J Walter Thompson Worldwide (US)

Selected JWT advertising

JWT, or J Walter Thompson to give its full name, is one of the most famous brands in advertising history. It was arguably the world's first advertising agency, in the modern sense of the word, although it now prefers the term global brand communications. Owned since 1987 by WPP, the company took steps to brighten up its image in 2005, dropping the old name in favour of its already well used JWT abbreviation and a new logo. It plans to readopt the J Walter Thompson brand once again in 2014 to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Under any name, the agency has an enormous geographical spread, with some 200 offices in 90 countries. In most cases, the group operates as a fully integrated agency offering a wide variety of other marketing services disciplines beyond advertising. A handful of separately branded subsidiary units remain, but the biggest of these, marketing services network RMG:Connect, was merged into the main agency at the end of 2009. See also J Walter Thompson UK, J Walter Thompson Canada and J Walter Thompson Australia.

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 9th July 2015: Kellogg's shifted creative duties for one of its biggest-spending US cereals, Special K, away from lead agency Leo Burnett in favour of J Walter Thompson, previously only a roster shop for US cereals handling occasional assignments, although it already works on Special K in Asia. After spectacular growth in the 2000s, Special K's US sales have drifted steadily lower over the past couple of years. JWT has been tasked with rebuilding the business, not just in the US but also Latin America. Leo Burnett keeps the account in Europe and Canada. J Walter Thompson also collected creative duties for the North Shore-LIJ hospital and healthcare system in New York.

Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Jun 2015: J Walter Thompson strengthened its operations in Germany with a "significant" minority shareholding in independent Hirschen Group, whose units include creative agency zum Goldenen Hirschen and Freunde des Hauses. Hirschen Group reported revenues of E37m in 2014. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but German trade press reported that the holding was understood to be as much as 49%. That's similar to WPP's arrangement with the UK-based CHI & Partners, as well as other partners. Hirschen group will continue to maintain its independent positioning under the management team of Bernd Heusinger, Marcel Loko and James Blach.

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Feb 2015: J Walter Thompson kicked off the New Year with the launch of a new global digital network, absorbing what are currently 11 separately branded agencies owned by parent WPP. Core of the network, to be named Mirum, is provided by JWT's existing US satellites Digitaria and Lunchbox. They are joined by other shops around the globe including Twist Image in Canada, XM in Asia, ActiveArk in several European markets and HeathWallace in the UK. Digitaria CEO Dan Khabie moves up to head of the global network. Separately, JWT was awarded global responsibility for most of Treasury Wines Estates' portfolio. It will handle all marketing for Beringer, Wolf Blass, Rosemount, Lindeman's and other brands except Penfold's, which will continue to use Leagas Delaney for TV advertising. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Jan 2015: J Walter Thompson's new CEO Gustavo Martinez made further changes to his team, promoting Lynn Power to president, JWT New York alongside newly appointed CCO Adam Kerj. Claire Capeci was named to a new role as global president, JWT retail. Power and Capeci were previously joint managing directors of JWT NY.

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Dec 2014: Bayer consolidated creative work for the OTC brands recently acquired from Merck with existing roster agencies BBDO and JWT. The business transfers from Havas Worldwide and Publicis Kaplan Thaler. BBDO added Claritin and Afrin to its global portfolio, as well as responsibility for the Dr Scholl's brand in the Americas. (Reckitt Benckiser owns that brand elsewhere). An existing Bayer brand, Phillips' Milk of Magnesia, transferred to JWT, which also added ex-Merck brand Miralax and the global Coppertone suncare business. However, to avoid conflicts with existing JWT New York clients Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic (owned by Energizer), a new unit is to be created in London to handle the Coppertone account. TeamLife will be housed at JWT London, and includes executives from WPP's activation network Geometry.

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