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ARF Unveils Quality Enhancement Process Version 1.0; Coca-Cola, Unilever and Other Industry Leaders Pilot Program

September 18, 2009

New York, NY – September 18, 2009

In a special meeting of the ARF's Online Research Quality Council (Sept. 29, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, Time Warner Center, 10th Floor Screening Room), the ARF will unveil a new Quality Enhancement Process (QEP) Version 1.0 - the culmination of the industry's most extensive online data quality research-on-research project ever completed.

Its genesis began two years ago, when leading advertisers and research agencies approached the ARF expressing concern about the validity of online research. This led to the creation of the Online Research Quality Council (ORQC), to improve the accountability of online research and to set standards and guidelines for research buyers and suppliers. The ORQC aligned both buyers and sellers and established a forum for knowledge sharing.

From that initiative, a million dollar project was launched - the Foundations of Quality (FoQ) - an historic industry collaboration including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Microsoft, Bayer, Capital One, General Motors and ESPN, together with leading research companies, and involving 17 sample providers who account for an estimated 75% of all online research conducted in the U.S.

Leading marketers, including Coca-Cola and Unilever, accounting for over a half-billion dollars of marketing research, have already committed to piloting and refining the Version 1.0 process, as they embrace this breakthrough as a sea change for the industry.

Stan Sthanunathan, VP, Marketing Strategy & Insights, The Coca-Cola Company, noted: “Having right quality data is critical for sustainable and informed decision making. Data quality issues are becoming more serious with every passing day. This is an industry challenge that requires agencies and clients to collaborate and create an industry solution that will raise the bar significantly. The ARF has played an unprecedented role in bringing all the stakeholders together to create a foundational body of work that will dramatically raise the bar for the industry as a whole...something that is the need of the hour.”

Tomas Emmers, Consumer & Market Insights Director, Home & Personal Care Categories, Brand Building, North America, Unilever, agreed, commenting: "As a client, data quality is something one would like to take for granted when conducting market research, so as to be able to focus on driving added value and insights from the research, rather than having to worry about the process. This is why this initiative by the ARF is so critical to the industry at this point in time, and is bound to make a very positive and lasting impact on the future of market research quality fundamentals."

Simon Hough, Senior Advertising Research Manager, Microsoft, further added: “In making insight-based decisions, you need to have confidence in the quality of data that is driving them. By inviting key constituents from across the country to re-evaluate how data quality is defined, how it’s measured, and ultimately how it’s maintained, the ARF has taken a leadership role on a critical topic and at a critical juncture.”

NOTE: This special meeting of the ARF's Online Research Quality Council is open to all - ARF Members, Non-Members and Press. Please register in advance (since space is limited) at thearf.org/assets/online-research-quality-council).


Media Contact
Advertising Research Foundation 
Barry Schwartz
212-677-8700 Ext 18
barry@schwartzpr.com

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