J. Walter Thompson Company Is Your New JWT

By Patrick Coffee 


The week’s biggest spoiler to date has nothing to do with “Game of Thrones” or “Mad Men.”

Martin Sorrell of WPP dropped an extremely premature bomb during an “executive breakfast” hosted by the Wall Street Journal: JWT will once again become the J. Walter Thompson Company as part of its 150th anniversary “rebranding.”

Sorrell told the audience that reverting to the full moniker would be “a slick and a good move”, and worldwide chief executive Bob Jeffrey confirmed the news to Stuart Elliott while noting that execs had planned to make the change at “the end of the year” to match the agency’s original opening date: December 5, 1864.


The acronym came about in 2005, and Jeffery says the agency’s decision to backpedal reflects the fact that “this is a year of reigniting the values and soul” of JWT.

An online manifesto elaborates on that point:

“…make no mistake. J. Walter Thompson was not an ad man.

He was a pioneer.

We invent pioneering ideas that people want to participate in and spend time with.

And 150 years later, J. Walter Thompson still refuses to sign its name to an idea that doesn’t do just that.

Will we do things as they were done yesterday, or will we invent tomorrow?

…we only need to look as far as the name etched on our doors for the answer.

J. Walter Thompson,


Still modest, nearly 86 years after his death.