News Notes

Harris Interactive, Rochester, N.Y., and NCS Pearson announced an agreement to distribute the survey research tool CSMpact for Schools to school districts within the United States. CSMpact for Schools helps districts consider the input of a variety of stakeholder groups when making decisions. The distribution agreement will begin in the 2002-2003 school year, and key aspects of the system will be presented at the Technology and Learning Conference, November 12-14 in Dallas.

Germany-based GfK-Nürnberg e.V. and the Economics and Social Sciences faculty at Erlangen-Nuremberg University have signed an agreement whereby the Market Information Management department will receive financing and support for a further three years. The agreement also provides for one or two study grants from 2003 onwards which will be awarded each year to graduates wishing to complete an MBA in market research at the University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. The agreement between GfK and the Economics and Social Sciences faculty to set up and promote the Market Information Management department at the Erlangen-Nuremberg Friedrich-Alexander University was first signed in December 1998. GfK-Nürnberg e.V., which has provided support for the department amounting to EUR 307,000 over the past three years, will provide additional funds of EUR 384,000 over the coming three years. Of this, EUR 45,000 will benefit students who continue their studies at the University of Georgia.

London-based Millward Brown has announced a change to the licensing of its techniques in Sweden. The license, held by Demoskop AB since September 1997, has now reverted to Millward Brown, which in the future will be supplying its products and services directly to the Swedish market.

Knowledge Networks, a Menlo Park, Calif., research firm, has received $15.5 million in new financing from investors.

On September 30th, shareholders of Ipsos S.A. and LT Participations were asked to approve the merger between the two entities of the Ipsos group. LT Participations is a personal holding company of the Ipsos group. Its capital is under the control of Jean-Marc Lech and Didier Truchot, the two Ipsos co-chairmen, for about 67 percent of the Ipsos stock. Eurazeo and Société Générale (through SG Capital Développement and FCPR Sogecap Développement) hold most of the remaining stock. LT Participations held, as its unique asset, 37 percent of Ipsos shares and 53 percent of its voting rights.

Before Ipsos will carry out the merger operation, LT Participations will proceed with a capital increase at market price in order to cover its debt. Lech and Truchot will jointly participate in this capital increase for approximately EUR 30 million. Eurazeo and Société Générale will contribute their pro-rata share. The merger will be carried out transparently and will have no impact on the Ipsos financial statements. The number of shares of Ipsos S.A. stock under flotation will remain unchanged. Upon the merger completion, Lech and Truchot will hold approximately 21 percent of Ipsos shares and 28 percent of the voting rights. The other managers and the employees (including the recently created Ipsos Partnership Fund) will hold approximately 13 percent of the capital and 12 percent of the voting rights. Eurazeo and Société Générale, the two Ipsos historical financial shareholders,will own 7 percent respectively, close to 5 percent of Ipsos capital, and 9 percent respectively 6.5 percent of the voting rights. The free float will be approximately 50 percent.


Paris-based Ipsos has acquired two Swedish research companies: Eureka Marknadsfakta and Intervjubolaget. These acquisitions add to the company’s position in the Scandinavian market, where Ipsos has been represented by Ipsos-Imri since the beginning of the year.

Separately, Ipsos has acquired a significant equity in Japanese market research company, Lyncs Incorporated, and Chinese market research company, Feng & Associates Marketing Services (FAMS).

London-based Millward Brown has acquired Paris-based MFR, a qualitative research consultancy founded in 1986 by Marie-Francoise Roy. It currently employs 12 consultants. Annual revenues in 2001 were over $5 million.

Separately, Millward Brown Group has acquired the remaining equity of media research firm SMG/KRC Poland, Media.

Portland, Ore.-based Research Data Design, Inc. (RDD) has acquired a telephone interviewing and multilingual focus group field facility in Santa Ann, Calif., from Cheskin, a Redwood Shores, Calif., research firm. The purchase increases RDD’s interviewing capacity by 20 percent. The facility will operate under the RDD name.

London-based Aegis Research has acquired INNER Strategic Research S.A., a Madrid-based fullservice market research agency.

Alliances/strategic partnerships

Research For Action, Saratoga, Calif., has become a QualPartner with QualTalk, a Castle Rock, Colo., provider of online qualitative
research services.

Richard Kurtz, managing director of Richard Kurtz & Associates, a New York research firm has established a relationship with ifm Indepth Research + Strategies, a research consultancy based in Cologne, Germany. Ifm is an institute for qualitative market research using descriptive depth-psychology methodology. The affiliation’s objective is to offer each firm’s clients a wider coverage of research services in both the European and North American markets.

Association/organization news

The Association of European Market Research Institutes (AEMRI) has changed its name to the Alliance of International Market Research Institutes (AIMRI), reflecting its broader international membership and the increasingly global nature of the research industry.

Fredrik Nauckhoff, head of market intelligence and consumer insight at Nestlé, Switzerland, has been elected the new president of ESOMAR (The European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research) for the 2003-2004 period. In addition, José Ignacio Wert, chairman and CEO of Spain-based Demoscopia, has been named ESOMAR’s new vice president.

The proceedings from the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research’s "Protecting Our Assets" Respondent Cooperation Workshop are now available. In April 2002, CMOR hosted a forum for researchers to address the most common respondent-related issues facing the industry. The program showcased techniques other organizations have tried to improve respondent cooperation and new tools. The agenda included: industry trends and statistics; information on survey rates and telephone dispositions; data on consumer behavior/attitudes, and CMOR study findings; research findings; presentations from study tests and research conducted to increase cooperation, and the level of success of each approach. To obtain the best practices and insights put forth during the workshop for a nominal fee, contact CMOR at

In addition, CMOR has also announced a second workshop, "Protecting Our Assets II," to be held February 3-4 at the Radisson Parkway Resort in Orlando, Fla. The goals of the workshop are to provide attendees with information and practices they can implement in their own organizations to increase respondent cooperation rates, to improve awareness of industry efforts to improve relations with the public and to create solutions to safeguard the research industry’s important asset - the respondent.

Britain’s Market Research Society (MRS) has announced the launch of its first Internet-based training course. Developed in partnership with specialist electronic publisher Nelson Croom, The MRS Questionnaire Design course will be delivered entirely online and is designed to improve the professionalism and skills of research practitioners, both in the U.K. and internationally. The course is aimed at those with up to 12 months exPerience in market research. Accessible through the MRS Web site (, the course has a practical focus, with registrants conducting the course entirely online. Designed to provide a thorough grounding in the theory of questionnaire writing, the course includes a range of modules, taking participants from writing the questionnaire to analyzing the results. It will also cover crucial pitfalls such as how to avoid bias and ambiguity.

The Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) has announced its new officers for the 2002-2003 year. Ricardo Lopez, president of Hispanic Research Inc., East Brunswick, N.J., has been elected president. Dorrie Paynter, president of Leapfrog Marketing Research, San Francisco, has been re-elected vice president. Elaine Gingold, owner of Gingold Research, Bethesda, Md., has been re-elected treasurer. Gillian Tuffin, president of Gillian Tuffin Research, Toronto, has been re-elected secretary. Other members of the board of directors are Elizabeth Berry (Strategic Focus Consulting, Summerville, S.C.), Diane Harris (D.M. Harris Associates, Butler, Pa.), George Sloan (Sloan Research and Consulting, Beverly Hills, Calif.), Susan Sweet (Doyle Research Associates, Chicago), and Jeff Walkowski ( Inc., Minneapolis).


San Francisco-based Socratic Technologies was selected a winner in the Web-based Services category of the Windows & .NET Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards. The award, which was given to Socratic Technologies’ remote Web site usability measurement system Socratic Site Diagnostic (SSD), was announced on September 15 at the publication’s headquarters in Loveland, Colo. The award recognizes Socratic’s Web site analysis system as one of the "Top 100 Products" of 2002.

New companies/new locations

Denver-based Wimmer-Hudson Research & Development has changed its name to Hudson Media Research.

Company earnings reports

Wilton, Conn., research firm Greenfield Online announced that it has quintupled its profits and increased its online data collection revenues 1,150 percent over the past three years. Selling its custom research business this past February, which accounted for more than 60 percent of its revenues, the company decided to instead focus on its online respondent panel, survey hosting, and programming to the marketing research industry. Sales grew to $4.5 million in 2001, and the company anticipates $15 million by the end of 2002 and over $25 million in 2003.

News spotlight

Research business successful in Spain According to a study by The European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR), revenues of the marketing research industry in Spain totaled $275 million in 2001.

Spain has the eighth largest market for market research in the world according to this study. It is topped only by the U.S., Japan and Canada outside of Europe, and by Germany, the U.K., France and Italy within Europe. Surveys conducted be AEDEMO (the Spanish association of market research professionals), show that while growth slowed to 3 percent during the last year, the sector grew by an average of 7.8 percent per year (6 percent if adjusted for inflation) over the past five years, which is well above the economic growth rate.

Nevertheless, Spain clearly lags behind many other countries as the U.S., the U.K., Australia and the Netherlands if the level of research expenditure is compared with advertising expenditure or GDP per capita, indicators that are often used to benchmark the relative sales of marketing research.

One reason for this is the fact that until recently no significant multinational company was located in Spain. This is now changing as companies like Telefonica, Endesa and Repsol-YPF, which were previously quasi-monopolies operating in the utilities and domestic telecom market, began to invest abroad. This also applies to banks such as SCH or BBVA. Their operations are mainly in Latin America  and have given birth to the first truly Spanish multinationals.

Who is buying the research? Forty-three percent of research is commissioned by manufacturing companies. Other key sectors with commission and use research in Spain are media and advertising (12 percent), utilities, postal service and telecommunications (12 percent) and the public sector.

The vast majority (80 percent) of research is the Spain is commissioned by domestic clients and a much smaller proportion (20 percent) by clients outside the country. Over three quarters (80 percent) is consumer research and less than a third (28 percent) for non-consumer research.

Other significant trends relate to changes in the type of studies conducted and data collection techniques. Continuous studies now represent around 45 percent of the total research sales, a proportion which is in line with the worldwide share identified by ESOMAR’s industry survey.

A major change in the past years has been a shift away from face-to-face interviewing (now accounting for 38 percent of all interviews) to telephone interviewing (41 percent of all interviews). It is noteworthy that just five years ago, face-to-face represented 63 percent of the total, while telephone accounted for a mere 26 percent. Postal interviewing is stable, at the level of 6 percent.