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 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.

Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Aug 2014: Ads of the Week: "Forever Faster". The World Cup has been and gone but sportswear ads never stop. JWT New York's debut branding campaign for Puma displays a refreshing sense of self-deprecating humour that is so lacking in Nike and especially Adidas marketing. "Yeah, we're #3...," says Puma, "but we have loads more fun than those other guys." There's a star turn by Usain Bolt - and is that a very multi-racial Swedish handball team?  - alongside other members of Puma's small but perfectly formed roster of star athletes. A good start, JWT. Separately, Jeff Benjamin, chief creative officer for JWT North America, is leaving just a few months after Matt Eastwood was brought in above his head as global CCO. It's the latest in a string of moves at the network's New York HQ which has witnessed a virtual revolving door of senior managers since 2010. Benjamin, who joined JWT in 2012 from CP&B, plans to open his own independent shop. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Jul 2014: Ads of the Week: "Twists & Turns". The annual Melbourne Writers' Festival traditionally brings out the best in JWT Australia's creative department. Their 2014 offering is appropriately interactive, allowing you to determine just how this interview plays out... with a selection of (mostly funny) possible outcomes. A fine script and performances. Intelligent advertising at its best. 

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.

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