NEWS12 May 2010

Gallup International Association and WIN Network strike merger deal

Europe M&A North America

CANADA— The Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research (WIN) is set to merge with global research and opinion polling body the Gallup International Association (GIA).

WIN Network president Jean-Marc Lèger told Research that the boards of both organisations have already agreed to the merger and members will have the chance to vote at a conference in Austria next week.

Lèger cited a recent fall in GIA membership numbers as a key reason for the merger. Together, the Gallup International/WIN Network will have 52 members around the world. Prior to the merger, WIN had members in 24 countries, 10 of which are also GIA representatives. This would mean GIA had some 38 companies as members before the merger.

GIA once boasted members in 60 countries, but that was before the withdrawal of TNS companies in 2009. In a statement TNS said: “Following WPP’s acquisition of TNS in 2008, it was agreed that TNS would no longer be represented at Gallup International Association, hence the withdrawal of most countries in 2009 – however, some do remain members.

“Although many of the TNS countries left, it should be noted that TNS (and parent company WPP) reserves all rights to the names ‘Gallup’ and ‘Gallup International’ in a number of countries, including Argentina, Norway, Finland and Denmark.”

GIA representatives could not be reached for comment. The association was formed in 1947, and although it was traditionally a public sector and opinion polling body, more and more of its members have started to offer commercial market research in recent years.

Lèger said that the new combined association will “focus on being more business orientated” by prioritising commercial market research offerings, although members will continue to offer public opinion services.

WIN is a global network of market research agencies and was created to help member agencies compete more aggressively with larger MR competitors. It operates on a one-member-per-country basis and Lèger said this policy will not change once the merger with GIA is completed.

UPDATE @ 1.41pm: TNS has just been in touch to inform us that the statement they sent us isn’t entirely correct. Apparently some TNS companies are still involved with GIA. More soon.

UPDATE @ 3.15pm: A revised TNS statement has been added to the story.