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Association Collaborative Effort Releases Online Research Definitions, Expands Membership

August 19, 2009

New York, NY – August 19, 2009

Research industry associations that joined together in the fall of 2008 to address online panel research quality under the Association Collaborative Effort (“ACE”) have announced their first collaborative development: a comprehensive set of terms and definitions for online research. With the aim of increasing online data quality, understanding of online research, and transparency of online research operations, these “association-powered” terms and definitions provide a common baseline for all industry participants and will promote online panel research quality efforts.

The ACE industry-accepted online research terms and definitions can be accessed through all ACE member association websites and is also available via wiki at ACE is encouraging online research suppliers and buyers to provide continuous input to the terms and definitions through the wiki to promote a growing base of knowledge about online research. Input will be reviewed quarterly by ACE and their team of experts who will update the terms and definitions.

Anne Hedde Chairperson of ACE and President, Ipsos ASI Global, commented, “This is the first time that the industry associations have worked collaboratively to bring their valuable, specialized knowledge and expertise together to jointly promote improvements in the industry. Online research has been plagued by a lack of common understanding of terms. Clarifying and agreeing to one set of definitions is a foundational development that the entire industry can build on.” Added Patrick Glaser, Director of Research Standards at the MRA and developer of the ACE wiki, “The dynamic properties of wiki technology will promote continuous sharing of knowledge and expertise as online research continues to develop and evolve.”

ACE is also pleased to announce that ESOMAR (World Association of Research Professionals) and the MRIA (Marketing Research & Intelligence Association) in Canada have joined the ACE initiative. ACE now includes six associations whose combined membership reaches over 50,000 individuals and 1,000 corporations representing all segments of the research industry and profession. Charter members of ACE include the AMA (American Marketing Association), ARF (Advertising Research Foundation), CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organizations), and the MRA (Marketing Research Association), which now includes CMOR (Council for Marketing and Opinion Research).

“We are very pleased that ESOMAR and MRIA will be involved in this collaborative effort to improve global communication and uniformity in online panel research,” stated Diane Bowers, President of CASRO. “ESOMAR’s ‘26 Questions to help research buyers of online samples’ has been a useful reference document for online researchers around the world. We are looking forward to working with them and the MRIA towards client and agency agreement on what constitutes best practice in online research.”

Looking ahead, ACE will expand its focus to global online research quality in general as the industry associations contribute knowledge and recommendations for online research. The next ACE initiative will include development of an industry-wide online research bibliography that will be made available to the entire industry on a global basis.

About the Association Collaborative Effort on Online Panel Research Quality
ACE is comprised of many of the world's leading marketing and opinion research organizations including the AMA (American Marketing Association); ARF (Advertising Research Foundation); CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organizations); ESOMAR (World Association for Opinion and Marketing Research Professionals); MRA (Marketing Research Association); and the MRIA (Marketing Research & Intelligence Association). The objective of ACE is to ensure that all online panel researchers and users, no matter the industry segment or the association affiliation, share a set of understood and accepted process and performance guidelines. Working together, the industry associations are committed to contributing knowledge and information drawn from their respective core competencies to improve online research quality. ACE is also committed to draw from industry associations to promote educational and training programs to ensure implementation of these guidelines.

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Barry Schwartz
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