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John White - Signature
And Advertising

Rushden Echo, 13th February 1948, transcribed by Kay Collins

Firm Buy Signature - £20,000

trademark“The Company has acquired a very valuable asset”, said an official of Messrs. John White Ltd., commenting on the news – made known through the directors’ annual report – that the firm has purchased the right to use in perpetuity the signature of its founder and chairman.

Now widely known as the company’s trade mark, the signature is understood to have been purchased for £20,400. It is known to boot and shoe buyers in many parts of the world, but was Mr. White’s personal property until the directors decided to safeguard themselves as to its future use as a trade mark.

For business purposes alone, it is estimated, Mr. White appends the £20,000 signature five or six thousand times in a year.

More signature trademarks

This shoe came complete with wooden last. The last has a label showing that style number KB 65.00 was made from Real Calf leather and has the initials JW and the John White signature trademark.

The style numbers of the John White range all had the KB prefix, and was the reminder a "Keep Believing" which was the title of a history of the shoemaker and the shoe company.

The black label on the shoe above has a description of how the Goodyear Welted shoe was made, and how to care for the shoes.

Photographed courtesy of Rushden Museum

The advert for display in retail outlets
The advert for display in retail outlets

shoe trees and price cards
other display items
John White
John White checking a piece of leather during filming
for the first television advert

Advert with slogan "John White - Just right"
dis[play stand
Some of the display items for retailers.

No date is known but thought to be around 1980.

The company logo had now lost the signature.

In 1980 a big advertising campaign for one of their best selling ranges "Rogues" was in full swing. The shoes were a softer leather and also for leisure wear, and had been selling well as now comfort was now foremost.
This advertising was set on a railway theme - "Platform shoes are back!" - with thousands of posters on 350 railway stations all over the country promoted the range.

The company also offered to pay for the half the advertising space if retailers would use the same advert with their own name and address added.

The phrases used were:
"They're all Rogues in the Office"
"They're all Rogues down the Pub"
"They're all Rogues at Heart"
"They're all Rogues on the 8.45."

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