NEWS26 January 2018

Obituary: Carrick James


UK – Carrick James, stalwart of child and youth research and founder of Carrick James Market Research (CJMR) died on 9 January 2018 in London. He was 81.

Carrick james_crop

Carrick was born in Uxbridge in August 1936. His brilliant mind was clear from a very early age and his schooling and education was entirely through the scholarships he won, including the Silverfish award to St Pauls School, where he formed friendships that would last a lifetime.

He studied Economics and Natural Sciences at Christ’s College Cambridge and after graduating he went into market research, and so began a lifelong passion with research and understanding what makes consumers tick. At BCR (Bureau of Commercial Research) his brilliance was quickly recognised, as was his charm, and he met many friends and colleagues with whom he would work throughout his life.

In 1970 Carrick set up his own company and fulfilled his yearning to focus on research among children and young people. He was the face and voice of Child and youth research for over four decades. He launched numerous child and youth research services including the CJMR Children’s Omnibus Survey, that remained the only accessible research service for this audience for many years; and created Baby and Young Child Track, Child Track and Youth Track to chart trends covering a myriad of topics affecting young people – everything from characters to collectables, crazes to comics, computers to concerns; as well as ground breaking work in child and youth readership patterns, toy trends, health issues and education.

He pioneered techniques to better understand the unique decision-making and influence of children on household spend and purchasing and helped very many leading companies and brands in their decision making. As well as the commercial world, Carrick and his team also worked extensively with government organisations and education and social services. He undertook many research projects for the cinema industry including a dedicated regular tracking service. One day he stood in the middle of the office and announced, boldly and slowly, “the Cinema and Video Industry Audience Research – CAVIAR !” 

Carrick loved his work but also loved life and loved people.  In return, he inspired great love and loyalty from those who worked for him. He knew play was as important as work, once closing the office for a week and taking the whole troupe to the Greek Islands! He was a passionate advocate of International Research, becoming a Council member and great supporter of AIMRI.

Among his other passions were jazz, cricket and politics. He never faltered in his hands-on support for the Liberal Democrat party, often delivering leaflets late into the evening on his way home from the office.

Whilst having an enquiring mind, Carrick also had a youthful and accessible quality, which enabled him to understand, empathise and get to grips with the world of children and young people. The market research world has lost a remarkable and wonderful man, a brilliant practitioner and a fabulous character.  

Carrick is survived by his wife Lorna, two sons, Rory and Rowan and his four grandchildren. His funeral will take place on Saturday 24 February 2018 at 2.00pm at Christchurch, Highbury.