NEWS28 July 2010

GfK and Kantar launch not-for-profit online quality consortium

North America Technology

US— Research rivals GfK and Kantar have partnered to establish a not-for-profit consortium through which they will offer research buyers and suppliers access to a suite of tools to ensure quality in online research.

The launch of the Promedius Group is a bold move by two of the world’s biggest research groups to answer concerns about the reliability of online survey data – concerns that have been articulated in recent years by major client companies such as P&G, Microsoft, Coca-Cola and General Mills.

Promedius’s offer includes tools to validate the physical address of online respondents; to identify respondent uniqueness and overlap across sample sources; to weed out duplicate respondents; and to capture category participation using a common standard.

The technology behind the service was jointly developed by GfK, Kantar and Ipsos, and is being made available for licencing by individual companies in the marketing research industry for their own internal use at no cost.

Kantar CEO Eric Salama said: “By making the tools we have jointly developed available to the entire industry, marketing research suppliers will be able to meet the client need for open, transparent reports that contain consistent quality metrics, allowing them to make cross-supplier comparisons.”

Besides research agencies, Promedius is also in discussions to get pure-play sample providers to sign up to the service, which will initially operate in the US before expanding into other key markets in 2011.

In a joint statement Salama and Debbie Pruent, chief operating officer of GfK Custom Research North America, said: “We are both proud that we have come together to develop a technology, launch a not-for-profit consortium and provide an industry-wide service that can restore confidence in the value of research for all clients and agencies.”