As we shall never be able to acquaint ourselves with all of the world’s highly diverse customs and conventions, misunderstandings can never be completely avoided. It may well be that, as a result, many questions go unanswered and opportunities are missed.

It was back in the early 1980s that advertising copywriter and agency owner Walter Lurzer banged his fist down on the table and resolutely shouted out to himself: “If no one’s going to do it for me, I’m going to have to do it myself – for everyone!”

What he was referring to, back in the dark pre-internet era, was the laborious process of hunting out and compiling advertising campaigns from around the world. In those days, there were not many ways of finding out how products and services were being advertised in America, Asia, or to individual European countries. All one could do was subscribe to magazines from around the world and clip the best campaigns – or get hold of Art Director Annuals from individual countries. Both methods were extremely expensive, complicated, and time-consuming.

The first issue of Lurzer’s Archive was published in October 1984 in Frankfurt, Germany. It initially appeared in two versions: German and English. Walter Lurzer was no stranger to the international advertising scene, having just sold his stake in Lurzer, Conrad and Leo Burnett, at the time Germany’s most successful ad agency and a company that he had headed with his partner Michael Conrad. No wonder, therefore, that, in Germany, Lurzer’s Archive swept the market like a knife through butter.