NEWS7 March 2019

Kantar to close Scotland office, directors form new agency

FMCG Media News People Public Sector UK

UK – Kantar is closing its TNS office in Edinburgh effective from the end of March, with two directors creating a new research agency from June 2019.

edinburgh at night

Kantar’s Scotland office employs around 20 staff working in political and social research, branding and communications and new product development.

The office was established in 1974 as System Three Scotland and later became part of TNS, which joined Kantar when WPP bought TNS in 2008.

A Kantar spokesperson said: “Like any company, Kantar continually reviews its strategic priorities and takes actions to better position itself for growth. As part of our planning for 2019 we have taken the decision to close our Edinburgh office effective the end of March. We retain some staff in Scotland who will now work on an agile basis. All existing clients continue to be supported.”

WPP is in the process of reviewing Kantar’s ownership, with chief executive Mark Read saying in October that the group needed to make “tough choices” over its future, including whether to sell a stake to a strategic or financial partner. 

WPP’s data investment management business – which includes the Kantar brands and Lightspeed – saw the biggest fall in revenue in 2018, according to the group’s financial results.

Jim Eccleston and Duncan Stewart, senior directors at Kantar TNS Scotland, are launching a research and insights company, 56 Degree Insight. The two will leave TNS in mid-June, when the new company will open its doors.

The agency will work with clients in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK in sectors including tourism and leisure, transport, energy and culture, with consumer and B2B research covering customer experience, brand use and attitude surveys.

Eccleston and Stewart said: “The Edinburgh office has played an important role in the Scottish research scene for many years. Irrespective of ownership, we have prided ourselves on the quality of research undertaken and the vast array of clients, small and large who have benefited from our Scottish-based team.

“We are excited by the prospect of creating 56 Degree Insight, a business which will have at its heart, the desire to service Scottish and other UK clients, large and small, with a bespoke, modern, client-focused research and insights offer.”