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In the summer of 1982, rumors spread that International Harvester was about to go bankrupt. The farming and construction equipment manufacturer responded to these reports with a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal assuring readers, "We're not giving in, we're going on".
The phrase was actually the company's slogan for a corporate recovery campaign. The previous year, International Harvester (IH) had suffered a loss of nearly a billion dollars. The loss had forced IH to sell off almost a third of its manufacturing plants and to let go or transfer almost 8,000 employees. The recovery campaign was an effort to reassure investors and employees that the company was still viable.
The slogan and its shortened version ("We're going on") appeared in multiple newspaper ads and on pinback buttons and bumper stickers that were distributed to IH employees. In 1984 IH underwent further heavy losses and was forced to merge with J.I. Case. Two years later the reorganized company changed its name to Navistar International Corporation.
International Harvester. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved July 10, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Harvester
McDonough, J. & Egolf, K. (Eds.). (2002) The advertising age encyclopedia of advertising. Chicago, IL: Fitzroy Dearborn.
Potts, M. (1982, July 30). Harvester sets survival plan, plants closing. Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com