JWT 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 JWT UK and JWT Australia.

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Jun 2014: JWT raided DDB New York to poach chief creative officer Matt Eastwood, who takes on that role for the global JWT network. The role of global CCO has been vacant since 2009 when Craig Davis (like Eastwood, another Australian) returned to his home country and a role at Publicis. In the mean time, creative has been overseen by a global council. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Apr 2014: JWT is to return to its old name of J Walter Thompson in December this year, in celebration of its 150th anniversary. It officially adopted the more modern-sounding JWT acronym in 2005, but according to CEO Bob Jeffrey, "in planning for our anniversary it became abundantly clear that the world, and our younger employees in particular, had a deep appreciation and hunger for brand authenticity". This development follows the readoption earlier this year of the storied FCB and Foote Cone & Belding brands by what had previously been Draftfcb.

Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Apr 2014: Former BBDO executive Peter Sherman has jumped ship from his role as JWT's North America CEO after just nine months at the network. Instead he has been tempted back to Omnicom in the role of group EVP. According to a press release, he will be tasked with "a series of major initiatives that include driving innovation and collaboration across the holding company's client portfolio". Before joining JWT last summer he had spent more than 15 years at BBDO. Sherman's departure comes hot on the heels of the appointment of Gustavo Martinez as global president of JWT and CEO-in-waiting, and doesn't appear to have taken the WPP network by surprise. Sherman has not been directly replaced. Instead JWT announced the appointment of former Arnold exec Lynn Power as joint managing director of JWT New York, alongside current MD Claire Capeci. Both report directly to Gustavo Martinez.

Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Mar 2014: Ads Of The Week: "Best Extra In The World". Film festivals often bring out the best in ad agencies, giving them plenty of scope to indulge in a bit of offbeat humour. JWT Toronto's campaign for the upcoming Canadian Film Fest (starting next weekend) celebrates a couple of the unsung heroes of the industry. This is our favourite of the two, highlighting the Best Extra In The World. Some nice jokes. The other (on our Facebook page of course) riffs on the popularity of zombies and Canadians' reputation for being overly polite.

Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Dec 2013: David Eastman, previously North America CEO at JWT, is leaving the company, apparently to pursue an "entrepreneurial endeavour". He will be replaced by Peter Sherman, who joined the agency mid-2013 as New York CEO. Eastman's departure follows the recent announcement that McCann executive Gustavo Martinez will join JWT as CEO-in-waiting behind Bob Jeffrey.

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. 

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Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Dec 2013: Puma named JWT as its new global agency, taking over from Droga5. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Nov 2013: There was some succession planning at JWT, in anticipation of Bob Jeffrey's move to a non-executive role at the end of next year. The network raided McCann to select his successor as CEO. Gustavo Martinez, currently regional director for McCann Europe & Asia, is to join JWT in the new year as global president. He will succeed Jeffrey as CEO at the end of 2014, at which point Jeffrey will become non-executive chairman. "Over the past few years Gustavo and I have cultivated a relationship of mutual admiration and respect," said Jeffrey in a statement. "He is passionate about the business, devoted to clients and understands that the key asset of the business is the caring, nurturing and understanding of its people. Gustavo Martinez is the future of JWT." His replacement at McCann has yet to be named.

Adbrands Weekly Update 10th Oct 2013: JWT was awarded pan-EMEA creative for Canon cameras and business solutions, replacing McGarryBowen. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Sep 2013: Air Canada split its business between JWT and Mindshare following a review. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Aug 2013: JWT scored two significant wins from its WPP sibling Grey this week. In the US, Energizer Holdings moved its collection of personal care products, including Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat sun care and Playtex feminine protection, from Grey to JWT. That collection is likely to be expanded further when Energizer completes the acquisition of Johnson & Johnson's Stayfree and OB sanpro products later this year. The move was prompted by Grey's recent win of the global Gillette account: Energizer also owns Schick Wilkinson Sword, Gillette's main global rival, also already managed by JWT. That gain was followed by news today that JWT is to take back responsibility for the UK retail and wealth management business of HSBC, five months after the account was transferred to Grey. The latter will retain other European creative for HSBC. No explanation was given. 

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