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The logo of JWT.

JWT, previously known as J. Walter Thompson, is a 150-year-old marketing communications brand.

With headquarters in New York and more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, JWT and its network of nearly 10,000 marketing professionals has a significant and influential presence in the global advertising landscape.

As the fourth-largest agency network in the world, JWT is one of the key companies within the WPP Group (NASDAQ:WPPGY).and consistently ranks among the world’s top agency networks.


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:

  • 1868: Thompson joins Carlton and Smith, a two-room operation he later buys and renames after himself.
    J Walter Thompson
  • 1878: Ad agency “J. Walter Thompson” is officially established. It adopts the name JWT in 2005.[1]
  • 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.[2]
  • 1902: JWT begins working with Unilever, commencing the longest client-agency relationship in history.[3]
  • 1911: Helen Lansdowne Resor becomes the first female creative director in history. Previously, she had established the first-ever women’s copy group.[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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.[6]
  • 1969: JWT becomes a publicly held company.[1]
  • 1987: In the first holding company purchase within the advertising industry, WPP acquires JWT for $556 million.[7]
  • 2003: JWT creates the De Beers right-hand ring,[8] an extremely successful campaign that many jewelers claim increased purchases by single or unmarried women by 50-100%.[9]
  • 2009: Adweek names JWT the Global Agency of the Year.[10]
  • 2013: JWT Cairo wins Egypt’s first-ever Gold Lion with “Fakka” campaign for Vodafone Egypt.[11]
  • 2014: JWT acquires controlling stakes in Social Wavelength, India's largest social media agency.


JWT's network has nearly 10,000 employees in more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, who serve over 1,200 clients.

J. Walter Thompson Co. advertisement, 1903

Key Clients include:

  • Bayer
  • Ford
  • HSBC
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kellogg’s
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • Macy’s
  • Nestlé
  • Nokia
  • Rolex
  • Schick
  • Shell
  • Unilever
  • United States Marine Corps
  • Vodafone
  • Vonage

Notable people who worked at JWT[edit]

Notable campaigns[edit]

  • Woodbury Soap, “A skin you love to touch” (1911)[16]
  • 7UP, “The Uncola” (1970s)[17]
  • The United States Marine Corps “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.” (1976)[18]
  • Oscar Mayer, “The Bologna Song” (1962)[19]
  • The United States Marine Corps, “Kraft Theatre” The Rose Garden (1947)[20]
  • Kit Kat “Have a break. Have a Kit Kat” (1957)
  • De Beers, “A diamond is forever” (1947)[14]
  • First Grand Prix for India won at Cannes with the “Lead India” campaign (2008)[21]
  • JWT and Macy’s declare December 14 as “National Believe Day” as a part of the “Yes, Virginia” campaign. (2009)[22]
  • JWT Shanghai wins the first Grand Prix for China at Cannes with the Samsonite “Heaven and Hell” campaign. (2011)[23]
  • 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)[24]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Published: September 15, 2003 (2003-09-15). "J. Walter Thompson Co. | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  2. ^ "J. Walter Thompson Company \"House Ads\" - Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920 - Duke Libraries". Library.duke.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  3. ^ Johnson, Bradley (2011-02-14). "Ad Agency-Marketer Relationships That Have Lasted". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  4. ^ "Resor, Helen Lansdowne (1886-1964) | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising". Advertising Age. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  5. ^ "Soap Products | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising". Advertising Age. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  6. ^ "Charlotte Beers | Special: The Advertising Century". Advertising Age. 1999-03-29. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  7. ^ "J. Walter Thompson Advertising agency - JWT United States". Jwt.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  8. ^ "DeBeers Consolidated Mines | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising -". Advertising Age. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  9. ^ "The sudden allure of right-hand diamond rings". NBC News. 2004-01-20. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  10. ^ McMains, Andrew (2010-01-25). "JWT: Global Agency of the Year '09". Adweek. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  11. ^ "JWT Cairo and Vodafone Egypt bring home the first-ever Gold Lion for Egypt". mediaME. 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  12. ^ a b "CVC. Gabriel Garcνa Mαrquez. Cronologνa". Cvc.cervantes.es. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  13. ^ "James Patterson Inc". New York Times. 20 January 2010. 
  14. ^ a b 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. 
  15. ^ "Caroline Jones, 59, Founder Of Black-Run Ad Companies". The New York Times. 8 July 2001. 
  16. ^ "Model Interpretation". Historymatters.gmu.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  17. ^ "Ad Age Advertising Century: Top 100 Advertising Campaigns | Special: The Advertising Century". Advertising Age. 1999-03-29. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  18. ^ Author* (2012-07-16). "JWT and US Marine Corps: A 65 year partnership going strong | JWT Blog". Jwt.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  19. ^ "Oscar Mayer Wiener Song". Wisconsinhistory.org. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  20. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0622615/combined
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ "Macy's National Believe Day Honors The Spirit Of Giving This December 14". Business Wire. 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  23. ^ "Samsonite: Heaven and Hell | Ads of the World". Adsoftheworld.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  24. ^ "Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, 'The Most Popular Song' | Inspiration | Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity". Canneslions.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  25. ^ "Women to Watch: Daiga Atvara, JWT's Digitaria | Special Report: Women to Watch - Advertising Age". Adage.com. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  26. ^ a b "Guide to the J. Walter Thompson Company. Domestic Advertisements Collection, 1875-2001 and undated, bulk 1920s-1990s". Duke University Libraries. 
  27. ^ "Oscar Mayer Foods Corp. | AdAge Encyclopedia of Advertising -". Advertising Age. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  28. ^ "1964 1/2 Ford Mustang - By Design -". Automobile Magazine. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  29. ^ "Andrex lines up celebratory campaign as mascot puppy turns 40". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  30. ^ Author* (2012-10-15). "Kit Kat Goes to Space | JWT Blog". Jwt.com. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]