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ARF Appointments Signal Emphasis On Media Vs. Marketing

January 5, 2011

by Joe Mandese

The Advertising Research Foundation Tuesday tapped another long-time media research executive to head up its global expansion strategy, signaling an emphasis on media vs. marketing research. The ARF, which is Madison Avenue's de facto research authority, announced that long-time TV research executive Horst Stipp is leaving NBC Universal to become executive vice president-global business strategy, a new position at the foundation that will be responsible for helping build out its global presence.

The move follows the dissolution of a strategic alliance between the ARF and ESOMAR, the Amsterdam-based organization for marketing and media research professionals that is mostly active in Europe, but has also become increasingly global.

The ARF and ESOMAR previously had joint ventured on important global industry media conferences and initiatives such as the Worldwide Audience Measurement symposium, and there had been talk recently of the two organizations renewing their alliance.

Stipp, who joins the ARF from the role of senior vice president-strategic insights & innovations at NBC U, most recently was involved in researching how the shift to digital media has been affecting media usage and advertising effectiveness.

He is the latest in a succession of media researchers to join the foundation. Last July, the ARF recruited media research vet David Marans as executive vice president-media from A&E Networks. A long-time media researcher at some of Madison Avenue's biggest agencies, Marans had also worked at Nielsen and IAG Research, which was acquired by Nielsen.

In October, the ARF named former Procter & Gamble researcher and digital media guru Ted McConnell to the role of executive vice president-digital, a new position, and appointed former IBM researcher Todd Powers Chief Research Officer, filling the role of former ARF CRO Joel Rubinson, who left. The ARF also announced that Bill Cook had rejoined as executive vice president-research and standards following a two-year sabbatical from the foundation.

The ARF, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, was originally founded by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers, and over the years has teetered between an emphasis on marketing and media research. In recent years, it has been focused heavily on research about digital media, reflecting the industry's overall interest, as well as big sponsorships from digital media companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Google.

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