NEWS5 November 2009

MRIA seeks to banish ‘chill’ around research in government

Government North America

CANADA— A tripartite symposium is being considered for early 2010 as part of MR industry efforts to convince the national government of the value of research, following a collapse in public opinion research spend.

The Marketing Research & Intelligence Association (MRIA) says a “chill” has set in in government around research after the incumbent Tories were criticised two years ago for presiding over a steep rise in survey expenditure.

In the wake of the criticism, the government pledged to cut C$10m from its public opinion research (POR) bill in the 08/09 financial year, from a high of C$31m in 06/07.

The official report on POR spend is typically published in February, however according to the MRIA’s latest government affairs bulletin the 08/09 bill has been pegged at C$8.1m.

Following a meeting with an adviser to Public Works Minister Christian Paradis in June, the MRIA said: “We determined that the current government has a negative view of POR, which is seen as ‘polling’, essentially ‘political’ in nature, and therefore inappropriate.”

The MRIA believes a re-education is called for and a symposium has been proposed that would see the government, the research industry and academics come together to discuss “the value of POR in government policy development and programme evaluation”.

According to the MRIA, such an initiative will have the support of the Public Works department.