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Guide to Collections Related to the Ford Motor Company: JWT Company Archives

JWT Company Archives

The J. Walter Thompson Company Archives documents the history, operations, policies, and accomplishments of one of the world's oldest, largest, and most innovative advertising firms. Research materials pertaining to Ford Motor Co. are scattered throughout the collections. Many collections contain ad campaign graphics or audiovisual materials.

Especially rich resources include:

J. Walter Thompson Company. 16mm Microfilm As-Broadcast Scripts, 1928-1958
This collection contains scripts and commercials for multiple television spots from 1944 to 1956. Highlights include spots for the Bing Crosby Show, Ford Star Theater scripts, dealer commercials, and spots for the Fred Allen Show. 

J. Walter Thompson Company. Account Files, 1885-2008 and undated, bulk 1920-1995
Three substantial series in this collection relate to Ford. The Ford Motor Company Series contains 119 boxes covering the years 1911 to 2007 and includes materials such as account histories, research reports, memoranda, correspondence, brochures, packaging designs, advertising proofs, and photographs. Some highlights are: anniversary materials from 1977 and 1993, various histories of Ford from 1952 and 1973, presentations related to marketing Ford to women and youth, and materials related to alternative fuel. The 98 boxes in the Ford Dealer Association Files span the years 1950 to 2007 and consist of memoranda, presentation scripts and transparencies, packets, proofs and storyboards related to national and international advertising campaigns for various Ford automobiles, vans, and trucks. The series also includes price listings for various Ford models, research reports on specialized consumer markets, as well as reports on regional markets. There are also 73 boxes of Ford Audiovisual Materials. However, original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Technical Services staff may need to produce use copies before contents can be accessed. Please contact Research Services staff before coming to view these items.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Artifacts and Memorabilia Collection, 1888-2004 and undated
This artificial collection of items drawn from other JWT collections contains several awards related to Ford Campaigns, a program from a celebration of 50 years of the Ford-JWT relationship, and For memorabilia such as mouse pads, license plates, bumper stickers, and pins. See the finding aid for a detailed listing of items.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Corporation Vertical Files, circa 1915-1999, bulk 1960s-1990s
This collection contains 19 folders on the Ford Corporation spanning 1950-1995. These files were compiled by the JWT Information Center in Chicago. Materials include internal JWT unpublished reports and memoranda, magazine and newspaper articles, articles printed from computer databases, company publications, annual reports, and historical booklets and articles.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Detroit Office. Goldfarb Consultants Ford Research Reports, 1974-1989
The Goldfarb Consultants Ford Research Reports span the years 1974 to 1989 and consist of written research summaries primarily of advertising campaigns for various Ford automobiles, vans, and trucks. All four boxes in the collection have Ford materials, including reports on affluent, mature, female, and minority groups. Reports cover a range of topics, including responses to television commercials, advertisements, slogans, automobile and truck design, and general buying (economic) factors. Some reports are national in scope, while others are limited to particular regions of the United States. Box 2 has individual Ford model reports, which are arranged alphabetically. Some themes that emerge in these reports are gas mileage, price, and automobile size. See the finding aid for a detailed folder list indicating the topic of most reports.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Detroit Office. Records, 1947-1999 and undated
This extensive collection of files from the Detroit office primarily documents the Ford account from the 1950s to the 1990s. The collection includes printed materials, reports, research, tearsheets, price lists and specs, dealer catalogs, and collateral literature and advertisements from Ford competitors. Photographs of vehicles also make up a substantial portion of the collection. This collection is minimally processed, and some materials may need the attention of technical services staff prior to use.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Frankfurt Office. Audiovisual Materials, 1956-1993 and undated
This collection contains dozens of reels of Ford television commercials from 1959-1983.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Iconographic Collection, 1848-2005 and undated
This artificial collection contains black-and-white and color photographs, negatives, slides, contact sheets, photograph albums, and microfiche. Images related to the Ford account span the 1940s to the 1980s and depict domestic and international advertisements, particular car and truck models, JWT employees from domestic and international offices, and events involving Ford. Highlights include images and albums from the 1940s depicting the advertising team, a photograph of Charles Schultz with a drawing of Charlie Brown from 1959, and a 1985 conference room exhibit on the account. See the finding aid for a detailed folder list.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Information Center Records, 1890s-1987
This collection contains miscellaneous Ford-related materials dating from 1942-1985. The Accounts Subseries has advertising handbooks and guides, memos, newspaper article photocopies, and reports related to Ford Motor Co. and specific dealers (Box 3). Included in the Organizations Subseries is a folder from JWT's office in France office that contains some Ford Materials. Also included is a July 1957 report from the Communications Committee entitled Planning a Local Sales Contest for Ford.

J. Walter Thompson Company. International Office Records, 1929-1998 and undated
This collection contains information regarding Ford’s advertising in Latin America, including a presentation for Ford in Colombia and cassette tapes of Ford commercials in Spanish.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Legal Department Records, 1936-1979
This collection consists of releases for models and photographers associated with JWT campaigns from the 1950s through the 1970s and copies of publications that required model releases. Ford publications include Clues (1950-1956), Buyer’s Digest (1960-1966), Facts (1956-1960), Ford News Flash (1959-1960), Ford Owner Newsletter (1963-1965), and Ford Truck Times (1970).

J. Walter Thompson Company. New Business Records, 1924-2006 and undated, bulk 1980-1989
This collection contains two boxes of Ford materials, including Milton Moskowitz’s files from 1954 to 1964, a series of presentations and proposals from the 1978-1986 period, and three leave-behind books produced by JWT-Australia.

J. Walter Thompson Company. New York Office. Research Department Records, 1923-1986 and undated
This collection contains materials pertaining to the Ford Tempo, including multiple marketing research records, computer tabulations and statistics for various Ford Tempo commercials.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Newsletter Collection, 1910-2005
This collection comprises JWT’s internally produced newsletters, many of which contain news and articles related to the Ford account. Boxes MN10-MN12 have issues with content of particular interest for Ford researchers. Key campaigns and highlights include a 1951 "Campaign of the Week" discussing how the 33 individual Ford accounts integrate with the current factory ad themes, a 1959 article including images that outlines a seven-page full-color clothes-and-cars fashion spread in the Oct. 15 issue of Vogue, a 1960 article on a Ford Spanish-language TV special aired in Latin America, and a 1960 cover "Alice and her 'wonderland' friends team up to introduce new Falcon wagons." See the finding aid for several useful indices of the newsletters.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Publications Collection, 1887-2005
This collection of printed materials produced by JWT offices, partners, subsidiaries, and related firms contain copies of two Ford titles: Ford Story (1953) and New Era in Ford Retailing (1958).

J. Walter Thompson Company. Review Board Records, 1947-1976
Composed of senior-level creative, account, and management personnel, the Review Board was an advisory system for controlling quality of services. Records consist of meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, and reports. The board’s records regarding the Ford account comprise three boxes and span 1953-1964 and 1970-1974.

J. Walter Thompson Company. Writings and Speeches, 1912-2000 and undated
This collection of printed texts of speeches, articles, and reports contains several items dating from 1958-1981 related to Ford, including "The 7 1/2 Million Car Market" (1962) and "How to Photograph a Ford Car" (c. 1980). See the finding aid for a full list of titles.