Ipsos Supports Creation Of Online Research Standards

Collaborates With Research Industry Authority And Other Market Research Firms To Institute Online Research Accountability

Friday, August 10, 2007

New York, NY — Ipsos, a leading survey-based market research firm, has announced its support of the Advertising Research Foundation’s (The ARF) effort to establish industry standards and best practices in the burgeoning online research sector. Over the past 10 years, the use of online panels as a market research tool has grown rapidly, with Ipsos taking a leadership role in advancing and improving the use of this new technology. This growth has created a new market research services segment that is now primed for the implementation of industry standardization, as best practices and research-proven methods are established and deployed across the industry.

Recognizing the need for greater accountability and standardization in online research practices, The ARF recently announced the formation of The Online Research Quality Council, charged with developing a set of standards for research buyers and sellers to follow. The new Council will enlist support from the global market research industry and will be led by a steering committee of senior research executives:

  • Robert Tomei, EVP & Global Director of Access Panels, TNS
  • Efrain Ribeiro, COO, Ipsos Interactive Services
  • Steve Coffey, Chief Research Officer, The NPD Group
  • Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer, comScore
  • Jonathan Jephcott, Executive V.P., ViewsNet, Synovate
  • Renee Smith, Vice President, Panel Quality, Harris Interactive

The Council will be managed by a chairperson selected from the steering committee members, with the post rotated every six months. Robert (Bob) Tomei will serve as the initial chairperson for the Council.

”The Market Research Industry has a significant opportunity to establish and implement standards around online panels that would provide our clients with an objective method to evaluate the quality of the information we are delivering on an ongoing basis. It is a unique and distinctive opportunity to work with my colleagues on the Steering Council and the Council and to have key clients actively participate in the process to establish key quality metrics and practices,” says Tomei of the Council’s formation.

With the collective efforts of several major panel companies and their research clients, the ARF Council is combining expertise and energies in establishing much-needed online standards and guidelines that will continue to promote innovation and the utility of online research. This approach will allow the industry to prioritize and focus on the key concerns that impact clients and the users of online research, leveraging the resources and vast experience that has produced the progress to date. It will also position the industry to anticipate and detect trends that may potentially affect research quality and to address emerging issues as they arise.

As one of the original proponents of actively managed online panels, Ipsos strongly believes that a comprehensive quality program based on validated, industry-accepted research standards is necessary in today’s vibrant online research market. To that end, Ipsos fully supports the ARF Council in its efforts to establish mandates and standards in the sector and has undertaken its own efforts to ensure high quality in.

“Ipsos has already led the major panel firms toward an industry forum approach,” says Efrain Ribeiro, COO for Ipsos Interactive Services and a veteran of online access panels. “We fully believe that with client support and industry association sponsorship behind this initiative, we will be able to establish research quality guidelines that will shape the future of online marketing research. As consumers migrate to multi-platform interactive communication mediums for 360° touch points, it is incumbent upon us to transform our quality and communication standards with the consumer. No research firm has all the answers just yet; however a few of us are choosing to lead the next generation of research practices.”

Ipsos maintains a leadership position in advancing the online research field and implementing best practices to ensure the highest quality data. In 2006, Ipsos collaborated with two other research companies represented on the Council to study and address a key concern in the sector: the impact of “heavy responders” on studies conducted online. Lee Markowitz, Global Chief Research Officer for Ipsos, will be presenting findings from the study and address the need for industry standards at the IIR's Research Industry Summit on Data Quality in Chicago this coming November.

Over the course of the next year the Council, with client involvement, will develop and publish comprehensive standards that will provide the critical foundation for the next stage of innovation and growth.

The first Council meeting will be held on September 10, 2007 at The ARF offices in New York City. A timetable of activities will be agreed upon to deliver a draft set of global panel research standards to the industry at the ARF Annual Convention in April, 2008 in New York City.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Efrain Ribeiro
Ipsos Interactive Services

About Ipsos in North America
Ipsos is one of the fastest growing market research companies in the U.S., market leader in Canada, and among the most trusted research brands in North America. With more than 1,500 professionals and support staff in the U.S. and Canada, Ipsos offers a suite of survey-based services—guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies—in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos companies offer a complete line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services.

Ipsos conducts polling on behalf of the Associated Press, the world’s oldest and largest news organization.

In 2006, Ipsos generated 857.1 million euros ($1.1 billion U.S.) in total revenues, of which 34% came from its North American operations. The Paris-based company was founded in 1975 and has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos-na.com.

About Ipsos
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2006, Ipsos generated global revenues of 857.1 million euros ($1.1 billion USD).

Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

Ipsos, listed on the Eurolist of Euronext – Comp B, is part of SBF 120 and the Mid-100 Index, adheres to the Next Prime segment and is eligible to the Deferred Settlement System. Isin FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

Ipsos Supports Creation Of Online Research Standards

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Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America