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Direct Marketing Materials: Ad Agency Records

Guide to materials related to direct marketing in the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, Duke University

Advertising Agency Records

Bates Worldwide Records, 1934-2003 and undated
The Bates Worldwide, Inc. Records span the years 1934-2003 and document the activities of this major global advertising agency over the course of its corporate life. Bates built its early reputation as an advertising agency with a particular talent for promoting pharmaceutical products. See the direct marketing series, boxes VF47-VF48. These boxes include (but are not limited to) direct marketing materials pertaining to pharmaceuticals, and drug stores and pharmacies. See also VF4 (coupons), VF5 (direct-to-consumer medical products), and VF84 (catalogs).

J. Walter Thompson Company, Account Files 1885-2008 and undated
The JWT Account Files spans the years 1885-2007, with the bulk of materials covering 1920-1995. It is an artificially-created collection of information about client accounts held by the JWT and provides information about JWT's management of its advertising campaigns. Additionally, the files document deliberations about such topics as media selection; markets and marketing; and target audience for individual advertising campaigns. There are numerous materials related to direct marketing for Ford, as well as the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Sprint, and White Castle Restaurants. (Although, note that some White Castle materials are restricted.)


  • Box FD17, Direct Mail Promotional, 1968
  • Box FD19, Direct Mail Promotional, 1999
  • Box FD32, Misc. Companies, Direct Mail
  • Box FM4, General strategy, Stimulator, direct marketing strategy, 1987
  • Box FM17, Contour, Direct Mailing Layouts, 1997; Crown Victoria direct marketing proposal, 1990
  • Fox FM18: Escape, direct mailing, 2000
  • Box FM19: Explorer, Direct mail, 1983
  • Box FM21: Thunderbird, Direct mail, 1971, 1962
  • Box FM39: Worldwide Direct Marketing Operation, 1997
  • FM84: Ford Story (speeches on direct mail), 1953
  • Boxes FM94-FM96: Worldwide Direct Marketing Operations (some restrictions)


  • MC14: Direct mail items, 1983-2000 and undated

U.S. Sprint

  • Box SR1: direct marketing 1987
  • Box SR14: direct mail and response program materials, 1980s
  • Box SR25: MCI direct mail, 1988
  • Box SR24: International competitive direct mail, 1996

J. Walter Thompson Company, Advertising Vertical Files 1950-1994
The JWT Advertising Vertical Files contains subject files on a wide range of advertising topics, and is primarily comprised of news clippings, articles, and pamphlets. Topics range from financial information, legal aspects of marketing, employment trends, awards, information on individuals in the industry, media, packaging, trademarks, and marketing research. The file was created and maintained as an internal reference file by the Information Center in JWT's New York Office. See boxes 61 and 62 for materials on direct mail.

This collection is minimally processed and contains miscellaneous files from the Detroit office. The direct mail materials contained in the collection are examples of Ford car and truck direct mailings, and some materials related to the bottling industry. The collections contain no material related to the accounts or the development of those ads. See accession 93-015, boxes 29, 68, and 69.

J. Walter Thompson Company Newsletter Collection, 1910-2005
The Newsletter Collection comprises the agency's internally produced newsletters, which date from 1916 through 2005. These include newsletters from the main office, certain domestic and international offices, divisions and affiliates of JWT. The collection contains materials from the early 1950s related to direct marketing generally, as well as Ford and the US Marine Corps specifically. See box D05 and newsletters dated July 6 and 13 1953.

J. Walter Thompson Company, London Office Records, 1920s-2005 and undated
JWT's London Office first opened in 1899, and was the first international office of any American advertising agency. Box 255 of the Knowledge Center files includes extensive materials on direct marketing in the UK and US, 1985 and 1994-1999. These materials consist of collected magazine and trade publication articles, medium studies, direct marketing awards, JWT Direct Marketing Briefing Pack, and various miscellaneous documents. These materials are generally clippings from publications, but some are original, internal JWT documents.

J. Walter Thompson Company, Publications Collection, 1887-2005
The J. Walter Thompson Company Publications Collection spans the years 1887 to 2005 and includes printed materials produced by the various offices, partners, subsidiaries and related firms of the J. Walter Thompson Company. There is a single document in this collection related to direct mail: "Direct Mail: Two Mediums Not One" (1951), Box DG11.

J. Walter Thompson Company, Writings and Speeches, 1912-2000 and undated
The Information Center of the New York Office began as a collection of writings and speeches by former JWT executives. Later, scrapbooks and binders of speeches by Stanley Resor and Arno Johnson and Norman Strouse were added, and the Information Center expanded its activities to routinely collect texts of speeches given by current JWT staff. Relevant materials:

  • Box 8: Derry F. Daly, "Direct Mail Advertising"
  • Box 11: 1958 article by Charles Gavin, "Direct Mail's Big Challenge: to Meet Changing Market Needs"
  • Box 13: 1962 pamphlet "Getting Response from your Direct Mail Advertising"
  • Box 44: 1968 speech by Dan Seymour, "Agency Looks at Direct Mail"
  • Box 45: 1952 speech by Norman Strouse "Advertising Agency Answers Challenge of Direct Mail"
  • Box 51: 1952 Article "$64 Question in Direct Mail Selling"

Wunderman Archives, 1946- 2010
Wunderman is a direct marketing and behavior-oriented marketing communications firm founded in 1958 as Wunderman Ricotta & Kline. The Wunderman Archives span the years 1946-2010 and comprise the administrative records of direct-mail and direct marketing agency Wunderman and its predecessor entities Wunderman Ricotta & Kline, Wunderman Worldwide, Wunderman Cato Johnson, and Impiric, as well as its subsidiary offices in the U.S. and abroad, associated firms such as Stone & Adler and Chapman Direct, and its relations with parent company Young & Rubicam. It includes general office files, policy and procedure manuals, training materials, awards, account files, new business records, professional papers of founder Lester Wunderman and other key executives, samples of client campaigns, photographs, slides and audio cassettes and videocassettes.