This historical study attempts to explore how advertising, from the perspective of the J. Walter Thompson (JWT) Agency, contributed to the development of consumerism in West Germany during the Cold War (roughly the early 1950s until the late 1980s). The article describes how West Germany rebuilt its economy and eventually developed into the largest exporting country in the world. It also illustrates how advertising as an institution contributed to a functioning consumer society and chronicles the agency's development in the U.S. and expansion to Germany. Finally, it explores the agency's insights into consumer behavior in West Germany during the Cold War.

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Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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