NEWS19 November 2014

Obituary: Richard Chilton

News UK

UK — AIMRI company secretary Richard Chilton died suddenly on 4 November, aged 83.

Carrick James, who had known Richard for many years, wrote the following:

Richard has been closely associated with Market Research since the 1970s. At that time he became a specialist in cinema research, as research manager of Rank Screen Advertising. The cinema advertising industry was very active with representatives of Rank, Pearl & Dean and others joining together to form the Cinema Advertising Association, a trade body that monitored quality of watching, advertising, audiences, and research for the cinema. With the potential threat of video, the research extended to other forms of visual media , and CAVIAR was born – Cinema and Video Industry Audience Research. Richard was at the fulcrum of this activity: organising meetings, research details, coordination and publicity with insight and efficiency.

In the early 1980s, market research was in danger of larger companies becoming dominant and squeezing out smaller entrepreneurial enterprises. A group of smaller companies perceived the need for greater co-operation between companies as a whole, and formed the Association of British Market Research Companies (ABMRC). This grew rapidly and in 1986 Richard Chilton was appointed as administrator and secretary, drawing on his skills developed in the cinema industry.

Richard was an invaluable part of the growth of ABMRC, with his equanimity, determination to get things done, gentle persuasion of speakers and authors, keeping control of the finances, liaison with other Market Research organisations, and always with a sense of what is right and professional.

In 1990 market research was becoming increasingly international and the strength of international companies and local companies in individual countries was visible. The message was – why not have an international extension of our trade association? Richard was invaluable in helping the Association of European Marketing Research Institutes (AEMRI) get moving in 1990 (and later becoming the even more international Alliance of International Market Research Institutes, AIMRI). Again Richard Chilton was the constant factor in growth and evolution. It is hard to realise that AIMRI is now in its 24th year and that Richard has been there since the start.

Through these years Richard has been helped and supported by his lovely wife Ann. Many are the happy memories of her presence at AIMRI conferences.

The Funeral Service will take place on Thursday 20 November at 3pm at St Margaret’s, Putney Park Lane, via Upper Richmond Road.
Family flowers only. Donations to Guide Dogs c/o Ernest Larner & Son, tel: 020 8788 2942.