The AMSR Newsletter

Every quarter we publish a fresh bulletin containing news about what’s new at the AMSR. Latest acquisitions, events, inspirational ways of using the resources, people in the news and a great deal more besides.

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Newsletter 16 – June 2020

I am writing this having just finished a Zoom video meeting with 17 of our volunteers who meet up for the ‘virtual coffee morning’ we run on the second Thursday of the month. It was an opportunity for everyone to meet friends they are not seeing at the moment and to talk to people they never meet in the course of their work with AMSR. I think we may decide to continue these virtual coffee mornings after lockdown has ended, since volunteering is essentially a social activity and meeting up via Zoom provides the chance for everyone to enjoy the diversity of experience of their colleagues without having to leave home. Seen together, our volunteers are an impressive and committed group.

Eight weeks ago, none of us had heard of Zoom. It’s now a regular part of everyone’s life working with AMSR, since all meetings are now conducted by video. It is not the same as meeting face-to-face, but it saves a lot of travelling time and it enables us to work more closely with people who do not live in London. When it is safe to travel I am sure that we shall go back to having some meetings face-to face, but Covid-19 will have changed our volunteers’ working and social behaviour for ever, as it will for almost everyone in Britain over the next couple of years.

During lockdown, we have had to stop most sorting and scanning activity. The majority of our volunteers are older and in the higher risk group. It is therefore unlikely that we shall restart these activities for some time yet. However, we are taking the opportunity of this respite to catalogue and index our collections, to make them easier to search. This can be done by people working at home. We are also continuing to search for new material for our Archive and have taken legal advice on how to handle material where contributors to the Archive may not be sure whether they can legally donate it. This includes the option to restrict access to the material or embargo it for a specified time.

If you have some free time while you are still isolated, sheltered, furloughed or just resting, please take the opportunity to visit our portal website at www.amsr.org.uk and click on the orange button in the top right corner of the page. Doing this will take you to the entry page of the online Archive. This page contains a link to a useful guide on how to search for specific topics and items in the Archive. Clicking on the orange button in the middle of the page opens the online Archive. The information is listed by collection. You can click your way through the collections looking to see what catches your eye. MORI British Public Opinion, the MRS Newsletter and Survey Magazine are all good places to start.

Thank you for your support for AMSR. Please stay safe.

Judith Wardle photo

Immersed as we all are at the AMSR, in the administration, fund-raising and day-today mundanity of running an archive, it is easy to forget that to our users, our Archive will bring inspiration and excitement. To us it is a collection of documents, to our users it is a treasure trove.  Just as market research is the raw material of decision-making for managers, so archives are the raw material of academics, and especially those with an interest in the past.

I remember my own forays at the National Archives into the minutes of obscure government meetings during the inter-war years. My research into why sex education was not implemented was throwing up inconsistent and disparate reasons. Imagine the flush of excitement I felt on spotting a hand-written comment in the margin which proved to be one of the key insights making sense of that puzzle. I remember recounting the joys of that discovery to my professor and her eyes gleaming in agreement. Yes, the joy of delving in archives … the excitement … the anticipation.

Some of the words used to describe archives might surprise you. Lisa Jardine titled a series of essays, the Temptation in the Archives, and they are described often as ‘alluring’ – these are collections which inspire exhilaration and passion, not feelings we expect to find in the dry halls of academia.  So let’s remember, as we work on building up and supporting the AMSR, the inspiration archived objects and documents can bring; they lie at the heart of why historians are historians. They make their hearts sing.

BBC Media Survey

Graham Mytton writes

I am a hoarder and cannot bear to chuck out stuff because I always think that doing so erases history, however unimportant it may appear to be.  My mother, who died 9 years ago, left loads of boxes of stuff. She had dementia and kept writing notes to herself. There are 1,000s of these bits of paper and they have to be thrown away, even though I feel that it is somehow consigning her to the bin at the same time. I will keep a few, especially those that are funny and have happy memories. But it all takes time. But also looking through everything is essential because if you do not, you may throw away something valuable. In the midst of my mother’s papers were some pages of a Bible that traced some Mytton ancestry back to c1780, as well as a story book written by the Granny I never knew who died about 10 years before I was born.

In my own case I have school reports from when I was 4 onwards.  One that I treasure says this: “Mytton can do anything with a chair, except sit on it.” Another says, over and over, very boringly, “satisfactory progress is being made”. I would far prefer to be remembered as a performer on chairs than to merely make ‘satisfactory progress’!

I also have my essays from university as well as early attempts at field research in remote parts of Tanzania. One diary written exactly 52 years ago reports my visit to a village in an especially remote place, reachable only on foot in a journey of more than 80 miles, or by boat on a lake. I was there during the weeks when the House of Commons in Westminster had been discussing the Labour Government’s attempts to restrict the immigration to the UK of East Africans of Asian origin. I noted that the quality of discussion and level of knowledge in the village chief’s house would not have disgraced a university staff common room. The villagers were mostly illiterate. But they were all radio listeners.

One thing I regret throwing away were my notes on and copies of essays done by my students when I was a political science tutor at the University of Dar es Salaam. One of my students then is the current President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni. All I can remember is that he always got an A. And that he was a bit scary at times.

Phyllis MacFarlane

Phyllis Macfarlane writes

Until now the Archive has focussed mainly on the supply side of the industry.

But if market research is one of the key contributors to the development of the modern economy, and the agency side pioneered the techniques and developed the business processes, how significant also was the contribution of clients who created the demand for market and customer data, and in many cases championed entirely new areas of research.

Think of BT which drove the growth of telephone research with their support of their Telcare centres; of IBM driving the way forward for centralised international telephone research; of Rank Xerox with international B2B market measurement. And, of course, of Unilever and P&G, supporting and encouraging the development of new qualitative and quantitative methodologies. And the media industry creating the JICs to undertake large scale high quality media measurement. And TfL with their innovative use of mystery shopping methods. I’m sure that many of you can name more than I. They were very heady days!

So it makes sense to bring clients into the Archive to celebrate the contribution that they made to the modern economy through the novel idea of actually talking to customers!

Many of these key clients have archives of their own – so we have started to make contact with the keepers of these archives – to propose that we can help build their market research collection (and digitise it), to demonstrate their organisation’s clear contribution to the consumer economy. And then we can either host their collection or link to it – whatever they prefer.

We shall be continuing this work after the current lockdown, so please look out for requests to contribute your reports and stories of these key clients – and if you think you can help with contacts to archivists in these companies, please do contact us. Getting client involvement is a key factor in the further development of the Archive.

Phyllis Vangelder photo 2

Phyllis Vangelder looks at lockdown

As I write this, I don’t know whether we are still in lockdown (or even suffering from what has been called ‘lockhome syndrome’ (where we are becoming used to being at home and anxious about going out), on alert, or even back at work. We are living in strange times and are all finding ways to cope – reading, exercising, writing, Zooming, Netflix, phoning and, of course, sorting out our ‘stuff’.

We have differentiated in a previous article about the populace being divided into ‘hoarders’ and ‘chuckers’ (see the website).  To the latter we can only say ‘please don’t’. If you find any material relating to market or social research, please retain it for the Archive. We can always ‘chuck’ it out for you if it is not suitable. Unfortunately, we can’t receive it at the moment, because our ‘engine room at Ipsos in Harrow is closed, but we will arrange delivery as soon as the crisis is over.

To the hoarders we reiterate – the Archive wants your data. We ask you again to raid your attics, cupboards, lofts and garages for any research material that can be donated to AMSR.

If you are ‘confined to barracks’, this is an ideal time to sort out your stuff.  As a hoarder myself, I fully understand the mindset. However, there are ways round the dilemma which can suit everyone. If you still want to retain hard copies of unique work you have done, let us catalogue and digitise it for you, so it is in the Archive. Hard copies of any papers can be returned to you if you so wish. Once the data is in the Archive, your contribution to the profession is remembered in perpetuity.

Scanning

During the lockdown, we have all gone into a ‘lateral thinking’ mode. We suggested in our recent article on ‘Hoarders and Chuckers’ that even if you unearth relevant material for the Archive, we can wait for the actual reports and papers until our ‘engine room’ at Ipsos MORI in Harrow is once again available for scanning.

However, we have now realised that some scanning – of short reports and papers – could be done by the contributors themselves, before they are sent to the Archive. Alternatively, Colin McDonald, our cataloguing/scanner guru, has offered to scan some material at home.

Indexing

Another job for those isolated at home, is to join the groups of researchers who are indexing some of the Archive Collections, amalgamating our own index with input from academic sources.  Those who are already immersed in it are finding it extremely interesting. They are also getting nostalgic kicks as they remember the exciting research that has been conducted over the years, helping decision-makers in companies and government. Training will be available for those joining the team.

Please contact one of the Phyllis’s using the email address content@amsr.org.uk if you have unearthed any relevant material and want to talk about it. Get in touch with Colin McDonald at the same address if you are interested in indexing or scanning documents.

OBITUARIES

Gerald Goodhardt

Gerald Goodhardt died on 7 May 2020 aged 90 from coronavirus

Phyllis Vangelder writes

I was very saddened by the death of Gerald Goodhardt. I knew him well, not only working closely with him when he was a powerful influence in The Market Research Society, but also as a family friend.

He was one of many Chairmen of the Publications Committee I worked with and it was a relationship of trust, respect and affection. In 1973 he became Chairman of the MRS and made an immense contribution both to the Society generally and to the industry. The Market Research Society awarded him its Gold Medal for outstanding work in the field not once, but twice, the only person to have been so honoured.

Gerald’s towering intellect allowed him to win scholarships to both Marylebone Grammar School and Downing College, Cambridge which would otherwise have been beyond the reach of his parents, whose business life was based on tailoring and dry cleaning.

Following a degree in mathematics, and a graduate diploma in statistics, he was tasked, during his national service with devising a test which would weed out those with an intelligence level too low to allow them to serve and would simultaneously detect those who were deliberately trying to fail.

His early market research career was spent first with Attwoods Statistics, followed by the Research Department of the advertising agency, Young and Rubicam.

In 1965 Gerald joined Andrew Ehrenberg in his market research consultancy, Aske Research, which had many blue-chip clients e.g. Mars, Cadbury-Schweppes, Shell, Esso, Unilever and the IBA.  When Andrew left in 1970 to become Professor of Marketing at the London Business School, Martin Collins joined Gerald at Aske. But Gerald, also moved to academia, with a Readership at Thames Polytechnic. He became Sir John E Cohen Professor of Consumer Studies at the City University, raising the level of its MBA programme to an international standard. He had an immense influence on his students during his period in academia and many of them went on to illustrious careers of their own.

To Gerald, statistics was the management of uncertainty and throughout his life he was always questioning and learning.

Gerald and Andrew’s joint work in formulating the Laws of Marketing and modelling consumer and audience behaviour was seminal.  In 2016, a Dutch marketing expert – Wiemar Snijders – wrote an article comparing the work he and Andrew Ehrenberg had done with the work of Isaac Newton.  Whilst Newton described the natural laws by which the physical world operates, Ehrenberg and Goodhardt explained how the world of brands and business work, with similar accuracy.  According to Snijders, their work has similar significance.

The University of South Australia established an entire school of Marketing Science based on the work done by them. In 2015 they awarded an Honorary Doctorate to Gerald and established an annual Goodhardt Fellowship, which will now be an appropriate memorial to him. In his acceptance address on this occasion he expressed his belief that you do not learn in order to work; you work in order to learn.

He was a strong supporter of the AMSR, not only as a donor, but by contributing his papers and books to the Archive.  Many of Gerald’s papers are to be found in the Ehrenberg Collection, a special collection of papers and offprints relating to the classic work of Andrew, Gerald and their colleagues.

Because of the Virus, Gerald’s funeral was held via Zoom. Friends, relatives and colleagues from Israel, Australia and the US, as well as those in this country, were able to see the very moving service from St John’s Wood Synagogue. Rabbi Ian Goodhardt, Gerald’s son, spoke of his father’s goodness. “At the centre of my father was a core of goodness.  And even though it was wrapped within many layers, from the beginning to the end of his life, his goodness kept shining through”.  His work for the Market Research Benevolent Association epitomises this. He was very concerned that some members of the Society had died prematurely leaving young families, as well as about the plight of some interviewers, many of whom were widows who had fallen on hard times. In the ’70s he was the prime mover in the establishment of the Market Research Benevolent Association, founded to take care of researchers at every level.  He was a Founding Trustee and first President of the MRBA and he believed this to be the proudest achievement of his career. He continued to support the work of the MRBA and indeed of many other charities throughout his lifetime. He would have been pleased to know that the MRBA is able to help researchers in this current crisis.

At another Zoom meeting after his death, a distinguished Rabbi spoke of the difference between power and influence. If you share power, you have less of it: if you have influence, it increases as you share it. Gerald’s influence on all those who knew him – colleagues, students, friends and family– is not diminished by his passing.

Listen to Gerald’s interview with Lawrence Bailey as part of the Oral History Project.

 

Mona Rumble

Mona Rumble, the originator of Market Research Abstracts died in March 2020 aged 94

This is an extract from the address Phyllis Vangelder gave at her funeral.

Mona and I first met when I joined Greenlys Advertising as Research Information Officer and Mona was Head of the Research Department. She had an illustrious career, starting in the prestigious research department of Hedleys (later Procter and Gamble).

We were good friends and colleagues at the time, but we became really close when I joined the Market Research Society. In those days the Society was run by volunteers, rather than the small secretariat.   I was interviewed by the complete Publications Committee, chaired by Andrew McIntosh (later Lord McIntosh). Mona was on the Committee (I think the only woman). I thought it would be a scary interview, but after a few banal questions (e.g. Is your husband in market research?) Andrew said “Ah well, Mona knows you”. So I think it was Mona who was responsible for my being appointed Publications Officer and Editor of the Society’s journals and newsletters.

She had already introduced the concept of abstracts of papers  and articles about market and social research and a few had been published, but over the years, we developed Market Research Abstracts together, Mona as Honorary Editor and myself as Abstractor and Executive Editor. We used to meet up either in Totteridge or Harrow, have lunch, gossip and then get down to the task of editing over 200 abstracts each time. If it was good weather we would work very happily in the garden. We became not only colleagues but close friends. I have such happy memories of working with Mona. She was warm, wise and witty and, of course, highly intelligent and it was a privilege and joy to be with her.

The Archive Collection of Market Research Abstracts, 1963-1997, is a fitting tribute to Mona and her work for The Market Research Society.

Newsletter 15 – March 2020

Dr. Liz Nelson OBE

We are very sorry that due to ill-health Liz Nelson, has retired from her role as Chairman of AMSR’s Board of Trustees. Professor Patrick Barwise, who became Vice-Chairman in 1989, will succeed her.

Patrick (Paddy) Barwise is Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at London Business School. He joined the School in 1976 after an early career at IBM and has published widely on management, marketing and media.

Liz Nelson, John Downham and Geoffrey Roughton, were the Founding triumvirate who met in November 2014, to form an organisation that would rescue valuable historical material relating to market and social research. Liz has been untiring in her work for the Archive, and her knowledge and energy have contributed greatly to its success.

AMSR warmly welcomes Paddy as Chairman of the Board. We are also delighted that Liz will continue to be actively involved in the Archive, contributing her wisdom and enthusiasm to a cause she holds very dear.

Liz said “I am so proud to have been a Founder Member of the Archive. It is very gratifying that it has achieved so much in the few years of its life.

I am delighted that Paddy Barwise is taking over as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He shares the values of the Archive and has already given us tremendous support and opened up the world of academia, which we now realise, will be the main users of our data in the future”.

Paddy said: “I am proud and delighted to have been elected and I look forward to working with all the other trustees and volunteers. I think the Archive is going to be an important resource for many people, probably in unexpected as well as expected ways”.

AMSR-event-040220-1600pxl-019

AMSR held its third prestigious Event at the IPA on 4 February, with a record attendance of 75 people. Once again, we were able to highlight how much has been achieved since it was founded. In addition to the presentations by distinguished speakers, Sir John Curtice and our President, Professor Denise Lievesley, attendees were able to see online demonstrations of the Archive and search the ever-growing material now available. 

Paddy Barwise, newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees, welcomed the many supporters and friends in the audience, emphasising that without their help the Archive could not have become what has been demonstrated that evening.

Professor Patrick Barwise

Photo: Paddy Barwise

Paddy thanked Liz Nelson, the outgoing Chairman, for the amazing work she has done in helping to establish the Archive.

Denise Lievesley

Paddy Barwise went on to introduce, Professor Denise Lievesley. She became AMSR’s President last year and this was the first time she had the chance to meet AMSR’s many friends and supporters. She is the Principal of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. She has had a very distinguished career, inter alia, as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Public Policy at King’s College London, Chief Executive of the English Health and Social Care Information Centre, Director of Statistics at UNESCO, where she founded the Institute for Statistics, and Director of the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex.

“We are honoured to have her with us tonight”.

Denise Lievesley acted as host to the proceedings. Before introducing the speakers, she expressed her excitement about the Archive.  As Head of the UK Data Archive for Economic and Social Research based at the University of Essex, she had tried to get market research data into that Archive, with limited success. It was more successful in getting data from government departments and academic institutions, than from private organisations. It was sad and worrying that there was not access to the really rich and original sources of data relating to market research.

She referred to an Annual Lecture series at her College, which this year is on the topic of ‘Commons’. This involves sharing resources, working together and using voluntary expertise. She concluded. “AMSR is a classic example of ‘Commons’ and I would encourage you to give any support you can, whether financial, time, helping to promote the Archive or encouraging people to deposit their data”.

Review

Denise Lievesley introduced Adam Phillips, CEO of AMSR, who presented a review of what AMSR has done this year and  plans for the future.

He reminded those who came to the event last year that AMSR’s long- term aim is to become the ‘go-to place’ for people wanting to find out about what the Market and Social Research industry has learned in the UK and around the world. Where AMSR does not have the information, it will become a hub to guide enquirers to other places where they may be able to find what they want.

In particular, the Archive is aiming to build a collection of qualitative and quantitative ad hoc and panel survey results which reflect the changing habits and attitudes of the UK population over time.

Contents

The primary focus over the last four years has been on identifying and rescuing important paper material produced by the industry since the 1950s, that has not been collected elsewhere. It is regrettable that so much has been thrown away by the organisations that produced and commissioned it. Nevertheless, the Archive is still being offered interesting material and not all of it is from the UK. We have recently been talking to the Australian Market Research Society about maintaining their archive and also to ESOMAR about how we might be able to cooperate with them.

At present AMSR stores everything it has been given in paper form at the History of Advertising Trust. This is in Raveningham, near Lowestoft: not the easiest place to get to, but a lot cheaper than London! 

Online archive home page

Most of what AMSR holds is available online. It now contains over 5,000 documents and over 70,000 pages in the online archive. The website has been improved, to make it more attractive and accessible. The website portal includes guidance about how to search the online Archive. In the near future, this written guidance will be augmented by an instructional video for those who prefer not to read.

Stories

AMSR has continued to produce a quarterly newsletter and, for the last year, we have been publishing regular ‘stories from the Archive’ at the rate of about two a month. These stories are being promoted through social media and AMSR now has over 150 followers on Twitter. Adam Phillips asked, “If any of you are Twitter users, we would very much like you to follow us, if you are not already doing so, and to re-tweet our tweets to your followers”.  A show of hands revealed that a surprising number of the audience is on Twitter, so there is every hope that the number of followers will increase.

In the coming year AMSR will be increasing its publicity activity, since there is sufficient material in the Archive for it to be useful to a wide range of users. AMSR will now need to become more proactive and find a way to encourage more people to release material which they possess, particularly if they are unsure whether that they can give permission for it to be made public. This constraint applies to large amounts of qualitative research where the primary objective may have been to research a product which is no longer of interest, but the information collected about people’s attitudes and behaviour at that time has real historical value.

New material

Contents Committee members will be approaching those who have not already been in contact, to see if they have anything that could be worth preserving. AMSR is prepared to take responsibility for checking on ownership of publication rights. It is offering to embargo information for 10 or more years, if the material will be of interest to historians and it is no longer clear who can give permission for publication. “If concerns about ownership and publication of interesting material that you hold have stopped any of you here tonight from offering your research, please talk to Phyllis Macfarlane, Chairman of the Contents Committee, and we shall try to find a way to preserve it”.

Since AMSR’s inception four years ago, it has focused almost entirely on collecting material. It is now in a position to start moving towards developing the Archive’s use for education and journalism. 

Research

In order better to understand the needs of users of AMSR, St Mary’s University in Twickenham generously carried out research among university librarians last spring. AMSR is now working with them on a much bigger piece of work aimed at understanding how it can provide material that will be useful for teaching students.

A list of history and sociology academics at leading universities who are working in subject areas where the Archive has relevant material has been assembled. AMSR has been talking and demonstrating the Archive to some of them. The objective is to get a few of them to use AMSR in their research. “We hope to be able start collecting evidence of the use of the Archive by their students towards the end of this year. Unfortunately, the academic world moves very slowly”.

Coding to help searching

Talking with academics has helped develop a coding framework using headings relevant to academic historians, sociologists and journalists. This coding will make it easier for people with no experience of market research to find relevant material more easily. He thanked Colin McDonald and Christine Eborall for developing this code list and for coding the first six collections in the last three months.

Many research agencies and companies have thrown away their libraries in the process of moving to paperless offices. One of the few libraries that still remains is the MORI library. This contains over 30,000 reports, with an emphasis on the public sector. We are looking for significant finance to preserve this library and will be approaching the National Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant later this year. We think this library is a National Asset.

Costs

It costs around £35,000 a year to run AMSR.  The share of expenditure is roughly two thirds for storage of paper records, the online archive and website, a quarter for collecting material, publicity and fundraising and a sixth for administration. The financial cost of running AMSR bears no relationship to the real cost. If it were to pay commercial rates for the 50+ unpaid volunteers who do the curating, scanning, publicity, fundraising and online presentation of the material in the Archive, the running cost would be over £200,000. “At present the money provided by our generous supporters just matches our outgoings, but there is no surplus. We believe that to provide a sustainable future for the Archive, we need to be able to answer questions from users and the industry in addition to providing links to other archives in our website portal. We have to integrate with the community of archivists and to do this, we shall need to pay a part-time archivist to lead a team of volunteers. Allowing for the Archive to continue expanding, we expect that our running costs in two years’ time will rise to £55,000”.

AMSR has set up a fundraising group with the objective of increasing its income over the next two years to meet this level of expenditure. Currently the mix of income is 60% from individual donations, 36% from commercial organisations and 4% from grant-giving organisations.

Our vision

AMSR believes that there is significant demand for the service that it will be able to provide. “I hope”, Adam concluded, “that you will continue to support us with financial donations and as volunteers”

Referenda

Sir John Curtice, the distinguished political scientist and well-known media ‘guru’ of political polling, was the guest speaker. Sir John is currently Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Social Research.

Photo: Sir John Curtice

He gave a fascinating presentation on ‘Using Archives to learn from the past, using the EU as a case study’. His paper illustrated not only the value of AMSR, but of archives more broadly.

2016 was, of course, the second EU referendum: the first was during the Harold Wilson government in 1975. John Curtice has delved into our Archive and the UK Data Archive, using history to understand the present, to cast light on why the results were different.

He reminded the audience of what had happened in 2016 and the assumptions drawn; people voted according to age: younger people were more likely to vote remain; people’s behaviour varied by education: Remainers tended to have tertiary education; immigration was an important issue. The referendum showed the divisions between social liberals who were comfortable living in a diverse society and social conservatives, who represented a degree of conformity.

In 1973 the UK entered the EU without a Referendum. The Referendum was called by the Labour Government under Harold Wilson, which had been elected in 1974. The Labour Party’s stance was that it wanted to renegotiate the Tory Terms of Agreement. This was largely a financial issue: the UK was at risk of having to pay a higher contribution than its GDP might justify. Harold Wilson renegotiated the terms, came back with a Deal, called a referendum in 1975 and the result was a 2-1 victory for staying in the EU.

John Curtice summarised the questions we should ask about Referenda:

  • What are the circumstances giving rise to the referendum?
  • What is the question wording?
  • What is the role of endorsement?
  • What are the patterns of voting?

The circumstances

In 2016 David Cameron decided to call a Referendum. He was worried about UKIP and the divisions within his party on Europe. In the 1970s the Conservatives were the Remain party. The similarities were that in 2016 there were internal divisions in the Conservative Party; in 1975 there were internal divisions in the Labour Party. 2016 was a case of history repeating itself.

Question wording

Wording of course is always a subject of dispute in a referendum.  In 2016 the Electoral Commission tested the intelligibility and neutrality of the questions. In our Archives John Curtice found an NOP study conducted by the Daily Mail in January 1975 which tested seven different ways of asking the question. NOP’s definition of neutral was in fact no question, just boxes labelled ‘in’ or ‘out’.

Endorsement

In experimental work, you can see the impact of biased questions. A question asking people’s intentions after a statement of government endorsement. (‘How would you vote if the government says it should be ‘yes’?) indicated the potential volatility of public opinion. A Gallup Poll in August 1974, which asked how people would vote if the Government said ‘yes’ showed a dramatic shift.

In 2016, David Cameron’s opinion did not affect the result, compared with that of Harold Wilson.

Patterns of voting

Comparing the evidence of 1975 and 2016, in 1975 there were no significant differences in the age groups. Social class rather than education was of importance in 1975. Education was not so important in 1975, though there were fewer graduates in the ’70s. The social base differed: there was a much clearer link to social background, using standard social class breakdowns.

The agenda in the two referenda differed. A MORI survey in May 1975, found in the AMSR archive, asked what would be the principal disadvantages of staying in the Common Market.  Prices, particularly food prices and the impact of the Common Agricultural Policy were the main concerns. This was a social economic argument: those with a working class background were more concerned about food prices.

Regarding immigration, which was the main issue of concern in 2016, such was the unimportance of this in 1975, that there was no question about immigration in the British Election Studies of that period. The issues of identity and culture in 2016 were difficult to shift. The yes/no vote broken down by perception of migrants are in the British Election Studies ’74 and ’79 which are available from the UK Data Archive, but they show nothing like the differences concerning immigration found in 2016.

John Curtice’s fascinating comparisons demonstrated that both referenda were motivated by party divisions. Both raised questions about society and the issues of concern at the time. He believes that the concern with immigration, which was the leading issue in the 2016 election, was much more difficult to change (it remained largely constant throughout the campaign), compared with concerns about the economic consequences of being a member of the EEC, which was the most important issue in 1975.  He concluded that there are lessons to be learnt from history which archival material can provide help in understanding.

Survey methodology

Denise Lievesley followed with an insightful account of the value of archives.

Sir John Curtice had illustrated the power of the wonderful narratives you can gain from the Archive and how important it is to look at changing methodologies. As a survey methodologist, Denise Lievesley stressed the use of historical information to look at changing methodology over time. What is of interest is what is not collected, as well as what is collected (as John Curtice demonstrated in relation to the issue of migration), indicating the priorities of society at the time.

Denise Lievesley discussed why a data archive is really important and the changing world of academia in this regard.  As the first Director of the UK Data Archive, she was instrumental in getting the ESRC to develop its data policy: if you received money from the ESRC to collect primary data, you had to offer this data to the Data Archive.  “The Data Archive did not have to take it.  We did not want some of the datasets because, in our judgement, they were unlikely to be used in the future. And it takes resources to collect. Acquisitions policy is a really important issue”. The scientific principle is that research findings, together with the data, should be available for others to refute, to confirm, to clarify or to extend the results. That is part of public accountability. The Declaration of Professional Ethics of The International Statistics Institute states that the principle of all scientific work is that it should be open to scrutiny, to assessment and possible validation by fellow scientists. The principle of scientific openness extends to a responsibility to funders and to society to use data resources efficiently. Data should be used – so much is under-exploited. Denise Lievesley cited her former boss and hero, the late Sir Roger Jowell, who used to talk about “the amount of data that was untouched by human minds”. Data is underused, even by academics. She said that “we are all worried about response burden and collecting too much data”. Those were the reasons at that time that she was arguing for the importance of data archives. And this still applies. She stressed that we want to encourage responsible data collection: deliberate replication, but not duplication and ignorance of previous research. There is a growing awareness that our failure to exploit the full potential of data has meant costs to society.

Sharing data

The Times Higher Education has talked about the shift towards an open access movement. It has been policy to share publications for many years. Now we are addressing the tougher questions of sharing data.

Denise Lievesley was due to go to The Netherlands where she is a member of a panel convened to assess funding for a research bid for a major social science data archive that the Dutch want to set up. It will incorporate a lot of data from private organisations, as well as data from government organisations and academia. The Times Higher Education has said that what is needed is a radical change in mindset about the value of academic contributions to research in order to get an equally radical opening up of the scientific method.  It argued that as we get better computational ability to crunch large datasets, significant insights can come out of having access to that data – perhaps information that was never even thought of by the people who collected it.

There are a lot of problems in sharing data in the academic sector. There are difficulties in the area of incentives.  There are other issues: in addition to funding, there is huge competition.  How do you encourage sharing in an environment when competition is extraordinarily fraught?

Teaching

Denise Lievesley stressed the importance of data for teaching purposes especially in respect of methodology and data analyses. Too many of our young people spend a lot of time collecting really poor quality data and never get time to analyse it. Today’s ethos is they have to do their own primary data collection instead of getting them to analyse secondary data and their own data. Denise Lievesley recalled that while she was at the UK Data Archive, a number of datasets were deposited for teaching purposes. In one case a wonderful subset from the University of Surrey using the General Housing Survey was analysed to address a series of policy questions. “It was used more than the General Household Survey itself. In fact, it was the most used dataset in the Data Archives. This rich information must have influenced the statistical and social science skills of so many students”. She stressed the importance of working with academics to create good teaching datasets.

Reproducibility is an issue particularly in relation to medical research. Recently there have been a number of papers published in reputable journals, where people have gone back to attempt to reproduce research which has been done previously, and failed to do so or have only managed to do so in a small number of cases. There have been discussions as to why this should be so. Publication bias is one reason: only positive results tend to get published. This is an argument for having access to ‘grey’ material – unpublished material and raw datasets not just published material. Increasingly, in large datasets, the statistical paradigm falls to pieces.  Statistical significance no longer holds up. In huge datasets everything is deemed significant. People pick and choose and often choose what falls in with their prejudices. We have a crisis in a lot of research, and it is particularly being discussed in relation to medical research. It will be a cause for discussion in the social sciences community. She concluded, “I hope the AMSR will be able to inform these areas of debate”.

Discussion from the floor

There was limited time for questions, but the discussion from the floor was an indication of the interest and involvement of the audience in the work of AMSR.

Peter Mouncey, who has recently retired as Editor of the International Journal of Market Research, commented that while some Journals discourage replication studies, the IJMR encourages this.

Philip Talmage asked if there was any possibility of disaggregated data being incorporated into the Archive. Phyllis Macfarlane, Chairman of the Contents Committee, responded that one would like to think so. Sir John Curtice remarked that he would encourage the Archive to go down this road: there is certainly a gap. Adam Phillips, CEO AMSR, pointed out that the problem is the scale of data we should have to hold. At the moment we are very selective about raw data. He suggested some datasets could be curated, or re-deposited when they have been analysed. Denise Lievesley agreed that this should be encouraged.

Professor Merlin Stone is concerned about getting students to use datasets. He noted that methodological articles tend to receive a high volume of citation. The challenge is to write articles on methodology and secondary research and get them published.

Denise Lievesley referred to the Royal Statistical Society’s excellent critique of the Teaching Excellence Framework. “It points out that it says nothing about teaching quality! However, one of the successes we have had in respect of the Research Excellence Framework, is that a well-documented dataset which is used by other people, counts in the same way as a publication”.

Informal drinks

The drinks party after the formal addresses was an opportunity for old friends to gather and gossip. There were further demonstrations of the Archive, and people enjoyed seeing former colleagues and welcomed the opportunity to catch up with the achievements of AMSR. There were also several promises of attic and garage raids to rescue valuable reports and papers.

The Archive welcomes volunteers who wish to be involved in its myriad activities and is particularly seeking financial donations so that future plans can be secured. Please contact admin@amsr.org.uk and, of course, visit the web site at www.amsr.org.uk.

BBC-Logo

AMSR has recently acquired some very rich material documenting research conducted for the BBC. Peter Menneer, who was Head of BBC Research, 1978-1992, and Graham Mytton, who was Head of Audience Research for the BBC World Service1982-1998, have donated unique reports and papers, both from their own collections and the BBC Archives.

Graham has written an overview of his contribution. Some ‘tasters’ from Peter’s collection are below.

  • Towards TV qualitative research: the BBC’s viewpoint. March 1981.
  • The Random Assigned Day (RAD). An innovative technique for measurement of broadcast audiences amongst high status populations, by Peter Menneer, Didier Mormessi and Jeremy Nye.
  • Pensioners: their TV viewing and radio listening. March 1989.
  • TV and radio in the lives of ethnic minorities.  November 1988.
  • Broadcasting research audiences and issues.  1991.
  • Towards gobal guidelines for television audience measurement. A series on international TV and radio audience measurement. Edited Peter Menneer 1993-1999.
  • The infrequent listener. Peter Menneer October 1995
  • Trends in TV audiences. Prepared for BBC Television by Peter Menneer. July 1996
  • The Radiometer. Towards a new audience currency.  Peter Menneer. December 2000.

The relevant section heading in the BBC World Service section in the archive can be found here: https://amsr.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/BBC-WS – click the blue ‘Browse’ button to access the full list of 384 documents.

Graham

By Graham Mytton 

When I left the BBC World Service in 1998 after 16 years in charge of its audience research department, it was at a time when changes in the internal funding system threatened the loss of many documents, files and even radio and TV programmes throughout the BBC. Departments were being made to pay for the storage of their own archives. This could be historic material but in most cases it was recent documents, reports and normal every day office files. Stories in the media about books, tapes, files, sheet music and gramophone records being found in skips outside BBC building were sometimes true albeit exaggerated.

The BBC has a well-run Written Archive Centre at Caversham, Reading, which keeps an extensive collection of BBC material going back to the very start in 1922. But they do not keep everything. Also, in the period between everything-on-paper and almost-everything-digitised, (roughly between 1995 and 2000) quite a lot of material was not archived. It fell down the cracks before a rigorous system was again in place to ensure that important material was not lost.

Why did I keep this audience research material that dates from around 1985 to 1998? It is because I have had an ambition, not yet entirely fulfilled, to write the story of audience research at the BBC World Service. I have written and published some of my research already –  work that was generously funded by the Open University. Robert Silvey, the first director of audience research at the BBC, in his book Who is Listening? wrote that he would not be writing about audience research for the BBC outside the UK but would leave that to someone else who might know more about it. Well, none of my three predecessors in audience research at External Services, renamed World Service in 1988, Asher Lee, Katherine Digby Worsely and Bernard Bumpus, did so although they did keep good records for which I am grateful and their thoughts, plans, arguments and pleas for more funding (and even sometimes their pleas not to be shut down altogether) are well documented.

The documents I have given to the AMSR are mainly but not exclusively, from my period, 1982 to 1998. The period has several important features and events:

  • Management changes under John Tusa (1986 – 1992) led the World Service towards being much more focused on planning and strategy, using evidence from market and audience research.
  • The general and widespread changes in management culture in publicly funded institutions.
  • Rapid and unexpected deregulation of virtually the whole world’s broadcasting systems from c 1990
  • The beginnings of the digital revolution in the early 1990s
  • The massive expansion of global market research in the way of available and competent agencies and the possibility of fieldwork in countries and areas of countries previously closed to any kind of market research.
  • A move from a limited number of measurement surveys in less than a dozen countries a year to a wide-ranging annual programme of 50 or more. And a budget expansion to match this.
  • More cooperation with other international broadcasters, with the BBC in the lead position.
  • A far greater emphasis and reliance on qualitative research among listeners, actual and potential.
  • A general move away from research to defend and protect services we already had, towards research for future strategy.

I shall be adding BBC material as I dig it out. I am also going to add my own research archives. These date from 1967 when I did my first media survey as a post-graduate student in Tanzania, through my period in Zambia doing audience research for the national broadcaster there and finally to the post-BBC period when I have been training people to do media research and running media and development research projects in all continents. I am also including several market research and media research books, four of which I authored or co-authored.

My first ever piece of research was in Tanzania in 1967. Its purpose was to measure media access and use in scattered parts of Tanzania using face-to-face paper and pencil questionnaires. The data were eventually put on punched cards and analysed on a large main frame computer. The whole process took many months. There were really only two media then to measure – radio and the printed press. 53 years later, what will be probably my last ever project, has just been completed (February 2020) in Sudan. It also sought to measure media access and use, and it used face-to-face interviews. The differences over those five decades can be summed up in two headings. Data capture: today everything, after verification and fieldwork checks, goes directly to a computer database.  Media diversity: in addition to radio and the printed press, and of course television (there was a tiny amount in Tanzania in 1967) there are now online media, including social media, blogs, the rest of the internet and mobile telephony, email, SMS and so on, and satellite services providing TV and several other media.  My 1967 questionnaire was two sides of foolscap. The Sudan one was rather longer at more than 40 A4 pages.

References

Who’s Listening: The Story of BBC Audience Research, Robert Silvey. George Allen & Unwin, 1974.

The BBC and its cultural, social and political framework’ in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television: Special Issue: BBC World Service, 1932 – 2007: Cultural Exchange and Public Diplomacy, Vol 28, No 4, October 2008, pp.569-581

‘Audience research at the BBC World Service 1932-2010’, Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies,Volume 8, Number 1, May 2011. http://www.participations.org/Volume%208/Issue%201/special/mytton.htm

‘Audience Research at the BBC External Services during the Cold War’,  Graham Mytton,  Journal of Cold War History, Special Edition Volume 11, Number 1, February 2011, pp 49-67.

Graham Mytton was Head of Audience Research at the BBC World Service 1982-1998. Material given to the Market Research Archive is mainly from his BBC audience research period. Also included is some material from both Tanzania and Zambia and also from the period since the BBC when he has continued both to train people in all kinds of media and market research and has run several media research projects.  His most recent have been in Syria, Sudan and Sierra Leone. He has also led media research project, mostly measurement surveys, in Gibraltar, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, East Timor, Nigeria and South Sudan.  He has trained people in audience research methods in countries on all inhabited continents.

Graham published a training manual on audience research in 1993. It has been translated into several other languages.  It is now in its third revised English edition – Media audience research: a guide for professionals, Sage 2016. He also wrote a book drawing on his research in Tanzania and Zambia as well as his experience elsewhere in Africa, Mass communication in Africa, Edward Arnold, 1983. He edited a book on audience research in the BBC World Service Global audience research for worldwide broadcasting, John Libbey 1993. All his books are now in the Archive of Market and Social Research.

PRM

Peter Mouncey who was Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Market Research 2005-2019, wrote a final blog when he retired. We reproduce some of the points he made, together with an account by John Downham of the history of the Journal. 

Digital MRS Journal (scanned) archive  

Until now, the only digitally available access to IJMR content is for post-1991 issues, via Sage Publishing (current publisher of IJMR), WARC (warc.com database) or for academics, the EBSCO database of publications. Access to earlier issues has been limited to print copies, or limited coverage on EBSCO. However, MRS and Sage Publishing have now granted permission to the Archive of Market and Social Research (AMSR) to digitise pre-1991 issues, facilitating access to an archive of journals stretching back to 1959, covering a period of major innovation and rapid development within the market (and social) research sector.

The purpose of this article is to provide readers with an introduction to this section of the AMSR, describing why MRS decided to launch a Journal, how it has evolved over time plus references to a selection of content to demonstrate the range of topics covered over the first 31 years of publication.

Why did the MRS launch a Journal?

The then MRS Council took the decision in 1958 to publish a journal, with at least three issues a year. The rationale behind this decision was described by John Downham, MRS Chairman in 1958, in an article published in IJMR (Volume 50, Number 1) to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the journal. Extracts from this article are reproduced below:

John Downham

Commentary

After 50 years there will be few members of the present-day MRS who can recall the background to its launch.  

What was the research world like into which it was born?

When the Society was set up in 1946 the 23 founding members represented virtually the entire UK profession, and monthly luncheon meetings were, mostly, sufficient to keep them in touch with research developments in this country. At the time there were no regular UK publications dealing specifically with market research – the industry was still small and resources very limited. There were a number of UK textbooks dealing with statistics and sampling theory, but none dealing in any depth with survey research other than Redmayne and Weeks’ ‘Market research’, published in 1931. No research textbooks of significance were to be published post-war in this country until John Madge’s ‘The tools of social science in 1953, followed by Claus Moser’s ‘Survey methods in social investigation’ in 1958.

In the US there was of course a rapidly growing number of such textbooks and also various regular research publications – for example, the ‘International Journal of Opinion’ and ‘Attitude Research and ‘Public Opinion Quarterly’. Business publications such as the ‘Harvard Business Review’ and the ‘Journal of Marketing’ also contained articles on research topics. UK researchers – especially those working on opinion polling – from time to time published articles in the US journals but, on the whole, the American research world at that time took little interest in what was happening this side of the Atlantic.  

The main UK periodicals to contain articles about market research were those dealing primarily with advertising, media and general marketing issues, but such articles were mostly occasional and usually non-technical. The single most important source of published material on survey research methodology during the years immediately following the war was probably the Government Social Survey. Under Louis Moss this produced a series of high-quality technical papers on random sampling, fieldwork and other research subjects. The Market Research Society itself set up a Publications Committee in 1952, but a plan for this to produce a research textbook was dropped, partly ‘for lack of suitable material’. The Society did however publish a few monographs during the 1950s: on ‘Readership research’ in 1954, ‘Statistical sources for market research’ in 1957, and the papers resulting from its first two Annual Conferences in 1957 and 1958, on ‘Business forecasting’ and ‘Attitude scaling’.

The ’50s

During the 1950s there were growing opportunities for presenting papers at MRS meetings, and also on platforms at educational events such as the Winter Courses (from 1951) and Summer Schools (from 1955), but relatively few such papers enjoyed general circulation. In the early 1950s more important publication channels for such work were in fact the journals of the Royal Statistical Society – primarily for sampling and other statistical papers – and the Association of Incorporated Statisticians. The latter published a number of survey research papers and in 1955 a small volume, ‘Modern sample survey methods’, based on a weekend school it had run. (Somewhat unexpectedly, the field of publications on market research was later widened by the introduction of commercial television in 1955; in particular one of the major TV contractors, Granada, commissioned a series of booklets on a variety of market research subjects ranging far wider than media research).  

As far as major public platforms for speakers on research were concerned, the first MRS Annual Conference was not held until 1957. Before then many UK researchers found that the annual ESOMAR Congresses, which began in 1947, provided one of the most useful forums for presenting papers based on UK research developments, which could then be given more general publicity. For the most part, however, UK researchers had few channels in this country or publishing technical papers in printed form to a wider audience.  

Meanwhile the membership of the MRS was growing exponentially throughout this period: from fewer than 100 in 1950 to over 700 by 1960. UK market research turnover, and the number of research companies, likewise escalated. However, although in 1959 the Society acquired a full-time secretary, based in the offices of a research agency, it did not have a permanent Secretariat with its own offices until 1961. Before that the Society depended almost entirely on voluntary help from its members and support from their companies. Despite the growing needs of the profession, this limited the range of new activities, such as a regular publication, which the MRS could consider undertaking before the later 1950s.  

The second half of the decade was a time of rapid change in the UK research environment. Hand tabulation and punch-cards were beginning to give way to computers. Motivation research started to move in on the more traditional methods of measuring attitudes and understanding behaviour – initially by drawing heavily on the principles of psychoanalysis but quickly adopting a more controlled and experimental approach, exemplified for example in Harry Henry’s classic 1958 book ‘Motivation research: its practice and uses’. More sophisticated approaches to segmentation, the development of modelling techniques, new forms of continuous and panel research, changes in distribution channels – these and other developments were turning market research into a much more complex (and to some extent fragmented) business with differing specialisations and interests. It had become increasingly difficult for researchers generally to keep in touch with what was happening in the different sectors of their profession.  

From the mid-1950s there was therefore considerable discussion about the ways in which the MRS now needed to evolve, and in 1958 the Council determined that the Society’s activities must be firmly focused on professional development and training, the encouragement of technical progress and the dissemination of technical knowledge. Plans were introduced for an examinations structure to underpin membership of the profession, and there was a greatly increased emphasis on the need to improve technical standards generally. 

Against this background it was clear that the UK industry required some regularly published professional journal of its own to help service these changing needs. Until then the only moderately regular publications had been relatively simple newsletters. The available resources – both human and financial – to support such a venture were, however, still restricted. In 1959–60 the Society’s total income was just over £2500, the annual subscriptions being only three guineas (£3.15) for Full Members and two guineas (£2.10) for Associates. (These were raised to five and three guineas respectively in 1960 in order to help finance the new Secretariat.) After two years of discussion, what it was hoped would become the MRS’s flagship journal was therefore launched in the summer of 1959 with a target of just three issues per year, under a title that reflected a perhaps somewhat toe-in-the-water approach: ‘Commentary’. A slim publication of 40 pages, printed in a very economical format, it was initially planned to contain short summaries of talks and papers previously given elsewhere, and two or so meatier original technical papers on research topics. It was provided free to members and priced at 7/6d (less than 40p) to non-members.

A very modest start for what has grown over 50 years into what is today the far more substantial, wide-ranging and professionally produced ‘International Journal of Market Research’.

Two other leading professional bodies in the field of marketing also launched key journals around the same time that continue to compete with the MRS Journal to this day. The American Marketing Association (AMA) launched the Journal of Marketing Research at the start of 1964, and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) launched the Journal of Advertising Research at the start of 1960.

The MRS published the Journal until publishing was transferred to NTC from January 1986. NTC later became WARC, which continued publication until Sage Publications was appointed in late 2017. 

The MRS Journal has had several titles in its life to date. It was launched as Commentary with the sub-title Journal of the Market Research Society’ in the summer of 1959. For 1968, these titles were reversed. From 1969-1974 (January) it was titled Journal of the Market Research Society, J.M.R.S, after which the initials became JMRS. From January 1987 (Vol. it became JMRS, with the sub-title Journal of the Market Research Society until it became the International Journal of Market Research’ (IJMR), from issue 42/1, Winter 1999/2000.

Editors

John Downham wrote the introduction to the first issue. Further early Editorials were written by John Davis, Peter Breedon, George Wigglesworth and Bert De Vos, with Andrew McIntosh serving as Editor from Spring 1964 until April 1967. Stephan Buck and Ian Haldane followed on as joint editors from Andrew McIntosh, Ian Haldane being replaced by Peter Bartram for one issue (Volume 16/1, January 1974). James Rothman then joined Stephan Buck, a partnership that lasted for 30 years until the spring of 2004 when Stephan Buck retired and was replaced by Martin Callingham until the end of 2004, when I took over as Editor-in-Chief (from issue Vol. 47 Issue 1, January 2005). Stephan Buck and James Rothman’s role was retitled as Honorary Editors in October 1978 (Vol. 20/4), with Phyllis Vangelder appointed Executive Editor (retitled Managing Editor or Consultant Editor over time). Michael Warren replaced Phyllis Vangelder as Executive Editor from Vol.42/1 to Vol. 43/4.

Content

I have tried to identify special issues, key themes and seminal papers. Whilst many of the authors who submitted content to the journal were thought leaders of their day, either as practitioners or academics, I have also singled out the many contributions over that period from one key author.

Early issues included an eclectic mix of content: papers (2-4 per issue); summaries of market research industry conferences/meetings/keynote speeches and MRS meetings on methodological topics; ad hoc notes (or ‘Communications’); summary of content for recent issues of other journals in relevant fields (before the MRS launched a regular abstracts publication); book reviews; Miscellany (short papers/opinion pieces) and letters. As such, the earlier issues provide more of a snapshot of the market research sector, rather than simply a selection of methodological papers. The journal rapidly evolved into a more formal publication with an increasing focus on papers, with the average of three per issue rising to 5/6. Unsolicited submissions averaged around 30 per year between 1980-2000 (the total for 2019 will be approaching 300). Occasional themed special issues began to appear and selected papers from the annual MRS Conference started to be included, the latter being a feature until the late 1990s. An analysis of submissions for 1980-1990 shows that the largest proportion were ‘UK non-academic’ (43%), followed by ‘USA academic’ (27%) and ‘UK academic’ (18%). The split between academic and non-academic was around 50:50, submissions from the UK averaging around 60%. The overall acceptance rate over this period for unsolicited submissions was 41%.

A few early papers are already within the WARC/Sage databases, as two special issues of JMRS were published in October 1996 (Vol. 38/4) and January 1997 (Vol. 39/1) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the MRS, each one containing fourteen papers from either the Journal, or the main annual MRS Conference, originally published pre-1990, that were considered to provide a seminal contribution to the body of knowledge in the field of market research (‘Milestones in Market Research’). Each paper was preceded by an introduction written by the original author. I have selected some of these in the past as my quarterly IJMR Landmark Papers, republished on the MRS website with an introductory blog (https://amsr.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/MRS-Journal/id/10261/rec/1). Other Classic/Landmark Papers can also be found there from IJMR issues published between 1991-early 2000s.

Peter Mouncey’s full blog can be found on https://amsr.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/MRS-Journal/id/10261/rec/1 . It includes invaluable  lists of  24 special issues  and a selection of  important papers under the headings of ‘Technology and market research’; ‘Miscellaneous papers of historic interest’; ‘Applying methods from other fields’; ‘Media and advertising research’; ‘Key developments in/reviews of methodology’ and ‘Political opinion polling’.

Hums_Res_Fair_Poster_B_27_Jan_2020 (1)

AMSR had a stall at the Oxford Humanities Research Fair for postgraduates, organised by Isobel Holowaty, Bodleian History Librarian, on 27 January 2020.

Phyllis Vangelder and Judith Wardle attended the Fair. They were able to speak to several faculty members of the history department as well as post-graduate students.

Phyllis writes “Our table was well-positioned and we had quite good footfall.  We had plenty of interest from passers-by stopping for chats, asking questions and collecting leaflets, cards and case-histories. It was also worthwhile in the sense that our fellow exhibitors were from the world of archives and we were very pleased to have a presence among them.

We talked to people with varied research interests and collected several email addresses and contacts”.

It is an important aspect of our strategy to reach out to the academic sector and familiarise its members with our free-access archive, so that faculty members, undergraduates and postgraduates will use it regularly as a go-to information source. We hope to extend our relationship with the Bodleian to other university libraries, particularly those relating to social and cultural history and sociology as well as business and marketing.

IMG_5952

John Downham and Liz Nelson have become Founder Patrons of AMSR.

John Downham and Liz Nelson are both members of the triumvirate who decided to create an archive of market and social research. They join a very select group of prestigious Founder Patrons, comprising Geoffrey Roughton and Sir Robert Worcester. They are both recipients of the MRS Gold Medal for their exceptional service to the profession and we have been immensely privileged to have benefited from their vision and experience,

John joined the British Market Research Bureau in 1948 as its first Research Officer responsible for consumer surveys and eventually became Managing Director in 1960. In 1963 he was headhunted by Unilever, where he worked for 23 years developing the company’s research facilities internationally and promoting the effective use of research by marketing departments.

He has published numerous papers on market research and marketing, including co-editing the first three editions of the Consumer Market Research Handbook. Whilst Chairman of the MRS, he was responsible for the launch of the Journal of the Market Research Society.

Liz founded and chaired TNS from 1965 until 1992. Throughout her career, she has held several prominent public positions, including Director of the Princess Alexandra Trust for Carers, Chairman of the Marketing Group of Great Britain, Chairman of the South West London National Health Service Trust, and Vice-Chairman of the Open University. In 1997 Liz was awarded an OBE for services to ecolabelling.

She has a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women Who Make a Difference International Women’s Forum in 2011. Last year the MRS launched the Liz Nelson Award for Social Impact for a project which makes a positive impact on society and demonstrates the power of research outside the commercial sphere.

Both Liz and John have made a tremendous contribution to the Archive, giving us so much guidance and leadership. We are fortunate that they still continue to serve on our committees and advisory panels. We benefit from their wisdom and of course, enjoy their company.

Newsletter 14 – October 2019

AMSR-Editorial

Phyllis Vangelder muses on the progress of the Archive

Have you noticed the current fashion to have daily quotations at some London underground stations? Following a lunch meeting centred on the Archive, I recently passed through Hammersmith and saw a quotation from Greek literature:  “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in”.

This seems a very fitting analogy for the Archive.  A group of people who believe passionately in preserving the knowledge and learning accumulated in the industry over many decades, are building a treasure trove and laying down a heritage for generations to come.

Most of the people who are on committees, reviewing material, trying to get funding, cataloguing, scanning, indexing and talking to potential users are retirees (though by no means all), and they realise that long after they are no longer involved, the Archive will continue to grow, and be used by researchers, academics, opinion formers – all those in fact with curiosity and an interest in social change.

Acquisitions 

As some of the following articles show, over the past year we have acquired some very important material:  The Andrew Ehrenberg Collection which South Bank University have kindly donated to us; the CRAM collection, containing Peter Cooper’s books and reports which Simon Patterson has put together and for which he has arranged digitisation, and TGI reports acquired through the efforts of Geoff Wicken.  Moreover, we are now digitising all the early issues of Commentary and the Journal of the Market Research Society.  All issues of JMRS up to 1990 are now online.

We are building a useful collection of opinion poll reports and findings from past years, from the likes of NOP, MORI (courtesy of Sir Robert Worcester), Harris and others. Now we have just added to it a donation from David Cowling of several compilations he has made, with assistance from Nick Moon, of opinion poll results going back over several years, in some cases as far back as the 1970s. These compilations bring together what different polls said about matters of serious public interest at the time: 9/11, the Iraq war, nuclear weapons, the coalition government, the environment, the economy, attitudes to crime and several others – and, of course, Europe. Showing how public opinion on these issues changed over the years, these summaries will, we think, be very helpful to social historians.

These items alone are rich components of a valuable Archive, but we now have 4,491 items in the in our catalogue,  4,012 of which have been scanned. There are 743 books, which we do not scan in full, but record essential details such as title, author, and contents for easy retrieval through HAT or libraries.

We are planting unique sources of information to help in understanding the past, the present and the future.

Trustees

We are delighted to welcome two new members of the Board of Trustees: Phyllis Macfarlane is the new Chairman of the Contents Committee, succeeding Bryan Bates who ran the Committee so successfully, until ill health forced him to retire; Sue Robson is now Chairman of the Marketing Committee in succession to Adam Phillips, who remains our irreplaceable Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Photo: Phyllis Macfarlane

A Fellow of the MRS, Phyllis is a life-long quantitative researcher, specialising in International B2B market measurement.  She started at MIL/INDAL as an Assistant Statistician, culminating as MD of GfK NOP.

Since stepping down fromp MD of GfK in the UK, she has focussed firstly on Training – becoming GfK’s Global Training officer for a while – and then managed a large educational project in Africa for the GfK Verein (GfK’s Not-for-Profit arm).

All this has segued into an interest in the Development/Aid Sector generally and, realising that many NGO’s would be more effective if only they would do more research, she now works together with ESOMAR Foundation (as Treasurer) and Paragon Partnerships (the Global Market Research Industry’s partnership to support the achievement of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals) on training in MR and promoting the value of research to NGOs.

She is currently Chairman of the MRS, and supports various small charities on a personal basis with MR advice.

Photo: Sue Robson

Also a Fellow of the MRS, Sue is a highly experienced qualitative researcher.  She joined BMRB as a trainee research executive, going on to work at MBL and ending up as Managing Director. She set up The Qualitative Consultancy in 1981 and ran it successfully for 20 years.

Since  ‘retiring’ she has worked unceasingly in a voluntary capacity, as Chairman of the Governors of Notting Hill and Ealing High School,  Chairman and member of Somerville London Group, a networking and fundraising committee for London Alumni of Somerville College, Oxford and not least, Trustee and Committee member of the MRBA until September 2018.

Sue’s expertise and experience will be invaluable in helping AMSR to market its offering.

Peter-Cooper-001

Simon Patterson has worked unceasingly to ensure that Peter Cooper’s writings are in the AMSR Archive. He writes here about the CRAM Archive, a unique collection of papers and reports amassed by Cooper Research & Marketing, primarily in the qualitative sector. 

The CRAM/Peter Cooper Archive Collection contains commercial market research reports, the vast majority of which are qualitative, plus papers written by Peter Cooper and his colleagues. It also contains papers from Peter Cooper’s academic days at the University of Manchester in the early 1960s. This includes a study conducted by Peter Cooper and Alan Branthwaite amongst 6,000 children from 12 countries entitled ‘War and Peace’, which used Psychodrawings as its main data source. Online so far we have CRAM Reports from 1970-1972. 1972-1978 (CRAM reports) have been received and will be made available online soon.

Early days

Peter Cooper (1936-2010) was co-founder of Cooper Research & Marketing, later CRAM International, with his wife Jackie French.

Peter studied Clinical Psychology at the University of Manchester where he became a lecturer in the early 1960s. These were transformational times for social sciences and increasingly academic theory was being put into practice. Peter was at the forefront of this movement and, guided by his intellectual rigour as a psychologist, Peter became progressively involved in conducting commercial motivational research. By 1968 Cooper Research & Marketing (CRAM) had opened in Manchester and a new force in understanding the consumer mind was unleashed. These were the early years of qualitative research and the discipline had a new guru.

Understanding the consumer

From its initial inception, CRAM was experimenting with novel, evidence-based ways to understand the consumer. Extended creativity groups (ECGs) were used. Psycho drawings, model-making and in-depth interviews enabled the team of skilled practitioners that Peter surrounded himself with to understand why consumers respond to brands as they do. In due course, social media and the internet would be used to tap into what the consumer was doing and why.

Where traditional market research told you what was happening, Peter and his team were also able to tell you why. Their methods could also predict what to expect. The world of advertising, marketing and branding was changed irrevocably and all the major corporations selling to consumers wanted to know more.

By 1970 Manchester was too small to contain CRAM. A London HQ was established, settling in to 53 St Martin’s Lane, where it remained until Peter’s sudden and untimely death in 2010.

By the mid-1980s, reflecting the increasingly international nature of the work it conducted, the company changed its name to CRAM International.

The CRAM/Peter Cooper Archive Collection is a unique treasure trove of commercial research reports and academic papers that spans the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. With its focus on the consumer, the archive is an extraordinary insight into our contemporary world and its recent past. The Archive has been preserved by Peter’s children, Diana, Helen and Jonathan and myself.

The scanning of the Archive has been supported by AMSR, ESOMAR,  Dr Alan Branthwaite and family, the Cooper family, and QRi Consulting.

Management of the CRAM/Peter Cooper Archive Collection is by QRi Consulting.

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About a year ago, 20 boxes of Ehrenberg oeuvres arrived at Phyllis Vangelder’s house to be stored in her ‘empty’ garage. (There was insufficient room at the offices of Ipsos MORI, where our ‘engine’ room is situated).  During the year Phyllis and I have worked our way through about 15 boxes (a visit by burglars to Phyllis’ garage gave a sense of urgency to the task, though they did not in fact show any interest in Andrew’s work).  The Pareto rule applied: 80% of the material was of little interest, 20% is a rich and valuable addition to the Archive. We have had to put aside Andrew’s tirades at those who disagreed with or disregarded his theories, at the myriad of editors and publishers who did not appreciate his work and the very detailed letters and notes about seminars, workshops, meetings and costs as well as quite rude and dismissive notes to an eclectic group of correspondents. However, a gem which we haven’t discarded (although we are still wondering how to classify it) is a letter from the late Alistair Cooke (remember ‘Letter from America’) about his viewing preferences.

What we have in the Archive are iconic papers on models and creative, insightful views on marketing and consumer behaviour drawn from Andrew’s experience at Aske Research, which he ran with Gerald Goodhardt and Martin Collins (all three  were to become Professors of Marketing or Consumer Behaviour), The London Business School and South Bank University. They includes not only the innovative work Andrew did personally, but also in collaboration with brilliant colleagues like Gerald Goodhardt, Martin Collins, Paddy Barwise, Michael Bird, John Bound and many others. And, of course, we have the seminal books such as Data Reduction: Repeat Buying: facts, theory and applications and The television audience: patterns of viewing, which Andrew wrote with Gerald Goodhardt and Martin Collins.

Branding

More specifically, Andrew and his colleagues paid close attention to two main areas of research: branding and advertising/marketing activity. We now have a plethora of papers on the subject of branding. Particular topics of interest include:

  • Brand image and its relationship to brand usage
  • Changes of attitudes on brand behaviour
  • Brand loyalty and market share
  • Does brand segmentation exist?
  • Private label
  • Double jeopardy (small brands tend to have below average repeat purchase)
  • Dirichlet model: Predictive sales within fmcg markets.

Advertising and marketing 

In terms of advertising/market papers, we have documents covering

  • Measuring consumer price sensitivities
  • Pack size rates of buying
  • Direct versus mass marketing
  • Analyses of advertising effect
  • How we watch TV.

Such investigations led to an initiative by Andrew ‘Justifying our advertising budgets ((JOAB)’.

At the South Bank University, Andrew was an early supporter of work on diversity and we have references to ethnic viewing habits.

About four more boxes remain. 2020 should see the complete Ehrenberg Archive online on the AMSR website, a unique collection of research material from an iconic researcher.

Dipping into the range of topics 

The following papers give some idea of the range of topics covered by Andrew and his fellow luminaries:

  • ‘The liking and viewing of regular TV programmes’. Patrick Barwise and ASC Ehrenberg
  • ‘Decision models and descriptive models in marketing’. ASC Ehrenberg and Gerald Goodhardt
  • ‘The Dirichlet – a comprehensive model of buyer behaviour’. ASC Ehrenberg and Gerald Goodhardt
  • ‘Double Jeopardy revisited’. ASC Ehrenberg, Gerald Goodhardt and TP Barwise
  • ‘Models of buyer behaviour’. ASC Ehrenberg and Gerald Goodhardt
  • ‘Viewers’ willingness to pay’ ASC Ehrenberg and Pam Mills
  • ‘The problem of numeracy’ ASC Ehrenberg
  • ‘Lawlike relationships’ ASC Ehrenberg
TGI Logo

Geoff Wicken, who has worked so hard in making TGI accessible to Archive users, writes

Photo: Geoff Wicken

AMSR is very pleased to announce an important addition to the Archive.  Kantar, who own and operate the TGI (Target Group Index) have made a major donation of data from the period 1987 to 2012.

TGI is a continuous survey which has been carried out in Great Britain since 1969. The survey comprises completed self-completion questionnaires from 25,000 adults aged 15-plus per annum. All respondents provide information on their use of all major products, brands and services. Exposure to different media is measured, as well as attitudinal and demographic data.

The data extract from TGI 1987, which runs to over 200 pages, is now uploaded on the Archive website. Five further data sets extracted at 5-yearly intervals up to 2012 will follow. The next to be loaded will be 2012, so users will be able to see what has changed over 25 years. The intervening years will then follow as the extraction and formation into PDF documents proceeds.

judie lannon

We are very saddened by the death of Judie Lannon.

She made a tremendous contribution to AMSR, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees, the Marketing Committee and crucially the PR Team. Her immense experience as Director of Research and Planning at JWT, where she played a key part in the development of advertising planning  and subsequently her 17 years as Editor of Market Leader meant her advice was invaluable, to say nothing of her large group of contacts in advertising and qualitative research.

We shall miss her so much, for her charm, wit and wisdom.  Many of us were able to attend the beautiful funeral ceremony at the impressive St Lukes Church in Chelsea on 3 September. Judie’s step-grandson Bluey Durrant gave a very moving eulogy, engaging with all of us who knew her, in describing her wisdom and love of life and people.

Jeremy Bullmore wrote a fitting obituary of Judie in Campaign. Do read it and remember Judie with joy.

https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/tributes-pour-godmother-account-planning-judie-lannon/1593084

jmrs

As we reported in the Editorial, we have been able to borrow early issues from the MRS to enable us to have a full coverage of the Journal online. However, we should like to retain a full set of hard copies in the Archive. We are missing the following copies and would be very grateful if anyone has them and would be willing to donate them to AMSR.

  • Summer and autumn 1959 (issues 1 and 2)
  • Spring 1962 (issue 7)
  • Spring 1963 (issue 10)
  • Winter 1963-64 (issue 12)
  • Special supplement on Media Research March 1964
open book 400

The Archive is building up stories which can relate to actual items in the collections. Recent ones to coincide with the return to school include pieces on smacking children, and parents’ choice of schools.

A MORI survey from 2007 among 1,822 parents of children aged under 18 indicated that expressions of parental anger are permissible without interference from the law: 59% agreed that “the law should allow parents to smack their children”, and only 18% agreed “there should be a complete ban on parents hitting their children, even a smack as a punishment”.

These data, held in the AMSR files, were reinforced by a 2012 survey by Angus Reid which showed the balance of opinion has not shifted over time: 63% of Britons still voiced opposition to the idea of banning parents from smacking their children.

In 2005, a MORI ‘Teachers’ Omnibus Survey’ conducted among 477 secondary school teachers in England and Wales for the Sutton Trust found that only 31% agreed that “school choice is a reality for most parents”; only 31% agreed that “school choice has improved school standards”, and only 41% agreed “the current system of admissions to secondary schools operates fairly”.

See the AMSR website for the complete stories: www.amsr.org.uk. 

Quotes

“Every responsible person in the industry will want to support this … as companies have a responsibility for doing the right thing in preserving our knowledge and craft …” (Vanella Jackson, CEO, Hall and Partners Group Ltd)

“I certainly think the archive is a very worthwhile endeavour.  Indeed, it led me to reflect that that it was perhaps surprising that such an archive had not already been established at one of our universities.” (John Connaughton, CEO, Illuminas London) 

“There’s a benefit in capturing history… I would hope that people in any industry would be interested in how it developed and how it’s changed”. (Ben Skelton, Group CEO,  Quadrangle).

“The Archive is definitely worth doing, and I am sure it would have a huge number of back-stories about how the industry came about and evolved over the years.  The social research is particularly interesting”. (Sue Homeyard, Group Operations Director, Future Thinking).

“Very glad to be a part of this. It is hugely important”. (Simon Chadwick, Former global CEO of NOP World)

Newsletter 13 – June 2019

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Supported by teams of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, the Archive continues to develop and hone its positioning. At the time of writing almost 4,000 documents have been reviewed, catalogued and scanned and sent to the History of Advertising Trust for storage in archival conditions.

The Archive has several functions.  It is the guardian of the industry’s heritage, preserving the learning and creative insight that has made it so influential in decision-making. It also enables the data we are amassing to be widely and freely available to academics, journalists and the general public as well as to business and government. Additionally it is to be a hub of knowledge in the social and market research sectors, building up links with analogous organisations.

Academic use

As researchers, we are conducting research! Our main initial target for use of the Archive has been identified as academia, specifically historians looking at the social and cultural history of the UK since the 1940s. A team headed by Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing, London Business School and Vice-Chairman of the AMSR Trustee Board, is talking to high level academics, initially at Oxford and Cambridge, to understand their research information needs, and is liaising with the User Experience Committee.

Robin Birn and Judith Wardle are working with Professor Merlin Stone at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, to examine the behaviour and needs of university librarians and business and marketing faculties and students.

We are also delighted that the geodemographics academic sector is recognising the value of our Archive. Alexander Singleton, Professor of Geographic Information Science in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool, has written to colleagues drawing their attention to our geodemographics and census material, collected so assiduously by Barry Leventhal.  Professor Singleton writes:

“I am not sure if you have ever seen (the site) I have just discovered it; it is a really excellent resource if you are interested in the history of geodemographics”.

The recently-formed User Experience Committee is looking at the optimisation of the Archive search program.  The aim is to make the search user-friendly and accordingly the notes on how to get the best out of the Archive have been revised and a subject index is being developed in advance of updating our metadata. If you have any comments about searching for data, please contact:  contents@amsr.org.uk

Awareness

While we appreciate that not all people working in market research agencies will be the prime users of the Archive, their support is invaluable in recognising its role in increasing the status and awareness of the market and social research sector.

“Other professions have their own archives and regard them as essential to their standing in the world. The contribution of the research industry in searching out material to donate and providing funding is essential to the success of the Archive.”

We realise that the Archive is not sufficiently well-known within and beyond the market and social research sectors and we require professional help for PR and publicity. We are therefore looking for a part-time Publicity Manager. The advertisement for this post is below.

John DOWNHAM

Liz Nelson, Chairman of the Trustee Board, writes:

John Downham, one of the founders of the Archive and its first treasurer, has retired as a Trustee of the Archive.  He will continue, however, to serve on the Finance and Governance Committees.  Thus, his wisdom and guidance remain with the AMSR.

John was an early member of the Market Research Society which he joined in 1952. In 1963 he moved from BMRB to Unilever where he served for 23 years, reporting directly to the Main Board as the Senior Manager in Unilever’s central Marketing Division with responsibility for the effective use of market research by Unilever worldwide.

The AMSR Board would like to thank John for all the vision and support he has provided and look forward to his continued membership of the Finance and Governance Committees.  Thank you, John.

Lyn McGregor

Lyn McGregor, Chairman of the AQR, writes

As a young and inexperienced researcher I was delighted when I discovered Wendy Gordon’s book Goodthinking. She has been one of my idols ever since. However, since then the world has changed, as Wendy herself recognised in her later book Mindframes.  Over the years we have developed new lenses to look through, and new ways to understand people, culture and brands. New knowledge from Behavioural Science is but one way that qualitative thinking has changed over recent years. Digital technology has resulted in new behaviours and new research approaches. Perhaps we should see this as a move from ‘Goodthinking to Great Thinking’?

A changing world demands a constant process of renewal. As we embrace new thinking, we should also celebrate core qualitative skills, reinventing our approaches to provide fresh relevance for the future. Developing brand strategy will continue to require intelligent people, who can make sense of a broad range of inputs, and use their empathy to guide those who seek to grow brands.  This is what I mean by great qualitative thinking.

Qualitative documents provide a rich understanding of brand stories across the years and often reveal the ways that people have evolved across different cultures.  As an example, I have had the pleasure to work on research and strategy for the Dove brand across the world since the development of the Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 to the current day.  Women across the world experience different cultural pressures, not to mention the impact of social media on their self confidence.  However, I take some comfort from the number of brands now copying Dove and using ‘real women’ in advertising, rather than the skinny models of the past! This is a clear example of cultural change resulting from brand activity.

The AMSR seeks to create an archive as a resource for anyone interested in understanding the development of society. Qualitative insight helps brands to understand how people are thinking and behaving in the present, and in the hands of the skilled practitioner, often indicates the direction of travel for the culture in the future. This is why we are asking people to donate documents that tell brand stories across the years, and highlight the important role that has been played by great qualitative thinking in understanding our changing culture.

Please contact: contents@amsr.org.uk if you have any material you can donate.

case study

Among the most relevant uses of the material in the Archive is that of being able to identify longer-term changes in our national life, by comparing current with historical data.

Geoff Wicken and Peter Bartram are writing regular ‘blogs’ highlighting some of the material that is in the Archive and relating it to current concerns and behaviour. They can be found in the ‘Case Studies’ section on the AMSR website.

Geoff trawls Target Group Index (TGI) for data ranging inter alia from football, eating habits, television and telephones to the impact of sitcoms on behaviour.

Peter looks particularly at Harris Polls 1969-1972. His very eclectic blogs cover subjects as diverse as personal banking, British reservations about Europe, foreign holidays and cheques.

Here are some of the highlights of the archival material:

From the Target Group Index:

  • The Middle-Aged Man in Lycra (MAMIL). TGI shows that the species didn’t exist a generation ago. Furthermore, 50-64 year-old men are much more active nowadays than they used to be. Overall 51% engage in at least one activity, compared with 41% in 1989.
  • The impact of a TV sitcom on consumer behaviour. Examining trends can sometimes show influences from unexpected quarters.  Take the case of ‘The Good Life’, which ran from 1975 to 1978 and had an impact on consumer behaviour. While few followed Tom and Barbara Good in opting out of the rat-race completely in favour of a life of self-sufficiency, there was a major uplift in the numbers of people growing vegetables in their own gardens. This activity almost doubled between 1973 (26% of adults) and 1978 (47%).  After the programme ceased its run, it was a further 10 years before vegetable-growing fell back to its previous level.
  • Tea and teabags. As recently as 1970 over 90% of housewives were using packet tea-leaves. Penetration of the new fangled teabags had just reached 30%. Teabags overhauled the market in 1977.

From the Harris Poll:

  • In the late 1960s and early 1970s, 72% of British adults had never been abroad; by 2014, according to YouGov, this has now fallen to 8% and according to ABTA, as many as 53% have taken a foreign holiday in the last year.
  • The Harris Poll found in 1970-71 that 62% were against British entry to the Common Market.

From the Gallup Poll 1938

  • A question posed in November 1938 asked “Do you think a woman should be barred from any form of employment simply because she is married?” 63% answered ‘no’ and 28% answered ‘yes’.
  • Only 15% claimed to own their home outright, 9% were in the process of buying it and 76% were in lodgings or rented accommodation (now 65% of homes are occupied by the owner whether outright or on a mortgage).
  • 83% of men and 39% of women said they smoked. (Now, according to the Office for National Statistics the figures are 17% for men and 13% for women).

These are extracts from blogs and reports included in the Archive. They shed light on how people’s behaviour and opinions have changed (or not) over the past decades. For full reports and fascinating blogs on trends in behaviour and habits see under ‘Case Studies’ on the AMSR website.

Then and Now in Survey

Did you know the MRS was founded in 1946? In 1986, a special issue of its magazine Survey looked at ‘Then and Now’. Four market research companies replicated surveys that were undertaken soon after World War II.  Gallup looked at changes in opinions and attitudes over the 40 years; The British Market Research Bureau looked again at the contents of the British wardrobe, Research Services repeated surveys on films and confectionery and Mass-Observation again asked housewives questions about the way they spend their day. This issue of Survey, as others, is now preserved in the Archive and available on the website.

Add Folder

We continue to be excited by some of the rare and interesting material that is being collected for the Archive:

Britain Speaks Out 1937-87. A social history as seen through the Gallup Data. Robert Wybrow, 1987.

Its chapters cover:

  • 1937-45 The Formative Years
  • 1945-51 Labour’s First Term
  • 1951- 57 The Road to Suez
  • 1957- 64 The Macmillan Administration
  • 1964-70  The Wilson Era
  • 1970-74 The Success and Failure of Mr Heath
  • 1974-79 Labour Returns
  • 1979-87 New Conservative Philosophy

The Sophisticated Poll Watchers’ Guide. George Gallup. Princeton Opinion Press, 1970

A Guide to Public Opinion Polls, Techniques and ‘Poll of Polls’. BBC Broadcasting Research February 1987.

What Britain Thinks. The News Chronicle. A comment on the series of surveys conducted by British Public Opinion published by the News Chronicle, going back to 1938.

Trends in Food Consumption 1996. Taylor Nelson AGB Lifestyle Focus. Part of a series on household food consumption since the mid-80s from the Family Food Panel

Religion in Britain and Northern Ireland. A Survey of Popular Attitudes. Independent TV Authority, 1970

Passenger Travel Market in London Underground and local bus services plus information relating to mainline rail services and private transport.  Market Report, October1966. London Transport Marketing

Summaries of European Court of Justice Cases and Judgements on Commercial Communications’ by Lionel Stanbrook of the Advertising Association, 1999.

Help wanted

Part-time role.

£500 per month

To deliver communication plans to reach key audience groups across research, academic and social history sectors, and relevant media, on behalf of AMSR.

Experience of implementing PR plans with excellent written and verbal communications skills across traditional and digital media.

For a job description and more info contact: admin@amsr.org.uk

Newsletter 12 – February 2019

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A prestigious event held at the IPA in Belgrave Square on 29 January highlighted the success story of the Archive and its achievements since its inception. In addition to the speeches, attendees were able to see live online demonstrations of the Archive website and search the ever-growing material now available.

Click here for the full coverage of the event.

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An Archive user interface team has been set up. We are very aware that some searches are highly complex and our aim is to make the search experience as straight forward as possible.

If you have any comments about using the Archive, please contact:  contents@amsr.org.uk

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We continue to be excited by some of the rare and interesting material that is being collected for the Archive:

Report of an investigation on Pear’s Soap Consumer UK by J Walter Thomson 1925

Clothes Rationing Survey. An Interim Report prepared by Mass-Observation for the Advertising Service Guild. In Change No.1 Bulletin of the Advertising Service Guild, August 1941

Pollution and the oil industry and oil users. Taylor Nelson Survey 1973

The structure of entrapment: Dilemmas standing in the way of women managers and strategies to resolve these. An article by Charles Hampden-Turner in The Deeper News, a global business network publication, January 1994

Women: setting new priorities. Whirlpool Foundation Study. A study of Western European women’s views on work, family and society. Survey conducted by MORI, January 1996

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March 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the MRS conference presentation that brought geodemographics to the attention of a wide audience of market researchers.  This presentation introduced a new way of analysing and targeting consumers in any market.  So great was the interest in the new approach, that many regard this event as the commercial launch of geodems in the UK.

The 1979 conference paper – lodged in the Archive’s Geodemographics section – accurately prophesied many of the applications of geodems over subsequent decades.

It demonstrated the usefulness to marketers and advertisers of an area classification that had originally been developed in the public sector. A number of classification studies were conducted in the public domain during the 1970s, starting with regional projects and moving onto a national project in 1977.  Papers documenting some of these studies may be found in the Census and Geodemographics collections of the Archive, including those listed below.

The national classification was rapidly acquired by CACI and named ‘Acorn’.  An early Seminar on how to use Acorn took place in 1980 and may be found in the Archive – see
‘Acorn in action: Basic concepts, new services’ in the Geodemographics collection.  Reading the papers from the Seminar, it is fascinating to see that the principles of using geodems have not changed in 40 years – the only differences today are the speed at which results are now delivered and the latest applications, such as targeting online ads, which were undreamt of in 1980!

References – early area classification studies in the Archive:

Batey, P. and Butler, D.  Multivariate Analysis of the 1966 Census, 1972

Bermingham, J., Baker, K. and McDonald, C.  The utility to market research of the classification of residential neighbourhoods, MRS Conference, 1979.

Webber RJ. Liverpool social area study, 1971 Data. Centre for Environmental Studies; London, 1975.

Webber RJ. OPCS/CES Classification of Wards and Parishes in Great Britain,1977.

GetImage

AMSR is now registered for ‘Give as you live’, an online fundraising platform for charities. The idea is that the charity can raise money through its supporters’ regular online shopping with no extra cost. In exchange for sending traffic to partners’ website to make purchases, they pay a commission, of which 50% is passed to charity.

The site has over 4,100 stores, including Amazon, and they cover shopping travel, utilities etc. You can view the stores at https://www.giveasyoulive.com/search/stores. The donation rate depends on the store and can range from 1%-10% of the supporter’s shopping spend.

Supporting AMSR in this way does require an extra step in your online shopping activities. You have to visit the shop/business via the Give as you Live website for your shopping to be tracked and you have to register at Give as you Live and select AMSR as the charity you support. You then search for the store from which you want to shop (e.g. Amazon, M&S etc) If you click ‘Shop & Raise, it will take you to the site where you shop as normal. So next time you are shopping online, please remember AMSR.

Newsletter 11 – October 2018

Jeremy Bullmore and Ben Page

We are delighted that Ben Page and Jeremy Bullmore have agreed to be Patrons of the AMSR

Ben Page is Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI. He joined MORI in 1987 after graduating from Oxford University in 1986 and was one of the leaders of its first management buyout in 2000. A frequent writer and speaker on trends, leadership and performance management, he has directed thousands of surveys examining consumer trends and citizen behaviour.

He has been an immense support to the Archive, donating an ‘engine room’ in Ipsos MORI’s modern offices in Harrow, where the volunteers can sort, catalogue and scan the enormous amount of material AMSR is amassing. As well as enabling Committee members to hold meetings in convivial surroundings, Ben has given them access to his PR team, allowing them to benefit from professional advice and support.

Ben Page says: “In a fast moving world, it is all too easy to lose sight of important data from the relatively recent past that can help illuminate present trends, as well as the history of the research industry. The AMSR helps the industry, academics and journalists with both.”

Jeremy Bullmore CBE is a Member of the WPP Advisory Board. He began his career as a copywriter with J. Walter Thompson London, becoming Creative Director and finally Chairman. He was a non-executive director of both the Guardian Media Group and WPP and was also a long-time columnist for the Guardian, Campaign, Management Today and Market Leader.  He is a past President of The Market Research Society.

Jeremy Bullmore says, “It’s a matter of surprise, if not of shame, that no such archive already existed. For the intelligent historian, educator, journalist or politician, needing to know, in sensitive detail, how we’ve lived our lives for the last 70 years or so, AMSR contains an utterly priceless bounty of evidence”.

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We will be holding an early evening event for sponsors and supporters at the IPA on Tuesday 29 January next year. The key speaker will be Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK and a regular columnist in The Spectator.

New site screen

Have you visited the website lately? It has been completely redesigned and relaunched and we hope you will become familiar with it, check out its fresh content and use it to access information and source material. A guide on ways of searching, navigating and downloading material in the digital Archive, to help users find most easily what they are looking for, is in preparation and will be uploaded to the landing page shortly.

The Archive is growing fast. Among the latest additions are:

  • A comprehensive collection of books and papers belonging to Andrew Ehrenberg from the South Bank University, with detailed data about the NPD theory.
  • Readership Research.  A personal memoir written for the 9th Worldwide Readership Symposium in Florence 1999. This memoir from Harry Henry takes us back to the beginnings of Readership Research in Britain, describing its early development. The concept of ‘recent readership’ which is discussed in the publication, appeared in print for the first in 1947. Harry Henry himself was the author of the term ‘replicated readership’.
  • Papers left by David Collins include a number of qualitative studies from the 1960s and 70s undertaken by The Psychological Research Group, mainly in the transport and hotel industries. One of these sought to capture the feelings of business executives to Concorde and their likelihood of using it, before its first scheduled flight; advantages were set against potential costs, and national pride at this exciting new technology was explored.
Give as you Live logo

AMSR is now registered for ‘Give as you live’, an online fundraising platform for charities. The idea is that the charity can raise money through its supporters’ regular online and offline shopping with no extra cost. In exchange for sending traffic to partners’ website to make purchases, they pay a commission, of which 50% is passed to charity.

The site has over 4,100 stores, including Amazon, and they cover shopping travel, utilities etc. You can view the stores at https://www.giveasyoulive.com/search/stores. The commission rate depends on the store and can range from 1%-10% of the supporter’s shopping spend.

You can register for online shopping by going to https://www.giveasyoulive.com/ and select Archive of Market and Social Research, using its full name.

Supporting AMSR in this way does require an extra step in your online shopping activities. You have to visit the shop/business via the Give as you Live website for your shopping to be tracked and you have to register at Give as you Live and select AMSR as the charity you support. You then search for the store from which you want to shop e.g. Amazon, M&S etc) If you click ‘Shop & Raise, it will take you to the site where you shop as normal. So next time you are shopping online, please remember AMSR. You can also order a storecard or download a barcode that can be used when you are buying in-store, as opposed to online.

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Market Research Abstracts were launched in the late 1960s by the then Publications Committee of The Market Research Society to ensure that members of the Society were aware of the numerous articles and papers that were published about market and social research, both in UK publications and analogous overseas journals. The Abstracts were compiled twice a year by Phyllis Vangelder and covered articles and papers, each some 100-200 words, in the following areas: survey techniques; statistics, modelling and forecasting; attitude and behaviour research; psychographics; personality and social psychology; communications; advertising and media research; applications of research; industrial market research; market research and  general applications; and new product development.

The Abstracts were derived from the following UK journals and conference proceedings:

Admap; British Journal of Psychology; British Journal of Social Psychology; British Journal of Sociology; Human Relations; International Journal of Advertising; International Journal of Public Opinion Research; Journal of Industrial Economics; Journal of the Market Research Society; Journal of the Operational Society; Journal of the royal Statistical Society; Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics; Proceedings of the Market Research Society Conference; Statistical News.

In addition 16 important journals from the US, Canada and New Zealand, as well as ESOMAR’s Market and Research Today, were regularly used as sources for the Abstracts.

AMSR has an almost* complete collection from the late 1960s, ending with Volume 68, July-December 1997. There were two volumes each year and the scanned collection provides a fascinating overview of learning and commentary during the formative years of the industry.

*We are missing the following volumes and would be very grateful to receive copies of these: 1, 8, 12, 18, 30, 43, 44 and 58.  Please contact either Bryan Bates (bryanabates@mac.com) or Phyllis Vangelder (phyllis.vangelder@gmail.com)

WAPOR logo

Liz Nelson, Chairman of AMSR Board of Trustees, and Sir Robert Worcester, Founder Patron, presented important papers at the WAPOR Conference in Marrakesh last June. We highlight some of the salient points in their papers. Their powerful messages to an international audience of social and opinion researchers stressed the importance of trust and the relevance of archival collections.

Liz Nelson’s paper ‘Harness the past and present to help predict the future’ was particularly apposite.  She pointed out that WAPOR’s choice of change as the subject for this year’s Annual Conference allowed her to write about the need many researchers have for longitudinal data and archives of attitude and behavioural data.

Social and market researchers’ expertise in predicting change in behaviour and/or attitudes has been very mixed. She argued that predictions could be improved by taking a longer, historical view, and by proving to decision-makers and researchers that it is essential to harness the past and present to improve predictions.

Commercial researchers often have neither time nor inclination to refer to past data. Furthermore, to make matters worse, in the digital age, companies are increasingly destroying their historical data.

Her paper stressed the value of using historical data; to help those who are without archives to set one up; and to encourage owners of historical data to publicise that data and to overcome researchers’ desire or inclination to ‘reinvent the wheel’.

Social change

Exploring Social Change became a major issue in the 1960s: The Monitor by Yankelovich in the States; the International Institute of Social Change, (RISC) followed in the ’70s ; then Eurobarometer and many others.  The professional organisation in the UK, the Market Research Society, celebrated its 70th anniversary last year.   There was, however, no national archive of either social or market research in the UK.

Liz traced the development of the Archive and Liz traced the development of the Archive and used data from Ipsos MORI sexual harassment surveys to show that was not a new issue. Indeed, sexual harassment is a very old one, clouded in the past by prevailing social norms – norms that are now changing dramatically.

Liz also used Archival data to show where prediction has proved correct and very powerful.  There is strong evidence that predictions about generational differences in attitudes and behaviour would lead to huge differences in how to communicate to and how to market to them.  And those predictions have been successfully incorporated into corporate, political party and public service organisation thinking. She cited the successful understanding of differences in millennials (today’s 20s to 35s) and among baby boomers (today’s 55s to 70s).  Past data predicted the present and will predict the future with these generational differences.

Perhaps two of the biggest changes we have seen in recent years relate to decreasing trust in establishments and to increasing dependence on new technology.

Trust

All institutions – political parties, governments, local councils, charities, NHS, can build trust by meeting new expectations,  of security above all, but also transparency, dependability, and fulfilment.  She cited a recent optimistic Delphi Report to illustrate the ability of technology to increase public trust: ‘Technology can provide security and protection’.

If technology can make it possible for brands to be open and vulnerable, by sharing more information with customers, surely the same applies to public organisations and government institutions

Whether we are citizens or chief executives, we regularly feel out of control, unable to keep up, or vulnerable to fake news. But we need data; we need to preserve materials from the past to help us become better at predicting the direction and nature of change. And technology can increase trust.  And above all, researchers should realise that successful predictions from trend data must be publicised, must be acknowledged by business and marketing teachers and by all decision makers,

Liz Nelson concluded by stating what she has learned from the Archive. No change over time is as important to decision makers as significant change; researchers need reminders of the past data; populism entails a diminution of trust in established systems – advertisers have the savvy to keep levels of trust high; and crucially, if your office is moving, don’t allow anyone to destroy old records.

As brands become open and allow themselves to be vulnerable by sharing more information, public bodies, media and governments should learn the strength of  transparency,    Over time data collected 10, 20, 30, 60s years can become more valuable. Free access to past data is vital along with preserving present data for the future.

Her concluding anecdote pointed to the human value of archival collections. Recently there was a most wonderful find in the Bodleian Library. The earliest-known book dust wrapper was found in its Bodleian collections. Dating from 1829, it protected a finely-bound gift book entitled Friendship’s Offering.

Click here to download a copy of Liz Nelson’s paper.


Who trusts the pollsters?

The paper by Sir Robert Worcester, co-presented with Roger Mortimore and Mark Gill, underlined the issue of trust, focusing particularly on polls.

In examining how much the public trusts pollsters, they questioned whether trust in pollsters was linked to trust in other groups, and examined the evidence of declining trust, presenting data after poor election predictions and interrogating the nature of distrust.

They tested the following hypotheses:

  • Pollsters are less trusted than they used to be
  • Pollsters are less trusted relative to other professions than they used to be
  • Pollster are less trusted when ‘failed’ election predictions are fresh in the memory
  • Distrust in pollsters is associated with political leanings
  • Distrust in pollsters is associated with readership of particular newspapers (perhaps with an anti-polling editorial slant).

Detailed findings from survey data showed that pollsters are still more widely trusted than distrusted in Britain.  Trust is highest among the groups who are the most knowledgeable or take an interest in politics.

There is currently slightly more distrust of pollsters than usual in Great Britain, but this is not a weakening of existing trust, more an increase of distrust among those who had no opinion. The results indicated that newspaper coverage is probably not an important direct cause and suggest that any political aspect is probably populist vs establishment rather than right vs left.

Click here to download a copy of Sir Robert Worcester, Roger Mortimore and Mark Gill’s paper.

Newsletter 10 – June 2018

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We are delighted and very proud that Professor Denise Lievesley CBE has accepted the Trustees’ invitation to be the first President of the Archive of Market and Social Research.

Denise Lievesley took up her role as Principal of Green Templeton College in October 2015. Before going to Oxford, she was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Public Policy and Professor of Social Statistics at King’s College, London.

Formerly she has been Chief Executive of the English Health and Social Care Information Centre, Director of Statistics at UNESCO and Director of the UK Data Archive. While Director of the Data Archive, she was also Professor of Research Methods at the University of Essex. Denise has served as President of the Royal Statistical Society, President of the International Statistical Institute and the International Association for Official Statistics.

She was for many years a member of the MRS’ Technical and Development Committee, responsible for convening and chairing a very important MRS Seminar on Response.

Her research interests relate broadly to the quality and trust in official data, and the use of professionally-collected data for research purposes.

Professor Lievesley’s appointment is a perfect fit, enabling us to have her experience and expertise to support us: her election will undoubtedly bring increased status to AMSR’s standing in the academic and business worlds. We hope too that this will be a synergy, and that Green Templeton College will benefit from the Archive’s collection of social research and history, and data collection methodology, particularly since our Archive will be a portal to other academic and commercial archives.

We hope to include an interview with Professor Lievesley in our next Newsletter.

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Paul Edwards writes:

We have just introduced a new design for our AMSR website www.amsr.org.uk Thanks to the efforts of Kirsty Fuller and Joly Zou working with web designers Onepoint, you will see an exciting new face for the archive.

The new design is fresher, more visual and easier to navigate.  It has an enhanced case study section which provides a showcase for the rich material within the archive.  The front page highlights recently added articles or newly acquired material and so is worth more frequent visits.

There are still details of how to donate, volunteer or sponsor.  And of course, you can still click straight through to the archive itself from any page of the website.

Do take a look and let us know what you think.  Most importantly share the website with your network so the archive can grow more quickly. If you have any problems or comments please send them to admin@amsr.org.uk. The website address is www. amsr.org.uk

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Colin McDonald oversees the cataloguing of the Archive

We are especially pleased to have on file a copy of the Hulton Readership Survey of 1949 – the very first English readership survey, with commentary by Jim Hobson and Harry Henry and designed by Mark Abrams. This copy was presented to us by Ron Carpenter, who years ago rescued it from a skip at a time when the Mirror Group were moving offices. It is an impressive document, mega folio size, and a challenge to photograph, but thanks to the help of MORI’s photography department we have managed it, and it can be read in full on the website.

We have now received over 600 books: these include the libraries of Paul Harris and Martin Collins, who both sadly passed away during 2017, and many contributions from other donors. They contain a very large collection of statistical and methodological books relevant to research, going back to the 1950s.

The Market Research Abstracts were published twice a year from 1963 to 1997 and contain abstracts of papers from a wide range of journals and other sources relevant to research. The Abstracts can be viewed in full on the Archive’s website.

British Public Opinion was published by MORI (Market and Opinion Research International), the company founded by Sir Robert Worcester, from 1979 to 2003. These highly detailed journals contain a mass of information from polls and surveys giving a fascinating insight into the political topics of the time. We are grateful to Sir Robert Worcester for making these journals available to the Archive.

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We are immensely grateful to Geoffrey Roughton who oversees the Pulse Train Legacy, for the gift of an additional scanner.

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Peter Bartram writes:

At this year’s MRS Conference the MRS kindly provided a place for the AMSR to display its wares and tell passers-by about its development and current scope.  In addition to a large banner, a laptop providing access to the AMSR website, and various pieces of promotional literature, considerable interest was shown in a simple one-page quiz devised by Geoff Wicken, which contained five research-related questions. The winner was to be offered a bottle of champagne and £100, both donated by a leading AMSR supporter, Kirsty Fuller.

The quiz was completed by 41 conference delegates and, with nobody answering all questions correctly, an interesting picture emerged of their historical misperceptions. Faye Banks of Lloyds Banking Group made only one error, and was revealed to all delegates as the winner by an announcement during the final full session of the conference.

All questions were based on material to be found in the AMSR archive, and looking at the results from the 41:

  • People were asked to say whether they thought overall satisfaction with the NHS, at 63% in 2016, is higher or lower than it was 20 years ago, as measured by the annual British Social Attitudes Survey. Most incorrectly assumed there has been a decline in satisfaction with the NHS, and only 27% guessed that in 1998 it was at exactly the same 63% level as in 2016.
  • It was not very surprising that few could recall the 1983 general election predictions and results which were contained in the MORI British Public Opinion Report at the time. We asked which party’s support was inflated by the (relatively new) telephone polling method. Most seemed to assume a slightly up-market sampling method would inflate the reported Tory support. In fact, it was support for the Liberal/ SDP Alliance which these polls over-inflated, and only 37% correctly recognised this.
  • Early TGI Reports now in the archive reveal that in the 1960s as many as 47% of adults were ‘doing the pools’ and this had decreased to 28% by 1992, their further decline no doubt hastened by the birth of the National Lottery. People were asked in the quiz to say whether the pools still exist or if so, the current percentage using them. Only 39% correctly guessed that 3% use the pools nowadays, and as many as 54% thought they no longer exist.
  • Finally, in the MRS Newsletters of 1983, it was proudly announced that an MRS Member, George Vassilliou, had become Prime Minister of a Mediterranean country. Of the three options offered in the quiz, 27% said it was Greece, 34% that it was Malta, and only 39% correctly recalled it was Cyprus. George had run the successful Middle East Marketing Research Bureau (MEMRB) and older MRS Members were less likely to forget this, having met or seen him at various MRS and ESOMAR Conferences at around that time.

Altogether, this little exercise in collective memories and facts has illustrated the variety of information contained within the AMSR, and has shown that it can correct many misperceptions of the marketing and social realities of life in the UK. Any current researcher keen to show knowledge of developing markets and social environments will do well to use it, the better to inform their future.

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AMSR now has a firm structure, as required by the Charities Commission.

 

Trustee Board

Chairman: Dr  Liz Nelson OBE
Secretary:  Ian Brace
Peter Bartram
Bryan Bates
John Downham
Jane Frost
Raz Khan
Judie Lannon
Simon Patterson
Adam Phillips
Phyllis Vangelder 

Executive Committee

Chairman:  Adam Phillips
Vice Chairman: Peter Bartram
Treasurer:  Raz Khan
Ian Brace
Bryan Bates
Phyllis Vangelder

Administrator: Gill Wareing

Other busy committees cover Marketing, Contents, Governance and Finance.

We wish to ensure that every sector of market and social research is included in the Archive. We have teams of Special Advisors covering Social Research, Qualitative Research and other specialist areas. Please get in touch with Bryan Bates, Chairman of the Contents Committee if you can help us in searching for relevant material in specific sectors e.g. central and local government research, children’s research, retail, travel, finance, motoring etc.

AMSR is supported by an extremely efficient and hardworking volunteer team of cataloguers and scanners headed by Sue Nosworthy, Pam Walker and John Kelly. They are always in need of additional help, so if you have a few hours a month to spend in very convivial company, please contact one of the above. You will be made very welcome in the ‘engine room’ kindly donated by Ipsos MORI in Harrow. (It is very easily accessible, just opposite Harrow-on-the Hill Station on the Metropolitan  line and the central Harrow Bus Station).

Newsletter 9 – January 2018

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What’s in this issue:

Over the last few months, we have received a gratifying number of additions to the Archive and the mammoth task of reviewing, scanning, cataloguing and putting their data on our online system is in full swing.

In addition to summary reports, which are already in the Archive, we are getting all historic records of TGI. We have also received, inter alia, more precious books from the Paul Harris Collection and material from the late Martin Collins.

We have been offered the MORI Archive and have begun reviewing and scanning this – a huge task as they have some 32,000 files stored at their warehouse in Northampton. As a pilot project, we are reviewing 47 boxes. Bryan Bates, Chairman of the Contents Committee, has written an article about the mammoth but interesting task.

We also have an article from Barry Leventhal who has worked unstintedly on reviewing and sorting Census and Geodemographics material.

Raz Khan brings us up-to date with news on the online Archive. It is still in a Beta state, but we hope you will experiment with it and let us have feedback about its use.

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Raz Khan writes:

It’s very interesting how important nomenclature can be, especially when you move into an area outside of your personal expertise. When we first started looking for a system to house our archive, our searches kept presenting us with document management systems, which are aimed at companies who digitise all their paperwork, and happen to be extremely expensive.

It was only when we stumbled across library management in an alternative search that we discovered a whole new world, and of course, like any discovery, it seemed so obvious in retrospect. There are many individuals and organisations holding small specialist archives who want to make them available to the wider world via the internet. After some investigation of the field we settled on a product called ContentDM from OCLC, the Online Computer Library Centre. It offers an excellent starting point for our archive and is very competitively priced.

The online archive complements our physical archive of materials held at The History of Advertising Trust (HAT) in Norfolk. Interested people can visit HAT to see the original documents and enjoy the feel and smell of old (and not so old) paper. However the online archive can help users understand what we have and identify documents of interest. In many cases we have the complete documents scanned but for copyrighted items such as books and some journals we are only permitted to scan the cover and contents pages. In such cases the originals can be studied at HAT.

Thanks to our brilliant team of scanners we now have a large number of documents online. These include MORI’s British Public Opinion, a fascinating record of political polling, and the key MRS publications: Survey, The MRS Newsletter and Research Magazine.

The documents are scanned for text as part of the publication process so you can search the archive and it will present items that contain your search. While it might seem frivolous you can search for yourself and see the articles you may have had published, the job changes you made and the adverts in which you were mentioned. It can provide a fascinating timeline.

However the archive will more likely be of benefit to those looking to investigate the development of techniques (read Barry Leventhal’s article on the Geodemographics section to see how this now widely accepted technique was quite controversial at the time) or those who want to understand how the industry developed. I doubt anyone in the 1950s anticipated the global players that now exist, or the broader footprint that insight now encompasses.

So please feel free to look at our online archive and see how far it has come; it will continue to grow as we collect material in the months and years to come. And of course please send us your feedback to help us improve what we’re offering.

The archive can be seen at https://amsr.contentdm.oclc.org.

Please send any feedback to admin@amsr.org.uk.

Bryan-Bates

Bryan Bates, Chairman of the Contents Committee writes:

While a significant number of leading research suppliers have already destroyed their own back history, there are still many which hold copies of research studies going back a number of years. One of the objects of the AMSR is to retrieve documents like these, store them safely for future generations and make them accessible for study now by anyone with an interest in the development of research since the mid-1950s or even earlier.

Many such projects were conducted on a one-off basis, but some have been repeated or set up to run on a continuous basis. In most cases these reports are languishing in cellars and store cupboards to which few people have access. Indeed, it is often the case that the companies owning these documents may not even themselves know exactly what they hold.

One such data owner which has now donated a great deal of information to our Archive is Ipsos MORI. We have been granted access to the MORI data store which covers a vast range of research studies and we have permission to reproduce a selection of these and make them available on our website. There are some 32,000 items for us to consider and it will take quite some time for us to sift through all of them to select those which seem likely to be of general interest. We have made a start on reproducing them, and before long we shall be adding the ones we have selected to our website. Archive users will thus be able to access many reports which until now have been locked away from view.

MORI is not the only company co-operating with us in this way and we shall be adding selected data from many other organisations in the future. So, anyone willing to contribute data in this way is encouraged to contact us so that we can discuss the options.

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Barry Leventhal writes:

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the MRS conference presentation that brought geodemographics to the attention of a wide audience of market researchers.  Therefore it is appropriate that the Archive includes a section for materials documenting geodemographic developments, products and solutions which should be of great interest to many current researchers.

A number of early papers are on their way into the Archive – this update identifies some of those from the early days, going back to projects from the 1970s that underpinned the development of area classifications.

In the UK, much of this work was being carried out in the 1970s by Richard Webber, while at the Centre for Environmental Studies (CES).  Webber’s projects progressed from regional studies to national studies and from large area to small area classifications.

For example, an early regional project was the Liverpool Social Area Study (1975) which is being included in the Archive.

A couple of years later, this was followed by the first national classifications, which were joint projects between the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) and CES.

A series of national classifications were produced at different levels of geography, and the Archive will include example results for the segmentation of wards and parishes, based on 40 variables from the 1971 Census.  These clusters were then amalgamated to form seven ‘families’ – the Archive document demonstrates their performance and maps their occurrence in different parts of the country.

This classification was the forerunner of ACORN; its utility to market research was examined by Ken Baker, John Bermingham and Colin McDonald in their 1979 MRS Conference paper. They identified the enormous potential of the technique as a market research tool, and so this moment is generally regarded as the launch of the geodemographics industry.

However, the classification did not go unchallenged – in 1980, Stan Openshaw and colleagues published a critique of the national classifications, pointing out that the results were highly dependent upon the methods used and decisions taken during the classification process.

Richard Webber very swiftly wrote a response to this critique; both the critique and the response are being included in the Archive.

The new classification was acquired by CACI and rebranded ACORN – the Archive will include CACI reports and documentation from the early 80s.

The mid-80s was a period of great activity in the industry amongst the commercial companies which exploited the new technique.  The academics responded with their own classification in 1985, launching SuperProfiles – their paper, to be found in the Archive, describes it as ‘A poor man’s ACORN’.

And so the geodemographics industry, which will be 40 years old next year, was born – key steps in its conception will be found in the Archive.

References to papers in the Archive:

Webber RJ. Liverpool social area study, 1971 Data. Centre for Environmental Studies; London: 1975. PRAG Technical Paper 14.

Webber RJ. OPCS/CES Classification of Wards and Parishes in Great Britain, 1977.

Webber RJ. Parliamentary constituencies : a socio-economic classification.

Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, 1978.

Occasional paper – Office of Population Censuses and Surveys ; 13.

Openshaw S, Cullingford D, Gillard A. A critique of the national classifications of OPCS/PRAG. Town Planning Review. 1980;51 (4):421.

Webber RJ. A response to the critique of the national classifications of OPCS/PRAG. The Town Planning Review. 1980;51 (4):440–50.

Charlton ME, Openshaw S, Wymer C. Some new classifications of census enumeration districts in Britain: A poor man’s ACORN. Journal of Economic and Social Measurement. 1985;13:69–96.

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Robin Birn writes:

Positioning AMSR

Progress has been made with the research the Executive Committee requested to understand the best ways to position AMSR and help implement its development strategy.  The research has been carried out with commercial and social research companies, research commissioners, academics working in marketing and research, media users of research findings and charities that support social research or might support a research archive.

The research has confirmed that the concept of an archive such as the AMSR is thought to be what the market research industry should have.  Research companies acknowledge that the content could be useful for their executives in their companies for proposal and report writing, helping to demonstrate their command of relevant techniques and markets.

But the research has also found that academics are the most enthusiastic: they talk about it as their ‘raw material’, which currently cannot be accessed via libraries and online subscription services.  Academics expect the Archive to be helpful for suggesting themes for PhD theses, project work and even to develop new educational programmes as demand increases for Business Courses, apart from inspiring their own books and papers.

Further research will be carried out as the AMSR Executive Committee develops and refines its strategy and more audiences are evaluated as opportunities for the Archive – new findings will be reported in future Newsletters.

Some of the things Senior Lecturers at Southampton and Birkbeck Universities said:

“It’s the idea of the social history of Britain sitting in one place, not just of opinions themselves but also the art and craft of understanding opinion, particularly in the light of the current focus on opinion polls”.

“The idea of an archive is a good one, given that that a meaningful record of the industry is almost completely absent from the business archives. Also, as the industry has been such a touchpoint for so many key aspects of social and commercial life in the UK I would imagine that there are some interesting stories to tell”.

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Geoff Wicken is producing fascinating data from TGI which highlight attitudes about current concerns. Long-term trend analysis ot TGI data, including the data held by AMSR, lets us see how consumer behaviour has evolved and how it will continue to do so.

Sexual Harassment

Inappropriate behaviour in some high-profile environments is headline news today, but it has long been a matter of concern.  25 years ago in 1992, the vast majority of the public had a clear view about what constituted sexual harassment. There was little disagreement about what was problematic, even though in those days, it was tolerated.  Close to 90% of both female and male workers considered both sexual innuendos and inappropriate physical contact to be sexual harassment.

The survey was conducted by MORI in September 1992 for the General Municpal Boilermakers’ Union (GMB) as part of its campaign to raise the level of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace.


Millennials

Generational differences are sometimes considered one of the fault lines in Britain today. The the predicament of Millennials is much discussed as a societal and political challenge.

Examination of research data from TGI confirms that the position of today’s 20-34 year-olds is indeed worse in important ways than that of their equivalents of 30 years ago.  Furthermore it allows us to understand the scale of the challenge in informed and comparative terms.

Today just 36% of Millennials (defined as being aged 20-34) own their own home – be it outright or with a mortgage.  In 1987 fully 64% of 20-34s did.  Increases in the costs of purchasing property have had the very significant effect that 55% are renting their homes compared with 33% of 20-34s in 1987.

 

More details of these surveys are on our website, www.amsr.org.uk

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As more and more people from the industry become involved with AMSR, we realise a community is growing: we are taking immense pleasure in renewing our friendships with previous colleagues. We have a wonderful team of scanners and cataloguers, spearheaded by Sue Nosworthy. But we will always welcome those wish to join the volunteer teams. On the Contents Committee we should particularly like to hear from specialists in specific product or service areas who would like to collect and review material on, for instance, travel, product testing, motoring, finance. Contact: Bryan Bates (bryanabates@mac.com); Phyllis Vangelder (phyllis.vangelder@gmail.com), or Sue Nosworthy (suenos1@gmail.com).

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Here are some of the good things people are already saying about the AMSR:

“The birth of AMSR should be greeted not just with polite enthusiasm, but with something approaching joy. It will inform, delight, inspire and illumine all those who are intelligent enough to use it”. (Jeremy Bullmore, non-Executive Director WPP and Past President of The Market Research Society)

“By showing what has gone before, an archive can help us avoid wasting time on reinventing techniques that have been used before. It allows us to build on our predecessors’ experience – to see what worked, and equally importantly, what didn’t!

Also, by holding data on many markets over time, we can see how those markets developed – which brands survived, and which didn’t – and importantly why.” (Dame Dianne Thompson, former CEO of Camelot Group and past President of the MRS)

“I’m sure there must be a business opportunity for brand agencies or consultants or researchers to routinely explore the AMSR archive on behalf of their clients – unless, of course, the clients are smart enough to do it themselves ….” (Paul Feldwick, leading author and consultant on brands, advertising and corporate strategy)

An archive of market research offers us, in principle, insights into all aspects of human life – what people ate, what they wore, the way they talked, the ways they amused themselves, travelled, communicated, lived, loved and died”. (Paul Feldwick)

Newsletter 8 – October 2017

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The archive is ready to go live

After two years of unstinting effort by its many supporters, the Archive is at last becoming a solid reality, with an impressive range of research material accessible to all. Over recent months, this has been made possible by a flow of volunteers, reviewing, scanning and cataloguing the wealth of material coming into the dedicated room so generously provided by Ipsos MORI at their offices in Harrow.


 The AMSR Core Collection

By the end of October we expect to have the basic ‘crown jewels’ of market and social research material safely housed with the History of Advertising Trust (HAT) under controlled conditions, and visible on the internet. This includes:

  • almost complete sets of the Newsletter and Research Magazine (there are still some missing, see below),
  • complete sets of Commentary, the Journal of The Market Research Society, and Market Research Development Fund publications,
  • Survey Magazine, the Interviewer Newssheet and a complete set of the Market Research Abstracts.
    In addition, we have invaluable collections such as:

from Marie Alexander, mostly on social survey methods,
from Paul Harris, on statistics (see Ken Baker’s article below),
from Gerald Goodhardt, covering the seminal work he and Andrew Ehrenberg conducted at Aske Research and the South Bank University.
in the qualitative sector we are promised the Mary and John Goodyear Collection and Peter Cooper’s vast amount of CRAM material.


Target Group Index material

We also hold the ‘25th Anniversary of TGI’ trend reports that were published in 1993, which include top-line year-by-year category data from 1969 to 1993. Links to complete TGI data are being explored. Meanwhile Geoff Wicken whets our appetite below with data from a 2017 TGI survey on football watching behaviour.


The Abstracts

The Abstracts cover every article and paper dating back from the ’60s on the following: survey techniques; statistics, models and forecasting; attitude and behaviour research; psychographics, personality and social psychology; communications, advertising and media research; applications of research; industrial market research; market research and general applications and new product development.


Continuous Media Audience Surveys

We are building links to industry continuous measurement surveys including:

  • TGI; BARB (previously JICTAR); RAJAR. (Radio Joint Audience Research), BBC Audience Research; BARB (previously JICTAR);
  • JICNARS (Joint Industry Committee for National Readership Surveys) is now defunct, but PAMCo (Publishers Audience Measurement Company) took over from the NRS in January 2016 and will start publishing data as AMP in 2018. We shall thereby have links to the all-important NRS back data.

Geodemographic and Census Data

We have now signed a contract with Content DM, whereby all our data will be online and searchable. Where possible, we will scan it before it goes to HAT. With the help of Barry Leventhal we are amassing a great deal of geodemographic and census material, much of which is already digitised, and this will be searchable on the system.


Books

In the case of books we are scanning the title and contents pages before they go to HAT and already have hundreds of books on social and market research. They include classics such as Stanley Payne’s The art of asking questions first published in 1951 by Princeton University Press and Why do buses come in threes? The hidden mathematics of everyday life by Bob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham, with its intriguing chapters on e.g. ‘How many people watch Coronation Street? From potato crisps to snooker balls, from card tricks to insurance, from code-breaking to bus-waiting everything on this book reminds us of the importance of mathematics. It is indicative of the full range of the Archive, which covers the whole gamut of life collected and interpreted by professional researchers.


Who is it for?

This preliminary listing is just like dipping a toe in the water to illustrate the richness of material that is becoming available in this unique archive, which will be available to everyone including research practitioners, academic staff and students, journalists, and even the general public.

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The archive could not happen without our army of dedicated volunteers. We are immensely grateful to Sue Nosworthy who organises the wonderful teams of people who go regularly to Harrow to scan the vast amount material stacked in boxes and on marked shelves: Pam Walker; Christine Eborall; Sheila Robinson; Paddy Costigan; Mike Fernie, Kay Garmeson; and Ed Newton.

Led by Bryan Bates, the experienced Content Review Team consisting of Ken Baker, Peter Bartram, Colin McDonald, Jim Rothman and Phyllis Vangelder, has the often difficult task of deciding what goes into the Archive and what does not. Everyone does some cataloguing (always referring to Colin McDonald who has masterminded our system of coding the diverse material).  Felicity Fitzgerald is also helping with cataloguing, and increasingly many of the scanners are doing this too.


More Volunteers Still Needed

We would welcome more volunteers with open arms. AMSR now has daily access to the room at Ipsos MORI during office hours and people are welcome to come regularly or at ad hoc intervals. After a brief training session, the work is straightforward, and they usually work in teams of two or three and break for convivial lunches at a nearby pub or coffee house. The work is not intellectually demanding, but it is satisfying and fun to work with like-minded colleagues on such a worthwhile project. If you would like to join in this, please do contact us via our website.

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The Archive has been delighted to receive some 100 learned tomes and a large collection of seminal papers and journals from that wonderful teacher of statistical matters in research, Paul Harris. These are of undying value to anyone concerned to know how MR Statistics should be taught or learned. The size of the collection has put most of his fellow ‘stattos’ to shame, but not to worry too much, — not all of Paul’s exhibits have thumb marks on them!

Contained within the collection is that excellent introductory volume of thoughts on sampling and statistics by Hague and Harris. It is essential reading for all researchers new to, or only lightly acquainted with, the range of sampling techniques, distributions and appropriate significance tests available to the researcher. I am sure readers will be overjoyed to find that this volume is also available in Russian and Swedish, such is the ‘global’ impact of this work. The Collection spans virtually the whole range of tools available for the analysis of data, covering experimental design, a variety of multivariate analysis techniques, an evaluation of various methods of attitude scaling, and papers on individual research sectors e.g. readership research.


All this and Turing too

Perhaps the hidden jewel in the collection is a paper written in the late ’40s by one L. Fox entitled ‘Practical methods for solutions to linear equations’. This somewhat daunting title relates to matrix algebra, the underlying maths behind factor and principal component analysis often used to make sense of and summarise attitude batteries. To our delight we found the paper referred to the work of a certain gentleman named Alan Turing. To help him understand the Turing methodology, Paul attached some handwritten notes in which he is trying to solve some complex mathematical problem using Turing method. Needless to say, nobody has tried to check Paul’s calculations, but we assume Paul cracked the problem – he usually did, bless him.

Thank you so much Paul.

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One of our AMSR trustees has recently been honoured by the Marketing Society. Judie Lannon, the founding editor of Market Leader, is now an Honorary Fellow of the Marketing Society. This is announced in Issue 4 of the journal October 2017. We are very grateful that, when she was interviewed for the Journal, she gave our archive a plug. “I’m a trustee of the Archive of Market and Social Research and we’re trying to archive all this wonderful research from the past, from consumer studies to opinion polls, and qualitative research from Peter Cooper’s archive. This ground-breaking work needs to be saved and people will find it has utility”.

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Geoff Wicken writes:

Since 1992, football watchers have now become a better reflection of society

25 years on from the establishment of the Premier League and Sky Sports’ live coverage, we’ve seen huge changes to the game at the elite level in particular, driven by revenues flowing in from TV rights.  The sport’s authorities will be happy that interest in the game has grown over this time, and both TV viewers and match-goers have become more representative of the population at large.  More women are following the sport, and older adults are more engaged.  But in parallel with this modernisation some things seem to have disappeared – does anyone still do the football pools?

Numbers watching on TV

The TGI research survey for 2017 reports 19.4 million adults (defined as aged 15 and over) as saying they watch football on TV, up from 14.6 million in 1992.  That may not be a surprise given the volume of football broadcast, but 60% of this growth has comes from women, the number of whom expressing their interest has almost doubled to 6.6 million.  While that doesn’t make for an even gender split, the female audience is now a third of the total rather than a quarter.

Armchair Viewing Profiles

The ageing of the population is also seen in the TV football audience: over 45s now represent 55% of viewers, up from 46% in 1992.   But the converse is the decline in viewing by 15-24 year-olds.  They’re now only 12% of viewers, compared to 19% back in 1992.  A combination of factors that didn’t exist back then is probably at play here: social media didn’t exist, and gaming was in its infancy.  Some are substituting the virtual for the real thing: 15-24s are the biggest players of ‘FIFA’.

Attendance at Matches

Similar demographic shifts have occurred among those going to games: there are more women, more over 45s and fewer 15-24s.  In all, 5.8 million say they have paid to watch a football match during the last 12 months – slightly up from 5.6 million in 1992.  All this increase has come from more women attending: back then, 900,000 reported doing so and now it’s 1.1 million.  That’s still a small proportion – not even 20% of the total – but it is at least a move in a healthy direction.

15-24s are still most likely to have the attendance habit, but from being 30% of match-goers 25 years ago they are now only 19%.  The big growth has been among over 45s, who now make up 44% of paying customers, compared to 28% in 1992.  They may be better able to afford admission prices than younger fans, and probably find stadiums more welcoming nowadays.  Of course, many of today’s over 45s were in their twenties or thirties in 1992 and may have stuck with the game over the years.

Social Grade Profile

Within football grounds, more adults from the AB social grades than DEs are found now.  Some of this change is due to the direction in which the overall population has moved.  ABs now make up 27% of the population and 32% of match-goers; in 1992 they were 18% of both.  For them, just as for the over 45s, greater affluence and a better match experience is a winning combination.

Football Flutters

The football pools are a much smaller part of the football world than they once were.  In the late 1960s, TGI reported 19 million people as ‘doing the pools’: that was 47% of the adult population.  This had fallen to 13 million or 28% by 1992, and now stands at just 1.6 million or 3%.  The National Lottery has largely replaced it as a weekly flutter of course, and almost 6 million now bet specifically on football.  Watford’s half-back from the 1930s, Arthur Woodward, benefitted from a pools’ win in later life and was able to live comfortably from the proceeds.  Such stories are now associated with the EuroMillions.


All in all, the increased interest levels among women and the greater engagement of older adults are positive indicators for football as a sport.  Conversely lower social groups have been drifting away, and the football authorities might do well to think about ways of maintaining the interest of younger adults.

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We are still missing the following early issues of the Newsletter and its successor publication, the Research Magazine.  Please check you cupboards and attics!

1966 April, May
1967 May, June, July, August, October, November, December
1968 January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1969 January, May, June, July, September, November, December
1971 July
1972 September
1974 July, August, December
1976 April
1977 April
1991 May, September, October, November, December
1992 June, October
1993 December
1995 February, July, September, October, December
1996 February, May, August, December
1997 July, September

If you have any of these issues, please do contact …

Phyllis Vangelder (phyllis.vangelder@gmail.com)

or Peter Bartram (peter.bartram1@btinternet.com)

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Because AMSR is a charity, it is run on strictly structured lines with Adam Phillips as Chairman of the Executive, Liz Nelson as Chairman of the Trustee Board, Ian Brace as Secretary and Raz Khan as Treasurer (and IT guru). There are Committees for Marketing, Finance, Governance and Content and we now have a part-time Administrator Gill Wareing.

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Why academics are so enthusiastic about the archive:

“I can take almost any data set and turn it into a story”

Extract from one of Judith Wardle’s interviews with academics about the archive.

Newsletter 7 – June 2017

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AMSR has identified various supporter categories and Patrons are very special individuals or organisations who have made outstanding contributions to AMSR, either financially or in other practical ways. We are very proud that Sir Robert Worcester and Geoffrey Roughton have agreed to become our first Founding Gold Patrons.

To any audience of market and social researchers, Bob Worcester needs no introduction. He is also a well-known public figure in British public opinion research and political circles.  He is renowned as an authoritative media commentator, especially about voting intentions in British and American elections.

He founded MORI, then a joint venture of ORC (Opinion Research Corporation) in 1969, becoming the joint owner four years later. Following the sale of MORI to the French research company Ipsos in October 2005, he became Chairman of Ipsos Public Affairs Research Advisory Board and an International Director of the Ipsos Group. Subsequently, in 2007 he became Senior Advisor to Ipsos MORI.

Sir Robert was appointed KBE in 2005 in recognition of ‘outstanding services rendered to political, social and economic research and for contribution to government policy and programmes’.

He has made an outstanding contribution to academic and public life. He was Chancellor of the University of Kent 2007-2014, is an Emeritus Governor of the LSE and Visiting Professor in the Government Department and is also Visiting Professor in the Institute of Contemporary British History at King’s College London and Honorary Professor in the Department of Political and International Studies at Warwick University. Sir Robert is an Honorary Fellow of the LSE and King’s College London and holds six honorary degrees and the Distinguished Graduate Award of the University of Kansas.

He became a Patron of The Market Research Society in 2012.

Among his many public offices he is Deputy Chairman and Trustee of the Magna Carta Trust and chaired the Magna Carta 2015 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee.

He is closely involved in the county of Kent. He and his wife Margaret live at the 13th century Allington Castle on the River Medway in Kent, and he is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Kent.

We are very grateful for the support Sir Robert has given to the Archive, not only financially, but by donating a complete set of British Public Opinion and other valuable archive material. we look forward to his continuing involvement in the work of the Archive.


Geoffrey Roughton was one of the ‘three wise’ people who conceived the Archive, before its current position as an active and vibrant charity. John Downham, Liz Nelson and Geoffrey laid the foundations of AMSR – they were the ‘grandparents’ of the idea  and we are delighted that Geoffrey now becomes comes one of our distinguished Founding Gold Patrons.

Geoffrey’s career in market research began in 1955 with Television Audience Measurement Ltd which started the first metered TV audience measurement service in Europe. He went on to found MAS Research Ltd in 957 (later absorbed into TNS). He was MAS’s Director in charge of The Londoner, which was the first major survey in Britain (and Europe) to be analysed on a computer and then MAS became the first market research company to have its own computer (an IBM 1130) on its own premises. After selling MAS he joined Alan Hendrickson in Pulse Train Ltd in 1986. He went on to become Chairman and CEO of Pulse Train Ltd in 1998 before being joined by Pat Molloy and going on to merge Pulse Train with Confirmit AS in 2007. He is now embarking on a third career as Chief Executive Officer of X-MR.

Geoffrey believes strongly that we have a debt to the next generation of researchers to make them aware of where they are coming from. He says, “We make history by what we do; we pass it to future generations by recording it and making those records readily available…not just for researchers, but society as a whole”.

In addition to his generous financial contribution to the Archive, Geoffrey is responsible for the scanning system given to AMSR by the former shareholders of Pulse Train Ltd in memory of Alan Hendrickson. The material, now being scanned by volunteers before it goes to the HAT, is the bedrock of our Archive collection.

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AMSR has been looking for a system to store its content online so that it can be assessed by interested parties. It has now contracted to go with ContentDM provide by OCLC (The Online Computer Library Centre) which is a US ‘not-for-profit organisation ‘dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing information costs’. The basic principle of the system is to organise our archive into collections. As we have already begun to do this, by having specialist teams within content e.g. geodemographics, qualitative etc. This should not be a problem. Colin McDonald is leading the planning of metadata tags for each collection.

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We are very keen for you to provide us with your opinions on the progress, content and usefulness of the archive.  Your opportunity to do this lies in the short questionnaire quickly accessed via this link:  https://survey.cmix.com/16D3325F/7E3ABC4Q/en-US  (which incidentally is mobile and tablet compatible).

Researchers are notoriously reluctant to respond to such invitations, but we need your guidance so please take a look and let’s hear from you. (Note: Unless you wish otherwise, your responses will not be traceable to you individually).

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We are delighted to announce that Critical Mix is a New Gold Sponsor. This company specialises in online survey research, and it is much appreciated that its Managing Director, Colin Turner-Kerr, has arranged for the company to give its time and skills to organising our questionnaire and facilitating the analysis of its results.

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We will always be profoundly grateful to Network Research, and particularly Ginny Monk and her Office Manager Brian Suckling, for the space and support they have given to the Archive throughout its crucial formative months. However, now that we have recruited more volunteers for the digitising and cataloguing tasks, and have collected more books, journals, and other research materials, extra space is undoubtedly needed.

It is therefore much appreciated that Ipsos MORI have now offered us a much larger room on the 7th floor of their Operations Centre in Harrow. At 10ft x 15ft, it is twice the size of our existing room at Network Research and we can have access on five days a week at any time during the working hours of 9-5.

The Ipsos MORI office relaxation area

The Ipsos MORI office relaxation area

The move to these Ipsos MORI offices will take place during June. They are within 400 yards of Harrow-on-the-Hill bus and tube stations, the latter providing an easy journey via the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines from central London.

We are very grateful to Ben Page, Shaun Fisher and Robert O’Neill at Ipsos MORI for making this new space available to the Archive.  But as it finally becomes a fully-stocked and accessible reality, we will always remember and recognise Ginny, Brian and Network Research as being among the first of those who helped to make the Archive happen.

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“I think that it the idea of an archive is a good one, given that a meaningful record of the industry is almost completely absent from the business archives. Also, as the industry has been such a touchpoint for so many key aspects of social and commercial life in the UK I would imagine that there are some interesting stories to tell.”

– Extract from interviews with academics conducted by Judith Wardle

“If I hadn’t been a market researcher I would never have written a line”

– Peter Wallis (aka Peter York)

Newsletter 6 – March 2017

Jeremy-Bullmore

Even without the recent disinterment of two fifty-year-old reports, I’d have been greatly in favour of an archive of market and social research.  But because of those two reports, I’m an ardent evangelist.

Many years ago, perhaps in part because past chairman Dr John Treasure had been one of HAT’s founding fathers, J Walter Thompson London committed boxes of its internal memos, research reports and actual advertisements to the custody of the History of Advertising Trust.

At the end of last year, in celebration of HAT’s fortieth birthday, JWT staged an exhibition of some of those archived articles.  Among them were a 1963 report on research done by JWT about Nescafé and another from the same period about credit cards.

In 1963, there were no UK credit cards, and this research suggests why. A clear majority of people disapproved of the whole idea of credit cards.  Though the sample was small, women disapproved more than men and by social class, AB’s (theoretically the group most likely to welcome them) disapproved more than C’s.  In 1963, on that evidence alone, a future for credit cards looked bleak.  Barclays customers disapproved of credit cards more than the customers of other banks.

The Barclaycard was launched in 1966.  Today, it has over 10 million UK customers.

Also in 1963, there was almost universal resistance to the idea of drinking coffee for breakfast.  Coffee was thought of as an upper class, elitist drink.  Ground coffee had great social status, which in part precluded it from being an everyday drink.  Instant coffee was the object of some scorn, being seen as the poor substitute for the real thing which was too exclusive.  Its reputation was not helped by the existence of Camp Coffee, which older readers may remember.  It came in a bottle whose label showed a Gordon Highlander in full uniform and a Sikh soldier sitting down together outside a tent.  Inside the bottle was a brown liquid which consisted of water, sugar, 4% caffeine-free coffee essence, and 26% chicory essence.  You can still find it today.

There were, of course, no coffee bars.

All these thoughts, memories and reflections have been triggered by a few deeply ordinary pages of typescript which, by the grace of God, had been entrusted to the care of HAT.  They contain not just hard data, mapping a couple of markets of just over 50 years ago, valuable though that is.  At least as importantly, they evoke a feeling for those times, informing not just professors of marketing but social historians and novelists and agency planners and creative people.  They shed light on the general:  just how we can be misled by early research into thinking that the new will never become acceptable; and also on the particular: the transformation of this country’s attitude to coffee (and therefore to tea) has been one of recent history’s more significant cultural shifts.

Those ordinary pages of typescript prompted one further thought.  There’s an odd perception that archives appeal only to the more mature amongst us.  And I suppose it’s true that the older we get, the more likely we are to appreciate how valuable an understanding of the past can be in grappling with the problems of the present.  But of course, the older we are, the more likely we are to be able to remember Camp Coffee for ourselves.  It follows that the younger people are, the further away they are from those rich and rewarding past events – both the great events and the revealingly trivial.  And the greater the distance that separates them personally from the past, the greater the value to them of a comprehensive, easily accessible archive.

The birth of AMSR should be greeted not just with polite enthusiasm.  It should be greeted with something approaching joy.  It will inform, delight, inspire and illumine all those who are intelligent enough to use it.

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An event for supporters of the AMSR:

The AMSR held a prestigious event for supporters of the AMSR to showcase the Archive on 23 February at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) in Belgrave Square. Despite the best efforts of storm Doris there was an excellent turnout of supporters and volunteers.

Dame Dianne Thompson, President of the MRS and former CEO of Camelot, opened the event by thanking all those companies and individuals that have supported the Archive financially, and those who have donated research materials, as well as talking about Camelot’s use of research.

Dame Dianne was followed by Paul Feldwick, author of The Anatomy of Humbug: How to Think Differently About Advertising. He talked about the relevance of an archive of market and social research not only as a source of historical information about the way our society has changed over the last 70 years, but also as a very relevant source of people working today in marketing and communication about what we have learned, and why the past contains lessons for the future, in spite of a pervasive belief that the rules have changed and what happened in the past is irrelevant. Lessons from the past can only be learned if the records have not been suppressed or destroyed.

Full texts of their talks can be read here:

Dame Diane Thompson: Research at Camelot

Paul Feldwick: This is not Year Zero – how we should think about the past

Ian Brace, the Archive’s Secretary thanked the sponsors who have supported the Archive in the past year. He explained the strategy for the Archive and the different target groups it is intended to serve. Paper records will be held securely at the History of Advertising Trust and the plan is to scan as much of the material as possible and make it available over the internet. Financially, it is secure for the next 2 years, but there will be a need for ongoing financial support to maintain it in the future.

Adam Phillips closed the event by thanking the speakers and the audience for their support. He encouraged them to consider whether they, or their colleagues, would be able to help the Archive locate relevant material. A number of libraries of relevant material have been lost in the recent past, including a unique store of policy research and social history held by the Central Office of Information which seems to have been dispersed when the COI was disbanded. He asked people who thought they might know where suitable material could be found, or who were willing to help in others ways, to contact Gill Wareing at gillm.wareing@ntlworld.com .

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Thanks to the generous support of a wide range of individuals and companies the AMSR has reached its fund-raising target for the year 2016-17. This has allowed us to deposit our first batch of content with the History of Advertising Trust who will be managing the Archive.

We would like to thank the following founder sponsors who have generously supported the AMSR in its first year of operation. Without them none of this would be possible:

Founder Platinum Sponsors

John and Mary Goodyear

Kantar/WPP

Founder Gold Sponsors

Chime Insight & Engagement Group

Flamingo

Bryan Bates

Tony Cowling

John Downham

Paul Harris

Liz Nelson

Geoffrey Roughton

Sir Robert Worcester

Founder Silver Sponsors

Cobalt Sky

John Barter

Peter Bartram

Kirsty Fuller

Judie Lannon

Phyllis Macfarlane

Peter Mouncey

Adam Phillips

Cris Tarrant

Founder Friends

Marie Alexander
Frank Macey
Phil Barnard
Colin McDonald
Peter Barton
Peter Menneer
Ruth Betts
Dawn Mitchell
Robin Birn
Don Osborne
Sue and Bill Blyth
QRI
Ian Brace
Malcolm Rigg
Martin Callingham
Peter Southgate
Sir Ivor Crewe
Jake Steadman
Rodney Dick
Humphrey Taylor
Felicity Fitzgerald
Phyllis Vangelder
Mervyn Flack
Janet Weitz
Jane Frost
Alistair Whitmore
Gerald Goodhart
Frank Winter
Geoff Gosling
Graham Woodham
Peter Goudge

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Sue Nosworthy, whom many of you will remember as UK ESOMAR Representative for many years, is now running the AMSR Volunteer teams. She has a record of those who have already volunteered and will welcome anyone who would like to help.

Volunteers are needed in four main categories:

  • Digital scanning: to join our scanning team, digitising material received at the offices of Network Research near Aldgate. This may entail half a day every two weeks on either Tuesdays or Thursdays.
  • Collecting Archive material: having already collected a lot of core industry journals, newsletters etc, we now need to start finding and collecting more material. For this purpose we are putting together a team to contact individual researchers, research companies, client companies and other research sources to find out what research materials they hold and what they are prepared to donate to the Archive
  • Promoting the Archive: since the Archive will only be successful if it is used,, a separate team will identify potential academic, commercial and media users, finding out what would most interest them and making the value and relevance of the Archive more widely known.
  • Communication with supporters: fundraising will continue at a much lower level than hitherto and will now focus mostly on maintaining relations with existing investors rather than cold selling. So a team to organise this is required, keeping them informed and making sure that they continue with their funding.

Please contact Sue telling her in which area you would like to take part: suenos1@gmail.com; tel: 07540 134625.

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Does anyone know the whereabouts of Simon Copland, Brian Copland’s son? They had a very valuable collection of books, reports and other data on poster and outdoor research which Phyllis Vangelder catalogued many years ago.  Does this collection still exist and if so, where?

Has anyone got any MRDF or RDF reports they are willing to donate?

The following early issues of Commentary are missing. Has anyone got them?

1, 2, 7, 10, 12

Please let Phyllis know: tel: 020 8904 2019; email: phyllis.vangelder@gmail.com

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As always we have to thank all those who continuously support our work. In particular:

Ginny Monk who lets us have space at Network Research

We are most grateful for the gift of a scanner and associated equipment from the former shareholders of Pulse Train Ltd, in memory of Alan Einer Hendrickson (1936 – 1999) whose innovative ideas were central to the development of computers for market research analysis from 1965 onwards; he was an inspirational entrepreneur. A special thank you is also due to Geoffrey Roughton, who has been so generous and skilful in setting up the scanning device at Network Research.

Thank you also to Raz Khan, who is providing a half-way house for materials at Cobalt Sky.

Earlier newsletters will be added to the website in due course. Please check back regularly to catch our latest bulletins, or better still, subscribe to our newsletter at the top of this page – and be among the first to get the latest AMSR news.