NEWS16 November 2020

MSI to join the ARF

Charities M&A News North America

US – The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) will integrate non-profit marketing research body the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) into the organisation.


The agreement, which has been ratified by both boards and will come into effect on 1 January 2021, will see MSI become a division of the ARF.

MSI will retain an advisory board of trustees to direct its work and priorities, with budgetary oversight from the ARF. Scott McDonald, chief executive of the ARF, will sit on MSI’s board, while two MSI representatives will sit on the ARF’s board.

An academic executive director and managing director for the MSI division of the ARF will be hired in due course.

The deal to bring the two organisations together follows the ARF’s acquisition of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement in 2018, which become an affiliate of the organisation.

McDonald said: “The work of the ARF and MSI have always paralleled each other and in recent years increasingly overlapped.

“That is what made this integration so appealing. Now we can jointly pursue a common mission and provide both ARF and MSI members with access to a greatly expanded database and expertise network.”

Sean Bruich, board member at MSI and vice-president of consumer science and insights at Nike, said: “The MSI board of directors is confident that the new combination of ARF and MSI will accelerate innovation in marketing and will create even more value for our member companies.”