NEWS31 July 2018

MRIA to close its doors

News North America

CANADA – The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA), the not-for-profit organisation representing the market intelligence and survey research industry in Canada, is closing down.

In a memo circulated to members, the association said it will cease day-to-day operations effective as of today ( 31 July), and will be formally wound down during the month of August.

“The Board of Directors reached this decision after careful consideration and consultations. The organization’s current financial situation leaves no other possible alternative,” the memo said.

A MRIA representative confirmed the closure to Research Live, attributing it to a combination of a number of factors, in particular a “significant shortfall” subsequent to a recent conference. The organisation’s annual conference took place last month.

MRIA was founded in 2004 when the Canadian Association of Market Research Organizations (CAMRO), the Canadian Survey Research Council (CSRC) and the Professional Marketing Research Society (PMRS) merged to create one organisation to represent all aspects of the industry in Canada, including polling, social research, competitive intelligence, data mining, insight, and knowledge management. Members include 1,800 individual practitioners, research agencies and buyers of research services.

The association’s services include the MRIA’s code of conduct for market and social research; the Certified Marketing Research Professional (CMRP) designation, a professional standard for researchers in Canada; and Gold Seal certification for member agencies who adhere to an audit every three years.   

Annie Pettit, freelance research advisor and fellow of the MRIA, said: “Without the MRIA, Canadians are left with no marketing research associations to offer guidance, support, or enforcement in relation to standards, ethics, disputes, and legal/government advocacy.

“Members understand the importance of the services provided by the MRIA and are already vowing to find and create solutions, whatever those may be. We have many highly skilled and knowledgeable senior leaders within our industry who will come together to make it happen.”

Following the news, members of the market research and public opinion industry in Canada came together to establish a LinkedIn group to discuss further action. The group’s bio states its purpose is for those with “an interest in saving the MRIA or creating a suitable replacement” and safeguarding the continued relevance of the CMRP designation.

The leaders of CRA Research Associates, Leger 360, Leger Analytics, CRC Research, Nanos Research, Ekos Research Associates, and Environics Research, said they had held a call to discuss the next steps for the industry.

In a joint statement issued by Don Mills, president of CRA Research Associates and Jean-Marc Léger, president of Leger 360, they said: "We are in full agreement that immediate steps should be taken to ensure the upholding of our industry’s world-class standards and the certification process which warrants that the research conducted by Canada's leading research firms is rooted in a foundation of rigorous and ethical data collection. In spite of the difficulties faced by the association, the market research and intelligence industry itself remains vibrant and financially strong.

"We are also in agreement that, in the absence of MRIA, a new organization must be created that will act as the standard-bearer for quality research, industry standards and certification process. We will continue our discussions with a view to launching a new standards and certification body in short order. We will also be broadening our outreach to other industry leaders who share our belief that quality, scientifically-sound research is a critical goal."