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"Foundations of Quality" Initiative Launched by ARF Online Research Quality Council

April 24, 2008

New York, NY – June 23, 2008

A major industry-wide initiative – “Foundations of Quality” – designed to provide knowledge-driven answers to client questions about the overall quality and effectiveness of online market research, was launched today by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) Online Research Quality Council (ORQC), it was jointly announced by Robert Barocci, ARF President and CEO, and Robert Tomei, Chairman of the ARF/ORQC, and President, TNS-U. S. Areas of Expertise & Global Director of Access Panels.

“When the ORQC was established last August, it was dedicated to building a broad consensus by establishing a forum for the Market Research Industry to work together on some key quality-related issues,” stated Mr. Tomei, “and the strong participation of both clients and research agencies in the Council has been a clear sign that everyone embraced our ‘call to action’ for the creation of new knowledge to be applied to those challenges. Since then, we have seen a huge outpouring of support, sharing ideas, and general willingness to work in full partnership to analyze the issues and opportunities, and develop a plan to address them over time.”

As an integral part of that effort, the ORQC’s Define Quality Working Committee, outstandingly co-chaired by Dr. Thomas Evans, VP, Audio Research and Special Projects, ESPN; Efrain Ribeiro, COO, Ipsos Interactive Services; and Renee Smith, VP, Panel Quality, Harris Interactive, produced several elements to be covered in this Industry-leading Research-on-Research study.

These include:

  • Conditioning/Bias
    Do any of the following – frequent survey takers, speeders, those with multiple panel memberships – bias survey results?
  • Uniqueness
    What are the strengths and limitations of different methods for identifying duplicate respondents when multiple sample sources are used?  
  • Undesirable Respondent Behavior
    To what degree is inattentiveness, error, or fraud caused by respondent
    motivations? Survey length?

The scope of the effort to answer these questions has already elicited strong support in the industry, as noted by Kimberly Dedeker, VP, External Capability Leadership, Global Consumer & Market Knowledge at P&G: “I appreciate the strong Industry leadership that the ARF Online Research Quality Council has taken on. The primary mission of the Council is to address some of the key issues that we face today in the Online Market Research Industry. This ‘Research on Research’ initiative will provide the foundational knowledge that will enable the industry to take the necessary steps to enhance overall quality and effectiveness of online research today.”

“We are pleased with the initial response from the industry, and it is exciting to be part of this initiative that brings together research suppliers, advertisers, agencies, academics and media companies to study critical issues facing online research,” said Dr. Evans. “This coordinated effort will help us better understand the challenges and opportunities of doing research in a digital world.”

Joel Rubinson, Chief Research Officer at the ARF concluded: “It was a proud moment for the ARF to provide the forum by which leading researchers from different organizations could openly share their best thinking about data quality issues, work together to construct a plan of action to address industry needs to bolster trust in research findings, and then watch best-in-class marketers be blown away by the level of thinking when the plan was presented.”

Regarding its impact on the industry, Bob Barocci, ARF President and CEO, concluded: “This ARF initiative is highly significant as it marks the beginning of an exciting era of industry-impacting collaboration between advertisers and research companies. There is no more important industry issue than research quality, and no other place where this can happen other than The ARF.”

Media Contact
Advertising Research Foundation 
Barry Schwartz
212-677-8700 Ext 18

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