Libraries Acquire Papers of Direct Marketing Pioneer and His Agency

Lester Wunderman
Photo Credit: Wunderman

The John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History has acquired the papers of direct marketing pioneer Lester Wunderman and will become the corporate archive of the global marketing firm he founded half a century ago. Lester Wunderman is the chairman emeritus and founder of Wunderman, one of the largest advertising, marketing, and consulting companies in the world. He is credited with pioneering a number of direct marketing concepts that are now firmly established practices of modern-day advertising—such as the toll-free 1-800 number, the credit card customer rewards program, and the tipped-in magazine subscription card. Even the term “direct marketing” is widely attributed to him. He was inducted in the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame in 1983. Now the papers of Lester Wunderman, along with those of the agency he founded in 1958, will be housed at the Hartman Center. It is the first significant collection documenting direct marketing to be given to the Hartman Center.