NEWS28 March 2019

Canada’s MRIA to relaunch

News North America

CANADA – A group of Canadian market researchers have joined forces to re-launch the Market Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA), the industry organisation that closed its doors in 2018, but the recently formed Canadian Research and Insights Council (CRIC) said the move will cause confusion.

Canadian flag

The consortium has acquired the former MRIA’s assets, including the CRMP certification and Gold Seal designation. Membership is expected to open within the next few days, with the organisation to hold a ‘re-founding’ meeting in the next few weeks.

Several former MRIA staff members are involved in the new organisation, including Lee Robinson, former compliance officer, who will become acting executive director. Dan Jackson, former MRIA member outreach officer, has also been appointed.

MRIA suddenly ceased operations in the summer of 2018, citing financial difficulties, leaving the Canadian market research industry without a representative body. The members of the new consortium have signed a letter pledging to adhere to several principles in a bid to avoid the problems originally faced by the MRIA. Signed by 14 individual researchers, the principles are:

  • An open and transparent industry association
  • An inclusive and safe space for researchers
  • Greater advocacy for the market research industry to the general public
  • Eliminating method bias
  • Constitutional reform
  • Investing in the future of the new MRIA.

In an email memo, the association said: "The old MRIA was perceived by many in the industry as having a bias toward certain methods of polling preferred by certain pollsters. The new body promises there will be no such bias."

The new organisation is developing a new survey registration and verification system, which is expected to be in place by April.

The interim board has also partnered with public affairs agency Counsel Public Affairs, which will provide guidance on the governance of the association and its interactions with regulators and the public service. 

Eli Yufest, president of Campaign Research and a member of the consortium, said: "Our industry has never had an association that was for all researchers. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that the old MRIA couldn’t attract enough members to stay afloat. The new MRIA will be an inclusive space for all research professionals, regardless of background."

The move to relaunch the MRIA follows the formation of a separate organisation, the Canadian Research and Insights Council (CRIC), which was established to represent the industry following the MRIA’s closure.

Launched by the leaders of several market research companies including Ipsos Canada, Leger Analytics and CRC Research, the association partnered with Esomar last month to adopt a localised version of its code of conduct and global standards.

CRIC said the launch of another industry body would result in confusion. In a statement, it said: "Members of CRIC have received news that a small group of individuals including executives from Mainstreet Research and Campaign Research have purchased the intellectual property assets of the former MRIA.

"The CRIC board does not endorse this new initiative and believes it will only result in confusion in the marketplace and with regulators. CRIC is committed to pursuing its mandate of being the standard-bearer for world-class research in Canada. We will continue to promote and advocate for the industry and ensure that CRIC members benefit from the clear recognition by Canadians, regulators and users of research that the CRIC brand stands for the utmost highest quality in research."