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International Advertising and Marketing: South Africa

This is a guide to collections at the Hartman Center documenting the J. Walter Thompson Company's history as a transnational advertising agency, including its international advertising and marketing activities outside of the United States.

South Africa

JWT opened offices in Port Elizabeth in 1928, Cape Town in 1930, and Johannesburg in 1932. The Port Elizabeth office closed in 1973.

Advertisements Collections

International Advertisements Collection, 1900-2004

The International Advertisements Collection consists primarily of print advertisements, along with some transparencies, photocopies of advertising, and other collateral material that document some of JWT's international advertising campaigns through the 20th century. Includes advertisements from Capetown (1974-87), Johannesburg (1963-90), and Port Elizabeth (1931-32).

35mm Microfilm Proofs Collection, 1906--1960 and undated

Collection contains pre-1934 advertising proofs a number of JWT's international offices including Johannesburg.  Clients include General Motors, Royal baking powder, Murray & Stewart, Moir's jellies, Menek, Karanan, Jantzen, Horlicks, Goodrich, Electrolux, Cream of Wheat, Clubman shoes, Black & White scotch, Chateau brandy, Atlantic Refineries.

Professional Papers

Sidney Ralph Bernstein Company History Files, 1873-1964

The collection consists of materials Sidney Ralph Bernstein gathered for writing a commemorative history of the JWT Company at the time of its centennial anniversary. The history was not published. The collection documents the history of JWT through personal reminiscences, recollections, and evaluations of the company by its executives and other employees; advertising executives; women in the advertising industry; and J. Walter Thompson, founder of the company. The International Office series contains personal narratives and research about South Africa.

Penney P. Burnett Papers, 1973-1987

The papers cover the years during which Penney P. Burnett worked for JWT as a consultant for investor relations. The papers document JWT’s activities in South Africa during apartheid, including news articles, posters, and a statement of JWT principles regarding apartheid and the divestment movement (1984-86).

Harry Clark Papers, 1945-1992

Harry Clark was an advertising executive who served as Director of JWT's Frankfurt Office and eventually of JWT's New York Office; Managing Director of Landsdowne Advertising, a JWT subsidiary; and co-founder of Smith Clark Associates, a consulting firm based in Princeton, N.J. International Offices series contains correspondence with Johannesburg office (1972-75), an organizational chart of South African offices (1973-74), and information about the Port Elizabeth office closure in 1973 (see Box 17).

Glen Dell Papers, 1969-1989

Glen Dell served from 1984-1986 as an executive in finance and administration with JWT Group. Collection includes financial reports, correspondence, acquisition and investment information, as well as materials on JWT's subsidiaries and international operations. International Operations series includes material on JWT South Africa (1975-85).

Peter Gilow Papers, 1960-1978

Peter Gilow was an advertising executive of JWT. The papers document the development of the Frankfurt Office. They consist primarily of correspondence between Peter Gilow and the heads of JWT's international offices, including Cape Town (1963-74), Johannesburg (1962-74), Durban (1962), and Port Elizabeth (1963-67).

Victor Gutierrez Papers, 1970-1987

Victor Gutierrez served as Executive Vice President of the Finance division and as Chief Financial Officer at JWT. International Offices series contains primarily office agreements and reports related to the business, including financial gains and losses, and files related to trips made to international offices by Gutierrez; includes South Africa (1985).

Denis Lanigan Papers, 1958-1964

Denis Lanigan was an advertising executive at JWT and joint manager of JWT's Frankfurt Office. The Other Offices series contains letters, telexes and telegrams, memoranda, notes, clippings, client lists, printed materials, policy statements, reports, drafts of speeches, and meeting minutes with over thirty-five JWT offices worldwide, including Cape Town (1959, 1963-64), Durban (1960), and Johannesburg (1959-60).

Joseph O'Donnell Papers, 1947-1987

Joseph O'Donnell was an executive with JWT and served as the company's Chief Executive Officer during 1986. International Offices series contains primarily correspondence and memoranda between JWT employees and clients in international office, including South Africa (1986).    

Jack Peters Papers, 1965-1989

Jack Peters worked at JWT 31 years and served as Chief Operating Officer and President of JWT-USA and then JWT-Worldwide. International Offices series contains correspondence, meeting reports, travel documentation, presentation files, audit information, information on features of various markets in specific regions, as well as general administrative memoranda for JWT's international offices, including South Africa (1982-87).

Vergil D. Reed and Lubertus Smilde Papers, 1944-1960

Vergil Reed was director of the U.S Bureau of the Census, Director of Research and an economist with JWT, as well as a professor of marketing and foreign trade at Michigan State, Columbia and Boston Universities. Lubertus Smilde was Reed's colleague and successor in the Market Research Department at JWT. The materials illustrate Reed's activities as a researcher of international markets, including correspondence with the JWT Cape Town office (1958).

Paul-G. Siebel Papers, 1968-1975

Paul-G. Siebel was Geschäftsführer (General Manager) of JWT's Frankfurt Office. Offices series contains typed and handwritten letters, memoranda, telexes and telegrams, notes, speeches, reports, news releases, articles, and questionnaires pertaining to JWT's international offices worldwide, including Cape Town (1973) and Johannesburg (1972-74).

Thomas Sutton Papers, 1965-1975

Thomas Sutton was an executive in charge of JWT's international operations. Annual Marketing Plans and Reports series contains status and planning reports from JWT's international operations. The documents assess the respective country's economy, politics, and the advertising and media market as the context for then reviewing the individual JWT office's financial and organizational performance, including Johannesburg (1977).

Edward G. Wilson Papers, 1906-1991

Edward G. Wilson was an executive with JWT from 1930 until his retirement in 1971, and held the positions of General Counsel, Executive Vice-President and Secretary of the Company. The International Offices series contains files documenting Wilson's tenure as head of JWT's international operations, including South Africa in general (1933-71), Cape Town (1932-46), and Johannesburg (1932-1934).

Other Records and Papers

International Offices Records, 1929–1998 and undated

The International Offices Records primarily contain financial records, correspondence, presentations, campaign drafts, account lists, meeting minutes and printed materials. The General Office Files and Specific Offices and Countries series include materials on South Africa (1971-85).

Newsletter Collection, 1910-2005 

The Newsletter Collection comprises the agency's internally produced newsletters. The International Newsletters Series of this collection includes publications from South Africa (1968-1993).

16mm Microfilm Investigations, 1913--1950 and undated

The Investigations collection consists of research reports, market and campaign studies, account histories, and other investigative documents.  Contains numerous South African market studies for Unguentine, Royal baking powder, and  Lehn and Fink.

From the Collections

Advertisement for Kodak paper featuring Michael Meyersfeld photography, from the Johannesburg, South Africa JWT office, 1987. JWT International Advertisments Collection, Box AF1.