NEWS18 May 2010

Synovate sees signs of improvement in Q1, says Aegis

Financials UK

UK— Organic revenue growth is within sight for Synovate with the first quarter down just 1.9% year on year, compared to a decline of 5.5% in the fourth quarter of 2009, parent company Aegis said in an interim management statement today.

Aegis said that Synovate’s order book going into the second quarter was up 7% on the same period last year. The research agency had “started the year well” in Asia Pacific, Africa, North America and Latin America, said Aegis, but the situation was “more varied” across Western Europe and Eastern Europe, it said.

For the Aegis group as a whole, organic revenue for the quarter was up 1.1%, compared to a 6.9% decrease in Q4 2009. The results include Aegis Media, which posted a 3% rise in organic revenue compared to an 8% decrease in Q4 last year.

CEO Jerry Buhlmann (pictured top) said: “Aegis produced a solid performance in the first quarter. There were tentative signs of clients starting to increase their marketing and advertising budgets for the second half of 2010.”

Meanwhile Synovate has appointed Milagros Freitas (picturedbelow) as country manager for Peru.

She was most recently commercial director at Peruvian research agency CCR and also had a spell as an account director with Ipsos-owned Apoyo. On the clientside she has previously headed P&G’s research department in Peru and the marketing and customer service teams at Bank Serbanko.

The agency has also opened a Digital Centre of Excellence in the UK, which will focus on measuring and understanding the effects of brands’ advertising and communications through digital media.

Philip Shaw, UK head of digital communications research, will lead a “research on research” initiative. Three pilot studies are already under way: one focusing on the relationship between social media buzz and commercially relevant brand relationships; another reviewing actual communication exposure versus claimed memory; and finally the development of a URL “webmeter” that captures panel members’ online behaviour and relates their behavioural data to attitudinal changes.