NEWS9 November 2010

BBC seeks ‘best of the best’ to join slimmed-down research roster

New business News UK

UK— The BBC is to re-tender its market research roster, aiming to appoint fewer agencies in the hope of commissioning research in “a more cost effective way”.

Prospective suppliers have until 20 December to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire. Those who are successful at that stage will be invited to tender.

The agreement will cover continuous quantitative studies, ad hoc qual and quant, panel provision, field and tab, and data preparation and analysis. Suppliers with a strong understanding of media research, emerging technologies and hard-to-reach groups are sought, as well as those with the ability to conduct fieldwork in all UK regions and with specialist expertise in particular regions.

The BBC’s acting director of audiences James Holden said: “We are looking for the best of the best from the industry to join our roster. We want to benefit from the most innovative and effective techniques out there and partner with those agencies who display very high professional standards, in line with the BBC’s own commitment to quality. We are looking to work with agencies that will help us get more insight into our audiences but will also work with us to achieve value for money for licence fee payers.”

The agreement will run for two years from Q3 2011, with an option to extend by up to a further two years. The corporation aims to purchase “the majority” of services from agencies on the roster, so the chosen companies “will work on a variety of strategic projects and provide insights in response to ad-hoc research briefs relating to all media platforms and audience groups”.

Holden became acting director of audiences earlier this year when the previous director of audiences, Helen Normoyle, went on maternity leave. Normoyle returned in September as director of marketing.

More information about the tender process is available on the BBC’s website. A briefing for prospective bidders will be held on 29 November at the BBC’s Media Centre in London.