MAA blast from the past: dinner parties with JWT

WPP’s UK agencies took a powder according to the holding company’s recent half time 2020 numbers, down 23.5% in April, May and June. Whether or not this is a structural problem or just an echo of the tumbling UK economy in Covid-19 we’ll have to see.

J. Walter Thompson is now part of Wunderman Thompson which, globally anyway, seems to be doing OK but it’s still somewhat strange to find the agency – which more or less invented advertising we knew it – as just part of a tech-driven construct ultimately based on Lester Wunderman’s direct marketing pioneer, definitely below the salt in JWT’s great days.

Below the salt (the wrong end of a posh dinner table) was where you didn’t expect to find JWT. You might say it prospered mightily by bringing posh to the masses. Here are a couple of After Eight ads encapsulating JWT’s relationship with dinner parties.

This later one inspired, maybe, by GGT’s Holsten Pils.

Rowntrees, now part of Nestle, was JWT’s signature account, its be-suited bosses did their time journeying to York on the way up the ladder.

Museum pieces or something that’s gone missing?

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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