COLLECTION FINDING AID
BRUCE S. WAGNER PAPERS, 1975-76
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer;
Campaign ’76 Media Communications, Inc
Material relating to the daily operations of Campaign’76 Media Communications, Inc., especially its work on Gerald R. Ford’s campaign advertising for the 1976 primary elections. The collection is mostly comprised of his office files including memoranda, correspondence, brochures, bumper stickers, news clippings, market research materials, and advertising copy.
2.4 linear feet (ca. 4,800 pages)
Bruce S. Wagner (Accession number 2005-NLF-031)
Open. Some items may be temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).
Bruce S. Wagner donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.
Prepared by David LaCrone, February 2006; revised by J.P. Schmidt, June 2012
Bruce Stanley Wagner
August 1, 1943 - Born, San Diego, CA
1965 - B.A., Dartmouth College
1967-1981 - Senior Vice President, Grey Advertising, Inc., New York City
1975-1976 - Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Campaign ’76 Media Communications, Inc., Washington, DC
1981-1994 - Executive Vice President, board of directors Ross Roy, Inc., Ross Roy Group, Inc., Bloomfield Hills, MI
1984 - M.B.A., University of Pennsylvania
1995-1999 - Vice President, Marketing and Communications, ITT Automotive Inc., Auburn Hills, MI
1999-2000 - President, Wagner & Co., Ltd., Birmingham, MI
2001-2003 - President Marketing and Corporate Communications, MSX International Inc., Southfield, MI
2004- - President, Wagner & Co., Ltd., Birmingham, MI
Bruce Wagner came to Campaign ’76 Media Communications at the behest of Chairman Peter H. Dailey in November of 1975. On extended leave from Grey Advertising, Inc., the eighth largest advertising agency in the United States, the 32 year-old Wagner was charged with overseeing the staff and daily operations of the agency, a corporation specifically established to handle President Ford’s advertising for the 1976 nomination and general election campaigns. Wagner remained in charge of the staff until the conclusion of the primary season in June 1976, whereupon he resigned, following Dailey’s lead, reportedly due to differences of opinion regarding a change in the direction of the advertising campaign.
Ford’s opponent in the Republican nomination campaign was former Governor Ronald Reagan of California, widely seen as a more conservative candidate. The two were involved in a highly competitive race, as each candidate won several primaries, caucuses, and state conventions. The final delegate count at the Republican Convention in Kansas City, in August 1976, was Ford 1,187 and Reagan 1,070. Some of the documents in the Bruce Wagner Papers discuss strategic elements of the advertising plan in addressing Reagan’s perceived strengths and weaknesses.
The bulk of the collection dates from the period between November 1975 and April 1976. It includes memoranda, correspondence, strategy information, research and polling data, advertising copy and test results, and newspaper clippings. The documents relate to a variety of advertising topics. Strategy notebooks and communications plans detail advertising approaches in primary states such as Texas and Wisconsin. Copy for television, radio, newspaper, and graphical advertisements appears in two of Wagner’s notebooks in the collection.
The President Ford Committee Records contain Campaign ’76 office files, including .8 linear feet of Bruce Wagner files. The material looks very similar to that in this collection—memoranda, strategy information, copy tests, research data, and correspondence. The Campaign ’76 series also contains files of others in the organization such as Dodie Kazanjian and Dawn Sibley. For instance, the Kazanjian files contain a number of handwritten notes from Wagner relating to procurement of collateral materials. The L. Patrick Devlin Research Interviews collection contains an interview with Bruce Wagner concerning 1976 campaign advertising.
Subject File, 1975‑76.
(Boxes 1‑3, 1.2 linear feet)
Memoranda, newspaper clippings, notebooks, research data, communications plans, strategy information, advertising copy, and collateral materials. The material generally relates to strategic and administrative aspects of Wagner’s work on the political advertising for President Ford’s 1976 primary campaign.
Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically thereunder.
View container list for this series
Name File, 1975‑76. (Boxes 4‑6, 1.1 linear feet)
Memoranda and correspondence with various persons in the Campaign ’76 organization and others on the Ford staff. Many of the documents relate to daily operations and administrative concerns of the agency.
Arranged alphabetically by name and chronologically thereunder.
View container list for this series
Box 1 - Subject File
- Advertisements Book I - Television and Newspapers
- Advertisements Book II - Radio and Brochures
- Advisory Board
- "Bicentennial Waltz" by Eunice F. Brown, signed sheet music
- Campaign '76 Advisory Board Meeting, 2/3/76
- Campaign '76 Organization
- Campaign Materials
- Campaign Strategy Notebook
- Copy Research
- Copy Test of Presidential Campaign Commercials - "Candids" and "Accomplishment"
- Copy Test of Presidential Campaign Commercials - "Future"
- Copy Test of Presidential Campaign Documentary - "Faces"
- Federal Communications Commission
- Focus Group Report, January 1976
- General Campaign Data
Box 2 - Subject File
- General Research
- Incoming Correspondence
- Incoming Memoranda (1)-(7)
- Leadership Memoranda
- National Research, December 1975
- National Security Speech
- Naughton 6/7/76 Article, New York Times Magazine
- New Hampshire Post Election Study
- Newspaper Articles
- Newspaper Articles - General Election
- Newspaper Articles - "Slice of Life" Advertisements
- Newspaper Articles - Rhodesia Advertising
Box 3 - Subject File
- Newspaper Articles - White House
- Office File
- Outgoing Correspondence (1)-(6)
- [Pierre A. Rinfret - Transcript of Interview with John Connally]
- [Pierre A. Rinfret - Transcript of Interview with William E. Simon]
- Polling Data
- "President at Work" Film
- SFM Procedures
- "Slice of Life" Commercials
- State of the Union
- Strategy Correspondence (1)-(3)
- Texas Communications Plan, April 7, 1976
- Texas Extracts
- Winkler Video Presentation, January 21, 1976
Box 4 - Name File
- Austin, Mimi
- Austin, Tim (1)-(3)
- Callaway, Bo (1)-(4)
- Campbell, Nancy
- Cheney, Dick
- Clancy, Mike
- Dailey, Peter
- DeBolt, Ed
- Eisert, Sandra
- Frost, Jack
- Hughes, Roy
- Hunt, Finlay
- Jones, Jerry
- Johnston, Phelps
- Kaye, Peter
- Kazanjian, Dodie
Box 5 - Name File
- Lafer, Barry
- Liggett, Dave
- Marik, Bob
- Mastrangelo, Dick
- Matthews, Len
- McGee, Jerry
- Moot, Bob
- Morton, Rogers
- Neussle, Ginger
- O'Donnell, Terry
- Overaker, John
- Pilas, Peggy
- Pattinson, Marcy
- Prather, Grace Marie
- Preece, Margaret
- Rodriguez, N.A.
- Rosenker, Mark
- Sibley, Dawn
- Slight, Fred
- Spencer, Stu (1)-(6)
Box 6 - Name File
- Spiegel, Ed
- Stiles, Jack
- Teeter, Bob
- Thompson, Nancy
- "Those Listed" (Memoranda to Multiple Staff Members)
- Ursomarso, Frank
- Vinson, John
- Visser, Bob
- Wallace, Roger
- Wilhite, Clayton (1)-(3)