in space campaign by JWT London.
- Published: September 15, 2003 (2003-09-15). "J. Walter Thompson Co. | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "J. Walter Thompson Company \"House Ads\" - Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920 - Duke Libraries". Library.duke.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- Johnson, Bradley (2011-02-14). "Ad Agency-Marketer Relationships That Have Lasted". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Resor, Helen Lansdowne (1886-1964) | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising". Advertising Age. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Soap Products | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising". Advertising Age. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Charlotte Beers | Special: The Advertising Century". Advertising Age. 1999-03-29. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "J. Walter Thompson Advertising agency - JWT United States". Jwt.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "DeBeers Consolidated Mines | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising -". Advertising Age. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "The sudden allure of right-hand diamond rings". NBC News. 2004-01-20. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- McMains, Andrew (2010-01-25). "JWT: Global Agency of the Year '09". Adweek. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Congress gears up for 2014, awards ad campaign to JWT with one-point agenda to counter Narendra Modi". India Today. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "CVC. Gabriel Garcνa Mαrquez. Cronologνa". Cvc.cervantes.es. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "James Patterson Inc". New York Times. 20 January 2010.
- brandrepublic.com, 26 July 2002, 08:00AM (2002-07-26). "Superbrands case studies: J Walter Thompson - Brand Republic News". PR Week. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Caroline Jones, 59, Founder Of Black-Run Ad Companies". The New York Times. 8 July 2001.
- "Model Interpretation". Historymatters.gmu.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Ad Age Advertising Century: Top 100 Advertising Campaigns | Special: The Advertising Century". Advertising Age. 1999-03-29. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- Author* (2012-07-16). "JWT and US Marine Corps: A 65 year partnership going strong | JWT Blog". Jwt.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Oscar Mayer Wiener Song". Wisconsinhistory.org. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- N Shatrujeet, Jun 22, 2008, 12.17am IST (2008-06-22). "Now, Lead India wins Integrated Lion at Cannes". Times Of India. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Macy's National Believe Day Honors The Spirit Of Giving This December 14". Business Wire. 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Samsonite: Heaven and Hell | Ads of the World". Adsoftheworld.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, 'The Most Popular Song' | Inspiration | Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity". Canneslions.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Women to Watch: Daiga Atvara, JWT's Digitaria | Special Report: Women to Watch - Advertising Age". Adage.com. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Guide to the J. Walter Thompson Company. Domestic Advertisements Collection, 1875-2001 and undated, bulk 1920s-1990s". Duke University Libraries.
- "Andrex lines up celebratory campaign as mascot puppy turns 40". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Oscar Mayer Foods Corp. | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising -". Advertising Age. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "1964 1/2 Ford Mustang - By Design -". Automobile Magazine. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- Author* (2012-10-15). "Kit Kat Goes to Space | JWT Blog". Jwt.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- Davis, Rhiannon, “Negotiating Local and Global Knowledge and History: J. Walter Thompson around the Globe, 1928–1960,” Journal of Australian Studies 36 (no. 1, 2012), 81–97.
- Official website
- J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) Collections in the Hartman Center at Duke University