Celebrating 75 Years

The ARF Celebrates 75 Years at the Forefront of Advertising Research

February 11, 1936 - February 11, 2011

February 11, 2011 marked the milestone 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Advertising Research Foundation. Throughout 2011, the ARF will not only look back on what we've accomplished, but also to the future, as we continue to improve the practice of advertising, marketing and media research.

Fred Danzig, Editor, Advertising Age; DeWitt Helm, President of the ANA; Eugene Kummel, Chairman, McCann-Erickson Worldwide and former Chairman of the 4As; Michael J. Naples, President of the ARF

Advertising and research grew up together in the 1930s. The marriage between these two fields took place when the Advertising Research Foundation was created. A press release from the Association of National Advertisers announced the formation of the ARF in February 1936, "A new organization to be known as the Advertising Research Foundation was formed at a meeting of advertiser and agency executives held on February 11th at the Union League Club of New York.” The ARF was established, "as in instrument to serve the common cause of advertising." The principal mission of the ARF is to improve the practice of advertising, marketing and media research in pursuit of more effective marketing and advertising communications. The founding fathers, however, were not at all sure that genuine cooperation between advertisers and agencies was possible, and the ARF's record of 75 years of effective and successful cooperation would have astounded them.

Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA; Steve Coffey, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ARF; Todd Powers, Chief Research Officer of the ARF; and Nancy Hill, President and CEO of the 4As

Since its foundation, the Advertising Research Foundation has lead key industry learning initiatives that increase the contribution of research to better marketing, more effective advertising and profitable organic growth. Now, in the year 2011, the ARF's membership represents more than 400 marketers, advertising agencies, associations, educational institutions, media companies and research firms both in the US and internationally, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to nimble start-ups. What all of our members share is a belief in the power of great research and a dedication to finding real, actionable research solutions.

Industry leaders celebrating the ARF’s 75th Anniversary at the ARF Founders’ Tribute Luncheon, held at the New York Athletic Club

The schedule of activities to mark the 75th Anniversary began with a look-back at the ARF’s creation with a Founders’ Tribute Luncheon at the New York Athletic Club on February 11, 2011 – the date of ARF’s 75th anniversary. The event honored the CEOs of the two organizations that established the Foundation in 1936 – Bob Liodice, President and CEO, Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and Nancy Hill, President and CEO, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As). David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer CBS Corporation and President of CBS VISION, gave a fascinating tour of the ARF’s colorful history, and a Gale Metzger lead a panel to discuss the ARF’s major research contributions over the years. As part of a new ARF initiative, Colleen Fahey Rush, Chief Research Officer MTV Networks, introduced ten 75th Anniversary Diamond Research Proteges – rising stars in the industry. These younger advertising research professionals were nominated by members of the ARF Board of Directors and invited as their guests, highlighting the ARF’s commitment to research into the future.

Stuart Elliott reported on the event on the New York Times website: "Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, the song goes, and they may prove equally agreeable for a research organization that is marking its diamond anniversary."