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The AMSR Newsletter (not yet updated to new format)

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Every quarter we publish a fresh bulletin containing news about what’s new at the AMSR. Latest acquisitions, events, inspirational ways of using the resources, people in the news and a great deal more besides.

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Newsletter 26 –  Issue 1 2023

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”juicy-pink” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”2023-1-Letter-from-the-editor”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8041″ img_size=”180 x 180″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]I have been listening to broadcasts from the BBC Archive – Our Archive Century, a series marking one hundred years of the BBC through the riches to be found in the Corporation’s broadcasts.  The material it contains is tucked away and preserved in a temperature-controlled room, but it is safe and available at the touch of a key.

The commentators suggest that this Archive provides the texture of the everyday world. And, of course, we see analogies with our own Archive: We too have a wealth of material on British Elections and public affairs, particularly in the Collections such as MORI British Public Opinion, NOP Reports and other Opinion Poll reports.

Like the BBC Archive our survey and reports cover people’s attitudes and behaviour in real time and in contemporary language.  This is particularly true of the qualitative material that so often includes ‘verbatims’.  In addition to the valuable CRAM collection from Peter Cooper we are building up collection of very impressive qualitative work. Wendy Sykes and I are sorting Alan Hedges’ life-spanning collection of research (see ‘Alan’s Attic in this issue) and among the vast number of reports, are many chronicling insightful qualitative studies. Please, if you have any such material, donate it to the Archive (of if you prefer, it can be loaned to us, while it is being scanned and catalogued and added to the Archive collections, and then returned to you).

We have embarked on an important outreach project, targeted at schools, to increase the use of the Archive by A-level students.  Phyllis Macfarlane outlines our exciting initial programme.

Anyone who listens to Tim Harford’s ‘More or less’ which explains, and sometimes debunks, the numbers and statistics used in political debate, the news and everyday life, knows how tricky the interpretation of statistics can be. Tony Dent’s initiative for Better Statistics is an important project for our industry. He and Phyllis Macfarlane report on the recent Conference, ’Measuring Success for Business, Society and the Environment’ and examine its wide-ranging agenda, including the digital revolution, sustainability, well-being and the role of economics in the political debate.

Don’t forget to look at the ‘Latest Additions’ piece. This is now a regular feature on our website and in the Newsletter. Please keep your contributions to the Archive collections coming.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Mass Observation/AMSR Joint Webinar” tab_id=”2023-1-Mass-Obs-Webinar”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8920″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Unfortunately, this exciting joint event ‘Exploring the Archives: Researching the narrative of happiness and the history of feeling’, which was due to be held 15 February, had to be postponed, due to industrial action by university personnel.

We are delighted to announce that the Webinar has been re-scheduled for 3 May – at a new time of 2-4 pm.

The Event will be chaired by Suzanne Rose, MO’s Engagement Manager. The introductory speakers include Kirsty Pattrick, MO Research Manager and Jessica Scantlebury MO Archivist, and Phyllis Macfarlane, Head of AMSR Collections, followed by two academics who have both used the archives in their research: Professor Claire Langhamer, Director of the Institute of Historical Research and Dr David Tross, Associate Lecturer. Birkbeck University of London. The Webinar will be an opportunity for conversation, discovery and revelation.

We have already seen a great deal of interest in the Webinar. If you have already registered for the Event, you will, of course, be informed of the new date. Full details are on the AMSR website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”AMSR Schools A-Level Project” tab_id=”2023-1-Schools-A-Level-Project”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8926″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane presents an update of our outreach programme for schools

We have three more schools on board since our last Newsletter – getting through to the right person is tricky – but once we do they are very positive. After all they are very keen to get pupils to use different sources – and we are easy-to-use, digital and free – so there’s a lot to like! Some schools even have librarians to help pupils identify sources.

In addition to Modern British History, we have now written ‘crib sheets’ for students of A-Levels in Sociology (gender studies, crime and religion), Politics (development of political parties and do opinion polls work(!)) and Psychology (research methods). And we have also tackled the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). This latter was the most difficult as we had no idea of typical topics – but the internet (where else?) had lots of suggestions and we chose one that seemed appropriate for us: Has the British Public lost interest In the Royal Family since World War 2?

You have no idea how much we have on attitudes to the monarchy and the royal family in the Archive – and not only in the MORI and NOP collections, as you would expect –  but in the CRAM collection we have some qualitative research projects about the  possibility of launching a part-work type magazine on the Royal Family: here’s one of the reports: Dog Tag: a qualitative evaluation/magazine on the Royal Family – it tells you an awful lot about public attitudes in 1983.

We are also looking into the possibility of running an email campaign to all secondary schools. If we can get 30-50 schools on board it will greatly boost our user numbers. Some of the pupils will go on to University and use the Archive in their degrees, and then the next school year will take it up…as they have at Notting Hill and Ealing High School… Once we are used in a school we can introduce other topics: survey research methods and data analysis, for example.

Watch this space![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Latest Additions to the Archive” tab_id=”2023-1-Latest-Additions”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8917″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane reports

We’ve had many fascinating additions to the Archive in the last few months.

From Qa Research a study done for the Prince’s Trust in 2006 on ‘Breaking the Cycle of Offending. A real consultation with the real people involved – young criminals. Asking them what they need to happen to stop them re-offending, with simple, straight-forward recommendations to prevent them going straight back into crime on leaving prison. All social research should be like this. Breaking the cycle of offending: making the views of young people count: good ideas wanted – Papers and Offprints – The AMSR Online Archive.

And also from Qa Research a 2011 survey of Group Travel Organisers on the current market and the future of Group Travel – for those of you interested in tourism in general. National Group Travel Report 2011 – Reports of projects – The AMSR Online Archive (; National Group Travel Organiser Research 2011 (charts) – Reports of projects – The AMSR Online Archive.

Emotions & The Impact on Advertising Effectiveness is a paper from Dianne Newman of Research and Analysis of Media (RAM) 2022. It considers two important questions: ‘How can emotions drive advertising effectiveness?’ and ‘Which emotions have the most impact in terms of engaging the audience, and prompting them to take action?’  There are interesting conclusions! Emotions & the Impact on Advertising Effectiveness – Reports of projects – The AMSR Online Archive.

More from the Gordon Heald Collection:

Survey of US Teenagers, a 1985 study for BBC Television covers the attitudes of US Teenagers to Nuclear Warfare, their opinion of the chances of the US surviving a nuclear attack (65% said ‘Poor’) – and their own personal chance of surviving a nuclear attack (66% thought their chance ‘Poor’). It’s easy to forget now, knowing what we do, how serious we believed the Cold War was, in the 1980s. Survey of US Teenagers – Reports of projects – The AMSR Online Archive.

If you’ve ever seriously wondered about the outcome of the 1997 Election – not so much why Tony Blair won – history tends to be written by the victors after all, and there were many who claimed to be architects of New Labour – but why the conservatives lost, then this report: ‘The HSBA Panel of 1000 Conservative voters 1994-97 – Why the Tories failed at the 1997 Election will enlighten you from a Tory voter’s point of view. Some interesting results on the debate around the single currency, problems with the NHS(!), sleaze(!!) and a comparison of attitudes to Major and Blair. What very different times they were, and yet so similar!  I’d even forgotten that it was Major who lost! HSBC panel of 1000 Conservative voters 1994-1997: why the Tories failed in the 1997 election (presentation) – Opinion Poll Reports – The AMSR Online Archive.

And thirdly The Soul of Britain at the Millennium, a WAPOR paper by Gordon Heald will surprise you with the facts as to how many Britons believed in Heaven, Hell and the Devil (52%, 28% and 32% in case you don’t want to read the whole report). The Soul of Britain at the Millennium – Papers and Offprints – The AMSR Online Archive.

And last but definitely not least – we are very lucky to have reports from the very first days of Readership Research.

Through a chance encounter at a conference where someone said to me – oh, a very good friend of mine’s Father and Uncle were famous market researchers – I’ll put you in touch with him – we have been fortunate enough to be given copies of what are probably the first newspaper readership studies in the UK:  from 1928: Press Circulation Analysed and from 1934: An Analysis of Press Circulations.

In the introduction to the 1928 study, Harry Lyall, founder of the London Research and Information Bureau (in 1921), tells us all about its inception:

In the course of six years’ work on market research, that is, six years devoted to studying the buying habits of the public, the problem of investigating the reading habits of the public has been constantly in our minds. What do the middle-classes, ­the well-to-do, the comfortably-off read? What do the less-well-to-do, those who have not a middle-class income, but have many buying habits in common with the well-to-do, viz:  the lower-middle-classes – read? What do the steadier working­ classes read? These are questions we have often asked ourselves and have often heard asked by others. Our research work among consumers into the distribution of products by class of buyer and by area gave us confidence that the same method could be applied to the distribution of newspapers and periodicals.

The introduction later defines class:

By class we mean buying capacity-plus social outlook. By middle-class we mean the well-to-do and the comfortably-off. By lower middle-class we mean people whose buying capacity is much more limited than the middle-class, but whose social outlook and buying habits are somewhat similar to those of people in that class. By working-class we mean the steadier types of workers. Slum areas and very poor neighbourhoods were not touched by this investigation.

The market for the data was Advertisers: to provide Practitioners in Advertising with material which will enable them to plan advertising campaigns with a more exact knowledge of the degree of coverage of different social classes and areas which can be obtained by the use of various newspapers and periodicals.

The outcome was a study of 20,140 interviews – with trained interviewers – who interviewed housewives about the reading habits of their families.

The sheer scale and detail of the project is astonishing – mostly because, you have to ask yourself – how on earth, in 1928, did they manage all that data and analysis? Answer – they used a firm of Chartered Accountants! It took several months. They went to a lot of trouble.

The 1934 report is similar – they clearly had done the survey annually in-between. I personally found the 1934 report more interesting because Bolton is one of the sampled areas. If, like me, you tend to gravitate to data on your own birthplace – I went straight to the top newspapers read in Bolton…

I found that in 1934 the Bolton Evening News was read by 73.7% of Bolton households. The Empire News (a Weekly) by 44.8%, The People by 23.9%, The Daily Herald by 16.7 % and the Radio Times by 16.1%.

At a national level the top four in 1934 were:  the News of the World (40.72%), The People (34.5%), The Daily Herald (25.4%) and the Radio Times (22.04%).

The data were analysed by duplication (cross-readership) and social class and come with very detailed explanations as to how the numbers should be read.

The 1928 report doesn’t include Bolton, unfortunately, and the top papers are quite different:  the News of the World was no 1 with readership of 20.75 %, The Daily Mail no 2  with 23.17%, The Sunday Pictorial third with 16.1%, and John Bull 10.7%.  The People had only 8.68%. The Radio Times wasn’t mentioned (it had been launched in 1923).

Being a cynic, I, of course, wondered about the accuracy – but then I remembered that a lot happened in the world between 1928 and 1934 – especially in the world of publishing and newspapers.

These two reports are a gift to anyone wanting to write a history of readership research or of their local press.

I’ll be contacting the Bolton Evening News shortly….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Alan’s Attic” tab_id=”2023-1-Alans-Attic”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”9141″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Wendy Sykes and Phyllis Vangelder on clearing Alan Hedges’ attic

The photos below show us in the late Alan Hedges’ attic in his beautiful house in Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire. Although it was a lovely drive up through the English countryside, we have seen nothing of the village. These photos were taken on our second full day: there is at least one more day’s sorting to do, possibly two. Alan’s lifework covers the whole space of the attic and we are endeavouring to sort, list and review it for the Archive. We feel immensely privileged to play a part in preserving not just the books and reports that he wrote, but in reviewing his work, becoming acutely aware of the high quality of his research and the thinking behind every project he undertook. And it is also prescient: there are reports about air pollution, green issues, waste reduction etc. long before they were of mass media interest.

We are attempting to segment the research into three areas: the vast amount of investigative and assessment work he undertook for local and central government and NGOs, commercial and market research, and a specific sector, the drinks industry, particularly for Guinness.

Alan maintained detailed records of all the projects he worked on; carefully packed into boxes and the earliest of these include paperwork which would now be kept in digital folders. Although confidential material has been removed, it is still possible in some of these earlier archives to trace the arc of a project; from initial enquiry and development of the brief through every subsequent stage of execution and delivery.

We should like to thank Alan’s children, Karen and Steve, for donating Alan’s material to the Archive. This will ensure it is not lost. It is available for researchers and scholars to read, to learn from, and appreciate and respect the kind of analytical thinking and insight that underlies all good research.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Insight Alchemy” tab_id=”2023-1-Insight-Alchemy”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”9143″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Isn’t it wonderful to have a have an in-person Conference once again? To meet face-to-face and have live contact with colleagues and friends?

This years’ MRS Conference will be a live one-day event on 14 March at the Hilton Bankside Hotel, 2-8 Gt Suffolk Street, SE1.

The theme of ‘Insight Alchemy’ will enable countless stories of excellence in research to be presented, showing how base data can be turned into golden nuggets of insight that can transform business, public institutions and society.

Phyllis Macfarlane is taking part in a panel discussion about strategy. She will talk about understanding ‘context’- the background and history of the product or service – to the development of strategic thinking, a context that can so often be found in the rich collections of the Archive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Growth Event: Is 2.5% Growth Compatible with Modern Values?” tab_id=”2023-1-The-Growth-Event”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”9144″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane and Tony Dent report from A Better Statistics CIC Event held at the Royal Statistical Society on 30 November 2022 

COVID-19 and Brexit have already changed the way we live and work, with more change expected as we react to their lingering effects and seek a zero carbon, sustainable future. Even by November 2022 it was clear that a 2.5% growth agenda was not realistic, or indeed desirable. The purpose of the Better Statistics CIC event held on 30 November 2022 was therefore planned to look closely at the data and explore alternatives.

With contributions from industry, academia and the Office for National Statistics – including keynotes from Ian Cass of the Forum for Private Business and Geoff Tily from the Trades Union Council – the one-day Conference held at The Royal Statistical Society provided a wide-ranging review of progress on measuring these effects and their implications for policy and for business.

The agenda covered such issues as:

  • AI and the Digital Revolution, what will be the effects?
  • Sustainability and the influence of Global Warming
  • Measuring well-being and welfare, with a view to redefining GDP
  • Updating the National Business Statistics, to meet modern requirements.

The final session providing a duologue of Sir John Curtice and Sir Vince Cable to discuss the role of economics in the political debate – or is it the role of politics in the economic debate?

Setting the scene, Keynote speaker Ian Cass, MD of the Forum of Private Businesses, made a strong case for Microbusinesses (1-9 employees) to be consulted and listened to more by Government. The challenges small businesses face are enormous – they can help design policy – but not if the government ignores them, and only hears the voice of big business. A lot of money could have been saved on the Covid bounce-back loans if only the government had listened to the advice of small businesses.  Change creates gaps and workload. It’s difficult for small businesses without resources to adapt and keep up. He argued for Government to make it easier to do business, and a level playing field.

Geoff Tilly, Senior Economist, Trades Union Council, presented a thought-provoking paper on ‘Real Pay and the (lack of) Growth’. He demonstrated that we are in the worst pay crisis since the Napoleonic wars! The supply view is that weak pay is a consequence of weak productivity. On the other hand, the demand side view is that weak productivity is a consequence of weak pay.

The first session,‘ Business and Labour Market Transformation Plans’,  saw David Freeman (ONS, Head of Labour Market and Households), and Craig Taylor (ONS, Lead for Business Statistics Transformation) talk us through the enormous task that ONS is currently undertaking to reform and update all the national business statistics,  driven by quality concerns across the R&D statistics, increasing disparity between ONS and HMRC statistics, the availability of new data sources, the levelling up agenda and end-user pressure. The Labour Force Survey is being developed with the aims of reducing bias, reducing attrition and increasing response. Improving the respondent experience and better user engagement are also critical.

The second session looked at ‘Productivity’, a contentious issue in the UK.  Professor Jonathan Portes (Kings College) asked ‘Where are the workers?’ Josh Martin (Bank of England) described what we can expect from digital developments, Nicola Archer (Savanta) asked if public opinion was a barrier to AI (Automated Intelligence).  And David Stroll (Opagio Ltd) and Mathew Nagel (Neatsmith Ltd) presented an excellent case study: ‘Solving the UK Growth and Productivity Problem: one firm at a time’. They actually ask their employees how they can pay them more. They have increased their drivers pay by 50% by incorporating them more into the manufacturing and installation process.

The afternoon of the Conference went on to wider economic issues and measurement, starting with a Keynote address by Professor Martin Weale (Kings Business School) looking at ‘Income Distribution and GDP’, in which he pointed out that in the past the National Accounts had been more concerned with net national income than GDP and had presented data on the distribution of income.  His observation that GDP is a measure of economic activity rather than an indicator of economic progress provided the ideal introduction to the topic of the open forum ‘What is the future of GDP?’ chaired by Professor Paul Allin (Imperial College).  Contributions to the debate as to whether GDP should be replaced or extended were provided by Ehsan Masood, (Author of ‘GDP the World’s most powerful formula and why it must change’), Richard Heys (ONS) and Jennifer Wallace (Carnegie Trust) with observations from the floor contributing to a lively session.  Finally, Paul Allin called for a vote on a three-way option: a) to keep GDP as it is, changing only what is required to measure a changing economy; b) extending the measure in some way to include measures of well-being or satisfaction/happiness; or c) scrapping it and replacing it with something new.  The voting was strongly in favour of choice b): that GDP should be extended.  There were only two votes for a completely new measure, possibly out of sympathy for all those whose livelihoods are bound up with the measurement of GDP!

Session 4 Where to for the National Accounts?’ examined some of the issues in more detail firstly considering the effects of climate change: ‘From people to plantswhat should we value?’ by Sanjiv Mahajan (ONS). Sanjiv took us through what we know (in data terms) and showed that much of the progress we appear to be making with decarbonisation is not real – we are simply moving it around.  Affluent society in the developed countries has to change and move away from growth. Technological advances alone will never achieve net-zero. And he challenged us with the questions: How do we get the right policies in place to make individuals change their behaviour to prevent catastrophe? What do we need to do to have the right data to support those policies?

Secondly the session looked at that key question: ‘How should we value the unproductive’: a very well-researched and presented paper by Vicky Pryce (CEBR). Vicky went through all the research on how difficult it is to measure public sector productivity and unpaid work. (My favourite fact: what is a housewife worth?  £159,137 p.a. according to a Daily Telegraph calculation in 2014) and closed with a statement as to why measuring matters: because according to the ONS “Important qualitative and quantitative issues would otherwise be missed from any analysis of prosperity”. Measuring unpaid production and consumption helps assess better the activities that affect people’s well-being. Different impacts on well-being depending on whether time is spent on activities that people choose to do or have to do. It can help with issues in relation to stress levels across the population.

And the ONS argues “Measuring unpaid production also allows users to analyse the reciprocating relationship between unpaid work and the economic choices people make; the substitution between unpaid and paid activities is important for considering labour market and social policies together”. In other words: properly valuing so-called ‘unproductive’ work and perceived ‘less-productive’ work is essential for fairness and wider prosperity.

Finally, in the closing session, Sir John Curtice and Sir Vince Cable, jousted over the question ‘What is the role of Politics in Economics?’ Sir John defined politics as the art of communication between the rulers and the ruled, and cast himself as spokesperson for the ruled, and Sir Vince as representative ex-ruler. Sir John then very ably showed the trends in public feelings on current major issues facing our society and Sir Vince, after speculating that Sir John’s sub-theme was clearly: ‘Why are politicians so irrational? parried, also very ably, showing for each issue why politicians couldn’t, or weren’t able, to do anything about it at the time!

An example will give you the flavour: answers to the question ‘Government should redistribute income from the better-off to the less well-off’ (Source: British Social Attitudes) show good public support for redistribution – the level of support actually increasing in recent years. Also, recently (since 2019) there is less agreement to the question: ‘If welfare benefits weren’t so generous, people would learn to stand on their own two feet’ (source BSA). So why isn’t the government acting on this change in public attitudes? Sir Vince responded that, of course, people are very ambivalent about redistribution. And they think very differently about redistribution of income compared with wealth. Inheritance tax – which is arguably the most effective method of redistribution – is the most unpopular tax. Re-distribution via benefits is actually very controversial. Probably the thing should be being done is the reform of Council tax – but the losers in any reform plan tend to be more vocal than the winners. And so it continues.  In other words, for politicians, it’s always more complicated than is indicated by simple charts.

Another example:  concern about Climate Change has risen since 2015 (Source: Ipsos) – why isn’t this translating into political action? Sir Vince responded that, indeed, the recent increase in public concern was very striking, but so far it hadn’t transformed into itself into political preferences. Individuals have very different utility preferences and the inclusive carbon tax we are willing to pay is considerably less than what is needed to obtain significant reduction in carbon emissions. Take the current discussion on wind-farms – it seems astonishing that preserving the view should matter more than the potential savings – but so far it seems that the ‘banners’ of onshore wind-farms are winning.

They also covered taxes and spending, Brexit and Immigration:  it was a very entertaining and educational exposition!

The Event closed with everyone more knowledgeable about issues with National Statistics , redefining GDP,  measuring productivity, and how difficult life is for politicians. Several consoling glasses of wine or pints of beer were required to allow us further discussion to consolidate our new-found knowledge, and vow to carry on campaigning for better (more accurate and more appropriate) statistical measures to guide policy in the future.

All slides are available at The Growth Event – Better Statistics CIC ([/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Pet Revolution” tab_id=”2023-1-The-Pet-Revolution”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”9125″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Following the article in last month’ issue, Cats in the Archive, Jane Hamlett and Julie-Marie Strange’s book The Pet Revolution: Animals and the Making of Modern British Life has now been published.

It draws on the work undertaken by Professors Hamlett and Strange for the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Pets and Family Project. It used The Archive of Market and Social Research as one of its research sources.

The book tracks the British love affair with pets over the last two centuries, showing how the kinds of pets people keep, as well as how they relate to and care for them, has changed radically. The authors describe the growth of pet foods and medicines, the rise of pet shops, and the development of veterinary care, creating the pet economy. Most importantly, pets have played a powerful emotional role in families across all social classes, creating new kinds of relationships and home lives. The capacity of pets to forge strong emotional attachments with their guardians was a major theme of the Pets and Family Life Project.  While species popularity, pet keeping practices and cultural framing changed over time, there was significant long-term continuity in emotional investment in animals and the book shows that historical research strongly supports the contention that pets can make a significant contribution to individual well-being.

For the first time, through a history of companion animals and the humans who lived with them, this book puts the story of the ‘pet revolution’ alongside other revolutions – industrial, agricultural, political – to highlight how animals contributed to modern British life.

The book, engagingly illustrated and a delight not only for pet lovers but all those interested in social developments in this country, is published by Reaktion Books and is available from Amazon and all good book shops .[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Welcome Marion” tab_id=”2023-1-Welcome-Marion”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”9150″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We welcome new volunteer Marion Chamberlain, who has joined the Contents Team as Operations Manager. The amount of material we are now receiving, particularly modern data in digitised form, means that the task of processing our collections is becoming increasingly complex. Marion, working closely with Christine Eborall, is developing a spreadsheet whereby contributions of material will be tracked from promises, through receipt, to scanning, cataloguing, and loading.  We already have excellent procedures for hardcopy material; scanning of paper copy will continue as usual at Harrow, and we have plenty to do as we weren’t able to do very much during the pandemic. But because reports and papers are increasingly received in digital format, we must have a digitally appropriate process to enhance efficiency and avoid duplication, both of effort and material.

Digital material means no scanning, and cataloguing can be done at home. We are building up a team of in-home cataloguers and these will be overseen by Marion.

Marion Chamberlain has just retired from her position as Ipsos Interactive Services Global Programme Director (the Digital Research Arm of Ipsos). She was with Ipsos for six and a half years and prior to that, spent nearly 25 years with TNS and Kantar.

Her work with Ipsos was about introducing best practice in Programme Management and leading process change, ensuring that new systems met with the strategy of the company and were well implemented – a very good fit for the AMSR Contents Team![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Significant Insights” tab_id=”2023-1-Significant-Insights”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”9146″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]James Endersby, CEO of Insight Agency Opinium, talked to us about his Charity

What is Significant Insights and why did you start it?

Thanks for asking! Obviously, my real job is CEO of the insight agency Opinium, but I’ve always believed that we also need to use our businesses and our professional positions for good. In February 2020, in my spare time, I launched Significant Insights, which is a global content platform for the market research industry, and on a mission to make our sector more accessible by bringing our incredible people, their journeys, lessons, tips and inspiring stories to life.

Significant Insights wants to help younger researchers develop their careers and open up the industry to all backgrounds, and to those that might not consider it. In short, the platform simply exists to profile and give a voice to senior researchers, and younger researchers on their way up, and to provide a channel for them to impart their wisdom, so that new researchers, and those outside our industry can learn, grow, develop and find their ways to the top.

Youre doing this great job supporting our sector, but how can anyone reading this help Significant Insights?

What a great question! Well first they could head straight to, enjoy the inspiring content, and please also follow us on LinkedIn!

There are so many incredible and experienced people in our industry with great advice and wisdom pretty much locked away. No one asks them! I try to ask as many of them as possible, but I’m only scratching the surface. If anyone reading this would like to share their career journey, or would like to recommend someone they admire, I’d happily conduct a profile interview and showcase them.

As you know my day job is managing Opinium and we’re pretty fast-growing, so the plan is to bring on sponsors and supporters who would like to align their businesses with Significant Insights, support the cause, be that through advertising on the home page, inside the various sections, or sponsoring our annual ‘Significant Insights Global 30 Under 30 Awards’ to recognise and support junior talent. The revenues will go towards hiring an editor who can help lead the site and help bring out more and more precious content so we can help an increasing number of talented people to thrive and inspire many more to join our sector!

Whos given the most inspiring interview so far?

I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite, but Bob Qureshi has an inspiring career journey and has fantastic advice for junior researchers. Priscilla McKinney tells the story of how her business burnt down and she built it all back up and is still a terrific success, a force of supportive positivity, and inspires others to follow suite. Jan Gooding’s and Vanessa Oshima’s interviews are also ones to read!  There must be so many wonderful stories out there. Do get in touch![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Memories of Jeremy” tab_id=”2023-1-Memories-of-Jeremy”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5632″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Jeremy Bullmore 1929-2023

Paul Edwards writes

The fact that so much has been written about Jeremy since his death is testament to the enormous impact he has had in the world of marketing and advertising.

His career details are deceptively simple: Creative Director and Chairman at J Walter Thompson and following his ‘retirement’ (which was only last year) he became a sage in the WPP group.  Shareholders will know him from his articles in the WPP annual report, Guardian readers will know him from his regular column and Campaign readers will recall his ‘agony uncle’ column.  He also found time to be president of the MRS and was a welcome supporter of the AMSR.

He always spoke and wrote with wit and wisdom.  His articles were gathered into readable and enlightening books.  He was also a kind and generous colleague.  Jeremy always took time with the recruitment and mentoring of the WPP graduates – many of them have taken to social media to share their memories and gratitude.  Somehow, he made time for everyone.

His partnership with Stephen King at JWT made the agency a powerhouse of thinking and invention.  Between them they managed to understand and communicate the way that advertising and brands work.

Everyone who knew him has a store of Jeremy anecdotes mostly showing how perceptive and funny he was.  I remember sitting next to him at one of those black- tie dinners with an eminent after-dinner speaker.  Afterwards I expressed to Jeremy my disappointment with the talk which should have been so interesting.  Quick as a flash he just said “Of course, no metaphor.”  As always, he was spot on.

Jeremy will be fondly remembered on a personal basis by everyone he met; his influential thinking will live on forever.

If you would like to read more by Jeremy, WPP have made a collection of his work available:

I highly recommend it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 25 –  Issue 4 2022

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”juicy-pink” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”1676989368749-b545d6e8-d043″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8041″ img_size=”180 x 180″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We all love stories, whether they are the stories we tell or the ones we hear. The value of stories has long been recognised by marketing and media in conferences and seminars devoted to the enhancement of client presentations and storyboards are an essential part of our armoury. I understand there is even a published guide on how to use Instagram stories to engage with a brand.

I have recently been thinking of stories in the context of the Archive. You may know we have a Stories Team, responsible for creating ‘nuggets’ or stories which we put on our website. The most recent cover areas as  diverse as ‘Hypothermia among the old and poor and winter mortality; ‘ Financing the BBC’ and  ’The lonesome vegetarian: from vegetarianism to mass market consumer’, but over the years there have been stories  about,  for instance: football watchers as a reflection of society; the challenge of inequality; washing powders; marketing in uncertain times; Christmas then and now; convenience foods ; not going out; environmental issues; the NHS; obesity; women in the workplace; and many, many other subjects and issues.  They all use references to Archive material, are featured on our website and provide a fascinating entry to our rich collections.

Quotes from Robin Birn’s interviews with business academics illustrated their appreciation of this: “It is a story which runs alongside marketing”; “as the industry has been such a touchpoint to so many key aspects of social and communal life in the UK, I would imagine there are interesting stories to tell”; and crucially, “(The Archive) is all about stories I can tell”.

Indeed it is! For instance, in this issue, we look at Jane Hamlett and Rebecca Preston’s monograph on Siamese Cats, in which they cite a fascinating survey from our CRAM Collection, that presents a delightful segmentation of cat owners. This Collection is a particularly rich source of stories. Its reports are typically qualitative studies of everyday experience and the ‘verbatims’ they include enrich and enliven the narrative reports.  Of course, there are many other qualitative studies in the Archive, but we should welcome more.  Academics teaching Modern British History, as well as market researchers presenting to clients, tell us how much they value the insights provided by qualitative research into the dynamics of change and people’s experiences expressed in their own words.

This issue features some of the work being done by Academic Modern British Historians. We continue to reach out to our current and potential users, and it is gratifying to see this is paying off.

We also include a selection of some of our recent acquisitions. We are delighted to receive these contributions and hope people will continue to unearth their rich material. It is also vitally important that modern research agencies contribute their current work to sustain the future of the Archive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Mass Observation” tab_id=”1676989374776-cd2f0be4-f90d”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8920″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Kirsty Pattrick, Mass Observation Research Manager, shares its news

Mass Observation is delighted to have its work commemorated by a Blue Plaque in honour of Mass Observation. In November English Heritage unveiled a Plaque on 6 Grotes Buildings, Blackheath in London.  Charles Madge co-founded the project with Tom Harrison in his own home here in 1937 and the location served as its headquarters until 1939. The broad aim of the project was to create a social anatomy of Britain, ‘a science of ourselves’.  Many of the first diaries and reports were sent to this building by Mass Observers across the country.

We are delighted that AMSR will be collaborating with Mass Observation for a joint online seminar event on Wednesday 15 February 2023, 14.00 – 16.00pm. ‘Exploring the Archives: in conversation with Mass Observation and the Archive of Market and Social Research’.  Mass Observation will be introduced by Jessica Scantlebury and myself, and AMSR by Phyllis Macfarlane.

They will be followed by two academics who have used both Archives in their research, Professor Claire Langhamer, Institute of Historical Research and Dr David Tross, University of London.

Claire Langhamer is Director of the Institute of Historical Research. She is a social and cultural historian of modern Britain who specialises in the history of everyday life, especially the experiences of women and girls, and the history of feeling. She is a Trustee of the Mass Observation Archive.

David Tross has taught courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Birkbeck for 10 years, and currently lectures on Birkbeck’s BSc Community Development and Public Policy and BSc Social Science programmes. He is also the academic lead on the National Lottery Funded Community Leadership course for Newham residents. He contributed to AMSR’s Book 2 on Social Trends.

Claire and David will explore how they have used both Archives for their research, with insight into their methods and findings.

The event is free. Further details will be available very soon, but do keep the date.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”St Mary’s University Research” tab_id=”1676989381023-d221e6d6-25a0″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8604″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Robin Birn reports on the latest news from the AMSR Marketing Committee’s St Mary’s Liaison Group

At the last meeting of the Liaison Group the team discussed progress and plans for the future. This included confirming that the first research projects with University Librarians and some Business Management and Marketing and Social Studies Academics had supported AMSR Marketing Committee’s plans. In addition, there has been some impact through published papers and chapters in books reviewing AMSR as a source of information.

The last phase of the research is under way, and this is focusing on the impact of the presentations Phyllis Macfarlane, Chairman of the AMSR Contents Committee and Robin Birn, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, St Mary’s University, Twickenham and Nektarios Tzempelikos, Associate Professor, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge have been making to students. The research has been designed to track student use of AMSR, its material, curated case studies and e-books. There is also a Prize on offer for the students who demonstrate effective use of AMSR material in an assignment, essay, or dissertation.

The plans are to deliver more of the activities piloted so far. We will work more closely with the St Mary’s Centre for Workplace Learning to allocate at least one student per Academic Year to support the AMSR Marketing Committee with development projects for promotions, social media information and other projects relevant to students on the St Mary’s Degrees. Other plans are also being discussed and we will report on these in future AMSR Newsletters.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”AMSR Schools A-Level Project” tab_id=”1676989386981-b016410b-a4c1″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8926″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane presents an update of our outreach programme for schools

Many thanks to all of you who have put us into contact with schools which might work with us on their A-Level coursework.

We have so far made contact with 12 schools and hope to get 5 -6 on board during this school year.

We know that we have a very good and relevant offering for A-Level History – if the school covers Modern British History in its curriculum – and we shall be exploring what we can do for Sociology, Politics and Psychology A-Levels and the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). We’re hoping that we will be able to develop a suitable offering for each and be able to scale up to many more schools for the 2023/24 school year. (We know that EPQ’s need a good level of creativity since they can cover almost everything! It might be a case of identifying some good examples – anyone who knows a child who wants to do one and is looking for ideas please put them in touch! An EPQ using the Archive would be very strong on using sources, and could cover many cultural and social topics such as gender studies, youth culture, food trends, political change…,   all of which could be valuable for university entrance).

We want to build on the successful work we are already doing with Notting Hill and Ealing High School. Several girls have already used the Archive with success and Sue Robson and I have visited the school again to brief the new cohort of A-Level History Students.  We hope that 7 or 8 girls will use the Archive this year.

Developing the number of users of the Archive is a top priority for us – and schools represent a great opportunity![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Latest Additions to the Archive” tab_id=”1676989393538-7d1c04fd-ddbf”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8917″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane writes

We’ve had some exciting additions to the Archive this last couple of months – here are some of the highlights:

The Nursery Research & Planning Limited have contributed a number of excellent reports which will be really useful to the A-level Sociology and Marketing Students

  • CPR129 Being Real in 2017: exploring authenticity (2017)
  • CPR130 Brands in social media – what do consumers really think? (2011)
  • CPR131 Christmas ads 2017 – the full report (2017)
  • CPR132 Magic over the mash: insights into grandparenting today (2018)
  • CPR133 Switching behaviour: should I stay or should I go? (2016)

So many of my friends and relations complain about grandparenting duties these days (and I don’t remember my grandparents taking a great interest in me!) that I thought I’d have a look in the Archive to see what we have on Grandparenting in the past – and apart from them being seen as a source of money – either for trust funds or simply extra pocket money as in the 1977 Peter Cooper report (CRAMA900 The Teenage Enigma): ‘An Uncle, Aunt or Grandparent may give a pound on a monthly or fortnightly basis’. There was nothing! And when I think about it – they’ve never been really seen as a cohort – we had Maureen Lipman as Beattie with her grandson and his ‘ology’ – but she was just a memorable and amusing ‘type’. Grandparenting as a phenomenon seems a relatively recent thing. Do look at the report, it is a fascinating view of our times.

We have further additions to the CRAM/Peter Cooper collection prompted by talk of the economy and Inflation and Research into Youth Culture – which is of interest to Modern British Historians and Sociologists. The titles speak for themselves.

By Peter Cooper:

  • PA110 Market research with kids and teens (2000)
  • PA115 Insight into kids and teens: developmental psychology (2003)
  • PA112 How the economic crisis is impacting on our mental health and wellbeing (2009)

 By Peter Cooper & Simon Patterson

  • PA111 The impact of the economic crisis: towards a new consumer and market research model (2009)
  • PA113 Money can’t buy me love: a look at the economic crisis through the values, fears and aspirations of consumers (2010)

By Simon Patterson

  • PA114 Coming out of the economic crisis (in honour of Peter Cooper 1936-2010) (2010)

We also have some real gems from Gordon Heald who ran Gallup Poll in the UK between 1979 and 1994 and ORB International from 1994 to 2000 (his obituary was in the AMSR Newsletter, Autumn 2021):

  • PCA60 Photos of Gordon Heald with President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II – here’s one of them!
  • PCA58 Letter to Gordon Heald, 14th July 1993 – From Prince Charles!

Gordon Heald was also the source of a press cutting from 1986: PCA55 40 years on, how much have we changed? (Interview with Mark Abrams plus digest of social changes since 1946)

I was so impressed that I’ve transcribed the first couple of paragraphs about the Great Old Man of Market Research for you (the press cutting is a little difficult to read):

Early in the last war the Government asked Dr Mark Abrams, a 34-year-old member of the BBC’s Overseas Research Department, if he could detect from German propaganda broadcasts whether Hitler intended to attack our shores. As a market researcher, it was reasoned, he was used to listening, probing and reading between the lines. Dr Abrams set about it in the way he knew best. Pre-war he had carried out surveys for Rowntrees (on chocolate bars) and for the Gas Light and Coke Company (on how often we took hot baths). German war strategy? No problem. “We called it de-coding at the time,’ he recalls today at his Georgian home in Brighton. “Getting through the guff to the real message. Today we call it content analysis. I concluded that the German people were being conditioned to the fact that an invasion would not take place. I told the Government so.”  BLIMEY!!!

And a couple of reports from Gallup

  • PCA56 Some surprises in the new Gallup poll on European attitudes (1981)
  • PA109 The State of Well-Being in Britain (2000)

By Judith Chaney

  • R737 Social networks and Job Information: the situation of women who return to work – report for the Equal Opportunities Commission, Social Science Research Council

By Professor John Philip Jones for Gesamtverband Werbesgenturen, Frankfurt

  • R763 When Ads Work: the German version (1995) Professor John Philip Jones for Gesamtverband Werbesgenturen, Frankfurt. An academic report based on German and American single-source research carried out by A C Neilsen

As I use the Archive more and more, I am constantly surprised by what is in there – it’s a little eclectic to be sure – but it’s almost always interesting, and you do never know what will be useful to some future academic or A-Level student.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Cats in the Archive” tab_id=”1676989399965-964df9fa-ced6″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”9007″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Jane Hamlett, Professor of Modern History at Royal Holloway, University of London and Rebecca Preston, a Historian with English Heritage, have written an intriguing monograph about Siamese cats,  ‘Noisy, despotic, fascinating: Siamese cats and emotional and domestic life in twentieth century Britain’. This was published in Cultural and Social History, The Journal of the Social History Society in September 2022. It cites two items from the Archive.

The monograph examines the cat’s emotional contribution to its owner’s home lives and how it becomes entwined with the routines and rituals of domestic life.  The home and family have been increasingly acknowledged as an important historical terrain which shapes emotional experience and the cat’s role in this context is analysed. The authors discuss how the perceived capacity of Siamese cats to respond and interact with their owners enhance their contribution to the pet-human relationship and they illustrate this with stories about the relationships of identified writers with their cats.

The monograph cites two items from the Archive: Reader’s Digest European Surveys 1963 (Survey of Domestic Animals – Table 28) and a 1975 CRAM qualitative study on Soft Moist Cat Food and Packaging.

The latter segments cat owners into ‘cosseters, accepters and resenters’, to conceptualise people’s different attitudes to their cats.  ‘Cosseters’ are those who have high involvement with their cat, it is important to them, and is a direct object of love ­– almost a child substitute.  ‘Accepters’ are those for whom the cat is an ’animal’, most commonly a family or child’s pet. ‘Resenters’ are those for whom the cat is mainly a child’s pet and they resent the task of feeding it. They certainly do not wish to invest in direct love or care for the cat.

The cat owners described in the monograph were clearly ‘cosseters’.

Jane Hamlett has a long-time interest in pets.  On 2021 she led the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Pet Histories and Wellbeing Project and created the Pet Life Immersive Exhibition and film with the Museum of London and Blue Cross. From 1916-19 she led the AHRC Pets and Family Life Project, a collaboration with Julie-Marie Strange, Professor of Modern British History, Durham University, which drew on the Archive.  The book from the Project Pet Revolution: Animals and the making of Modern British Life, which tracks the British love affair with pets over the last two decades, is due to be published in February 2023.  Jane writes, “The AMSR Archive was really, really useful for our Pets Project and we’ve also used it in our forthcoming book.. It’s a great Archive and brilliant for students as well”.

 See  Qualitative Research on Soft Moist Cat Food and packaging – The CRAM Peter Cooper Collection – The AMSR Online Archive

Reader’s Digest European Surveys 1963 (Table 28)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”‘Hey Lady'” tab_id=”1676989406669-aa1fecc1-6879″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”9008″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Alice Naylor is one of the Modern British History Academics who make use of our Archives in her research.  Indeed she and Phyllis Macfarlane delivered a Webinar to &more, the MRS network for young researchers, in 2021, exploring the importance of market and social research in understanding the history of real people.  They showed how the quantitative and qualitative research projects stored in our Archives are contributing to their research and teaching of Modern British History Academics and to the dissertations of their students.

Alice has been looking at how perceptions of ‘women in the kitchen’ have changed and the place of kitchen appliances in this context. She has been part of the organisation of performances: ‘Putting on a Show’ , featuring the Kenwood Chef, organised by the Science Group, the University of Plymouth. A 1960s Chef will be brought to life using an original demonstrator’s script from the Science Museum London’s Archives. The performances will explore how Kenwood sold their kitchen appliances to consumers. (Note re image below:  this ad vividly demonstrates the changes in women’s role in society since the 1960s.  No advertiser now would dream of selling a kitchen appliance with a headline like that!  For more on the changing role of women why not take a look at our second book in the series Showcasing the Archive – How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond where there are two chapters of particular relevance to this theme.)

Hopefully, Alice Naylor will write an account of the Event in our next Newsletter. Meanwhile she is trying to discover the provenance of the 60s advertisements for Kenwood. She writes, “I am on the hunt for advertising agencies that may have worked with Kenwood from the late 1950s through to the early 1970s.   Print advertisements in the Daily Mail newspaper include “Down with Drudgery! “I’ve a Kenwood Kitchen”! (c.1960), “The Kenwood Chef does all the things you shouldn’t have to. And more”. (c.1969), “16 boring jobs no woman should be asked to do. Kenwood does the lot!” (c.1968), “I’m giving my wife a Kenwood Kitchen” (1961).  A 1967 TV advertisement from the HAT archives (1967_Kenwood_Hey lady_HAT2_1_77_59) called ‘Hey Lady’ is a great example of portraying the Kenwood Chef as playful and fashionable, albeit in a slightly sexist way.  It would be helpful to discover who wrote the brief for the advertisements and what was the collaborative process between the Kenwood marketing team and the agencies they worked with.  Thank you!”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Best of Bullmore” tab_id=”1676989413963-be5a3e64-269b”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5632″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]In 2021, work began on an online archive that would make freely available the work of Jeremy Bullmore as he retired from the global marketing services company, WPP. Best of Bullmore is for advertising and marketing people, as well as students, researchers, historians and indeed anybody who values wit, wisdom and incisive intelligence.

Jeremy – described by industry bible Campaign as “adland’s greatest philosopher” – started his career at J. Walter Thompson London as a copywriter, left as agency Chairman, then worked within WPP for 33 years. He was everything that made JWT special and his creativity was channelled into brilliant words. His CV includes work for flourishing brands like Guinness and Mr Kipling, books, journalism, writing for television, public speaking, non-executive roles with WPP, Guardian Media Group and more. A career that spanned the launch of commercial television in the UK and the arrival of the internet age has been distilled here – with great difficulty, there is just too much brilliant material – into four main sections: Brands, Research, People and Communications.

AMSR provided some of the material for the site. It is a great read:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Leaving a legacy” tab_id=”1676989421166-84fbda97-85e9″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”9009″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]An appeal for legacies to AMSR

We have a committed team of unpaid volunteers who undertake sterling work on behalf of the Archive but, as with most things, money is needed to allow it to progress and achieve its stated aims. Whilst we have regular donations that cover the inevitable running costs, significant amounts are required for specific projects, hence the need for legacies.

We need more money to build on our successes: For instance, we are reaching out to schools and universities to expand our user base and for this to be effective we are preparing curated topic material and marketing case studies.

A legacy is one of the simplest and most flexible ways of giving to AMSR. We are in sound shape thanks to our generous donors, but nevertheless legacy donations can be transformative in allowing charities to achieve more ambitious goals. Leaving a legacy in a will does not involve any immediate financial outlay, but it will provide the AMSR with a long-term benefit. For example, the bequest left by former Trustee Judie Lannon has already enabled us to make significant plans for the future.  We used some of her legacy to carry out a small-scale research project to help define our Modern Collections. This has contributed greatly to our strategy for collecting current material and keeping the Archive relevant.

Leaving a legacy can be very tax efficient as gifts to charities are exempt from inheritance tax. So, as well as being a very special and thoughtful way of supporting AMSR, there is an advantage to donors and their beneficiaries. Donors can define how they want to remember AMSR in their will in different ways.

This is a very meaningful way to support AMSR, allowing us to develop long-term initiatives to improve the Archive and make it sustainable for the future.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this further. (contact or see Your gift will have a lasting impact, providing the AMSR with a long-term benefit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Memories and Obituaries” tab_id=”1676989429746-61966da1-b835″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8930″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Sir David Butler

We were sorry to hear of the recent death, at 98, of Sir David Butler. He was an eminent psephologist, political scientist and prolific author who, for many years. fronted TV Election night broadcasts.

David Butler enrolled at the burgeoning Nuffield College in 1949, writing a DPhil thesis on ‘The Evolution and Working of the British Electoral System, 1918-1950’. It was subsequently published by Oxford University Press in 1953.

Having contributed to the Nuffield election studies published in 1947 and 1951, he agreed to take over the series. When the snap election of 1951 was declared, he was appointed a Junior Research Fellow at Nuffield and has remained a Fellow of the College ever since. The British General Election of 1951 was Butler’s first book,  the first of 21 Nuffield studies written or co-written by Butler; and the first of 43 books by Butler, not including the multiple editions some books have passed through – British Political Facts (now retitled Butler’s Political Facts) is currently in its 11th edition.

He did not invent the term psephology (from the Greek word psephos meaning a pebble, since the Greeks used pebbles to vote), but he put it into the language. He did not invent the concept of a ‘swing’. But by using this term and helping to design the  ‘swingometer; he helped viewers to understand the way elections worked in this country. (The device was invented by Peter Milne, and later refined by David Butler and Robert McKenzie).

This is not an obituary. but we did trail through the Archive looking for mentions of David Butler. There were 67 mentions, mainly in the context of political poll reports.  Two, however, were more unexpected, and probably unreported and are worth reading.

The first comes from a nostalgic article by Colin Greenhalgh, then of Product Testing Research, from the MRS Newsletter.  Early in 1970 when he was at TNA, Colin was at the birth of the first exit poll. He recounts with grim humour the rather traumatic events leading up to the declaration of the vote. The exit poll was at Gravesend….. “Distinctly lukewarm reaction from David Butler. ‘just one untried poll and we don’t know about response etc’. Was he right? Had it all been worth it?”. Colin concludes his article, ”The Conservatives won by 1.9%/ Our prediction 1.0% It was all worth it”.

See The Market Research Society Newsletter Issue 256 1987 July – MRS Newsletter (1966-1992) – The AMSR Online Archive.

The second is from a report in the MRS Newsletter of the 1991 AMSO Summer Lunch at which David Butler was the guest speaker. His comments on market research make interesting reading. He suggested that the future of research was qualitative: “market research was the foundation of knowledge about the customer, and it was an error of judgement to restrict ourselves to the analysis of data. What researchers had to do was address themselves to qualitative issues. Companies could do their own analyses The researcher had to offer them something else”.

See The Market Research Society Newsletter Issue 305 1991 August – MRS Newsletter (1966-1992) – The AMSR Online Archive.

Memories of Alan Hedges

Alan Hedges, who died in October, had worked in the world of social and market research since the 60s. He had originally trained as a quantitative researcher at Mass Observation and had been Research and Marketing Director of the Advertising Agency S. H. Benson. From 1971 he operated as an independent consultant, advising and carrying out research with a particular focus on qualitative methods.

Alan wrote and lectured extensively on the theory and practice of research in general and qualitative research and public participation in particular.  Many readers will be familiar with his iconic book, published in 1974 by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, Testing to Destruction.

His later career focused on social policy research. Wendy Sykes, who worked with him for many years from the 1990s, writes of Alan as an innovator in the use of projective techniques in public sector research and in the development of approaches for consulting members of the public on issues they may rarely have thought about and/or don’t know enough about to have informed views.

Jane Ritchie, the founding director of the Qualitative Research Unit at SCPR (now the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)), worked with Alan from the 1980s and writes:

“At the time the National Centre for Social Research was setting up a specialist unit in qualitative research methods with the aim of extending their use in social policy. This was a field that Alan knew well and in which he had already made important inroads. Indeed, he was formative in helping to get qualitative methods both understood and used in social policy research at a time it was rarely commissioned and also viewed with some suspicion.

Alan was warmly regarded by the government and other public sector bodies to which he first introduced qualitative methods – and then continued to work with for many years. He had a thoughtful and often innovative way of looking at research problems which suited many of the complex issues that policy makers were trying to solve. He was good at explaining how different qualitative methods worked and what people could – and could not expect – from the findings. Perhaps crucially Alan was creative in the art of both designing and conducting in-depth research. This allowed for new ideas and ways of thinking to emerge which in turn helped to shape policy and practice.  It has to be remembered that all of this was happening at a time when there was great nervousness about using qualitative methods for policy research – how could the findings of a research study be trusted when it did not contain statistics or any numbers!!

Over the years Alan and I often collaborated on research projects in a range of different fields – social security, health, employment in particular.  And together we watched the use of qualitative methods grow to the integral place it has come to hold.  Now, in social research it is big business – widely used in most policy sectors. But perhaps most important is that the role qualitative findings can play in informing decisions is so much better understood. We have Alan to thank for sowing the seeds of this understanding”.

We are very grateful to Alan’s family, in particular his children Karen and Steve, who are donating his books and papers to the Archive. Wendy Sykes and Phyllis Vangelder are reviewing the extensive amount of rich material which will be such a valuable contribution to our collections.

Rodney Dick

Peter Bartram writes

Rodney Dick, who died last July 2002 aged 88, was a regular supporter of AMSR.  He was not one to broadcast his health problems and we never knew when he became ill with cancer and kidney problems early in 2021. This reticence was characteristic of him: his successful life in research was accompanied by talents fully applied elsewhere without boasting or fanfare.

He lived most of his life in the Winchmore Hill area of London, but at the age of nine during World War II he was evacuated to a farm in Cornwall where he learned to drive a tractor. Soon after the war, he joined the RAF, flying Tiger Moths, Chipmunks, Gloster Meteors and eventually Canberra bombers all over the world. Invited to pilot the famous Vulcan bomber, he had to decline as his height, at 6ft 2ins, meant its cockpit was even more cramped than that of the Canberra. So he left the RAF, initially working at Scotland Yard.

He went on to work at MAS (Marketing Advisory Services) and CPV (Colman, Prentis and Varley), but then started his own company, Associated Market Research Services.  This was held in high regard, mainly conducting product tests.

In later years he never lost his association with flying, helping and leading the Air Cadets in Guildford, in Islington and in Winchmore Hill itself.

Described as “a true gentleman, always kind, considerate, generous and very intelligent, helping others when needed and above all putting others before himself” he is greatly missed by his family and those of us who have been privileged to know him.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 24 –  Issue 3 2022

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”juicy-pink” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”1670422978710-ad756fed-3c18″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8041″ img_size=”180 x 180″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]At our Summer Event Kelly Beaver, Chief Executive Ipsos, stressed that we are entering a digital age. We are in an age of search. We can provide a mindmap of creative, non-linear searching. It is not chronological, but associative – a single word or concept can spark a journey in multiple directions. The Founders of the Archive understood this and had the prescience to know that digitisation was the future and from its inception all the materials, (with the exception of books), were digitised.

It is therefore fascinating to see that the great libraries of the world are involved in huge digitisation programmes. I recently Zoomed into a wonderful presentation by Bodley’s Librarian, Richard Ovenden, the Senior Executive of Bodleian Libraries,  showcasing the Oxford Digital collection. He quoted Francis Bacon’s letter to Thomas Bodley who originally bequeathed the Library to Oxford university: “You have built an ark to save learning from the deluge’”.

Richard Ovenden maintained that the Bodleain libraries still provide an ark to preserve knowledge and the core of the current ark is its digital collection. There are some 14 million online print and digital sources covering all Oxford libraries and Bodleian college libraries. There has been a mass digitisation programme since 1992. Some 1/2 million books have been scanned but there is still a long way to go. They are the infrastructure that supports this ark. He enthused about the wonderful way this digital collection engages with a global audience, sharing knowledge with communities across the world. He believes that libraries and archives underpin our democracy. Like the AMSR Archive the Bodleian kept Oxford reading during the pandemic – its slogan was: ‘Scan and deliver’.

Equally impressive are the digitisation programmes at great institutions – not just influential libraries like the London Library, but museums and galleries. Museums like the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Science Museum, for instance, have digital strategies embedded in their future planning. Cambridge University has digitised inter alia180 medieval pharmaceutical manuscripts. The British Museum has online access to around four and a half million objects from more than 2 million records.

In this issue we look at our own plans for cataloguing and preserving what we hope will be a unique modern collection. The future of history is digital. Nowadays history is for everyone, not just for victors, The history we have in our Archive is about everyday lives  in real time.  We are preserving today’s social history, the research that is being conducted now, for future researchers and historians.

Judith Wardle’s lovely article about AMSR’s new Hub describes how we will provide users with everything they need to explore whatever question they might have when it comes to market research, social research and all things business.

Phyllis Macfarlane describes recent contributions to our outreach programme with schools and other organisations. We particularly want to extend our reach to other schools and universities.  If you have any contact with a secondary school (independent, academic or maintained) and can introduce us to the teachers, or knows any academics who might like to be involved with the Archive, please put us in touch with them.

Also in this issue are Robin Birn’s celebration of the synergy between St Mary’s University, Twickenham and AMSR’s research.

As another example of outreach and synergy, Kirsty Pattrick, Mass Observation Research Manager, describes the work of Mass Observation and previews the joint Seminar we are planning in February next year.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Collecting current material” tab_id=”1670422983949-766d3b2d-f267″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8917″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are working towards firming up a structure for receiving and processing research reports and papers on research that is being conducted now. Such material could be called our ‘Modern Collection’, to distinguish it from our ‘Heritage’ Collection, but we are anxious that they should not be seen as separate entities. They are both integral parts of the Archive which researchers should see an overarching data source. For instance, an article on Covid research is being prepared for the third book in the AMSR series on ‘Showcasing the Archive’, but within this, material is being drawn from the Archive Collection of reports on the AIDS pandemic in the 80s and 90s.

Covid Research

It is important that we collect research on Covid without delay. We cannot ‘showcase’ material that is not yet in the Archive.

We are now in the process of ensuring that the extensive body of research conducted by agencies on Covid is brought together and catalogued in the Archive. We believe that this work is already digitised, but if not, AMSR can arrange for it to be scanned and then, if required, returned to the donor agency. Research on Covid has been important, not only for the research industry but in helping to guide governmental decision-making in a critical national crisis. If any agency has conducted research during this period, we should be very grateful if they could contact one of the Phyllis’s (Macfarlane or Vangelder) to discuss how we might incorporate the data into the Archive. ( Such material illustrates people’s behaviour and attitudes in real time.

Richard Asquith is talking to agencies about their ‘modern’ research (for instance Brexit and immigration are examples of other issues which current research is addressing). We are very sensitive to client and agencies’ concerns about client confidentiality and commercial and competitive responsibilities. Indeed, AMSR is prepared to take responsibility for these issues, and we have several initiatives in place to ensure agencies are comfortable in allowing us to catalogue (and if necessary to scan) this material. A constraint on the period during which material can be accessed, can be imposed on time-sensitive material.

The Archive has educational value not only as a record of history yesterday, but of history today. What is part of our daily life will be the history of tomorrow and all agencies can contribute their work and have a stake in the future.


Big Green Doors

We now have a large new collection of branded communications reports from Big Green Doors spanning 1995-2018. The Contents Committee are gradually reviewing it with a view to making arrangements for scanning. There might well be the kind of issues of client confidentiality, (as outlined above), for some of the reports and these will provide a good pilot for addressing them. The amount of scanning necessary for this collection is beyond the scope of our volunteer team and we shall have to consider commercial scanning, and raising a grant or  sponsorship for this collection.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Our New Information Hub” tab_id=”1670422989448-c67852d5-7699″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8916″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Judith Wardle writes

‘Curiosity might be pictured as being made up of chains of small questions, extending outwards, sometimes over huge distances, from a central hub composed of a few blunt, large questions.

Alain de Botton


If I ask you to think of an archive, I wager the picture you conjure up is a quiet room, possibly wood-panelled, motes of dust floating through the shafts of sunlight, papers shuffled by hands wearing white gloves and books resting on upholstered book rests.

Well, that might once have been true, but the world of archives is changing. Nothing changes that fast in this world, but archives are racing to digitise their collections, now the internet has made it possible to access digital content. Miraculously, you can see the minutes of the Royal College of Physicians meeting to discuss vaccination in 1807 or read the proceedings of cases at the Old Bailey in the 1670s – at your desk, on your phone or on your tablet.

The world of archives has been galvanised in other ways, too. Knowledge of particular archives used to be a well-kept secret, passed on by word-of-mouth and as students, we were largely reliant on tutors’ knowledge and networks and grateful for secrets shared. Now, and slowly, slowly, archives are reaching out to users, rather than relying on users finding them.

Our Archive is at the vanguard of this change, and we want to help you, our users, navigate through the many information sources you might find helpful; we want to be your first port of call. Hopefully, you will find much to answer your original question in our own AMSR files, but these investigations are always journeys, aren’t they? You begin with your question, you find half an answer, you click through other archives and information sources and as you go, build up that sprawling picture that is the raw material of your answer, with its big picture and its tiny details. Our new Hub will provide you with everything you need to explore whatever question you might have when it comes to market research, social research and all things business.

You’ll find a link to the Hub featured on the Home Page. Alternatively go to the navigation buttons on the dropdown menu. Click on ‘The AMSR’ and navigate down to ‘AMSR Hub’. There, you’ll see a choice of Business and Market Information, more up-to-date information than history; Business, Market Research and Advertising History, more about the history of our disciplines; Politics, Public Policy and Polling and finally Cultural and Social History.

We plan to add to the list every six months or so. Do please send us any secret gems of an information source you might find. We’re planning to include a section on academic journals with helpful instructions on how to access them, so watch this space. When it comes to answering your questions, this is the place to start your journey.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Education – Good Progress!” tab_id=”1670422995071-0ffa5f8e-8004″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8926″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]In our quest to develop usage of the Archive at school level, we recently had good and encouraging feed-back from the Notting Hill and Ealing High School (NHEHS).

This time last year Sue Robson and I were trying to visit the school (Sue is a former Chairman of the Governors) to present the Archive to the A-Level History Students to help with their Coursework.

These days, if you do the Modern British History module in A-Level History – as a part of your coursework you have to write a 5,000-word dissertation addressing questions such as:

  1. How far did Britain become a ‘permissive society’ in the 1960s?
  2. How effectively did British governments deal with issues of race relations and immigration in the 1960s?
  3. Assess the reasons for Margaret Thatcher’s downfall in 1990.

Obviously, we have lots of material in the Archive for them to use – including attitudes to the liberalising laws introduced in the 70s as a result of movements and social changes begun in the 1960s, attitudes to immigration, including MORI and NOP studies with immigrant populations – and we have tracks of attitudes to Mrs Thatcher practically monthly for years and years! So, we were rather excited to have the chance to enthuse the students with a scintillating presentation….

In the event, we never did get there! What with Covid and everything else, the meetings we had set up were cancelled. But Sue had the idea that we should write them a note – and that’s what we did – a 2-page crib sheet telling them exactly how to access the Archive – how to search for Thatcher and immigration etc, and where to look in the findings. We also said that they could contact us if they wanted help. The Head of History sent it out to the students …  and then nothing … one rather irrelevant query by email … but basically no response. We were SO disappointed.

Then finally (!) a few weeks ago we had feedback: 4 (of the 12) students had used the Archive in their dissertations – and almost all of them said how useful they had found the note – it helped them get into using archives – which many of them have never done before. It gave them confidence and showed that archives weren’t as scary as they’d imagined.

So, we were very proud of that – because the ability to use archives is an important skill to be able to demonstrate for University entrance.

We’re going to visit the school in late September to demonstrate the Archive to next year’s students, and hopefully include students of other subjects like Politics and Sociology.

We’re sharpening up the presentation…

Watch this space![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Institute of Historical Research Seminar – The Future of History” tab_id=”1670423000859-808de926-4e54″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8919″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane writes

On Friday 15 July the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) brought its centenary year to a close with a celebration of History: Past, Present and Future. Historians of all kinds came together – to talk, showcase their research, and address critical issues in the discipline today.

In the evening, I was invited to a packed Beveridge Hall and participated in a lively discussion on the future of history, led by a panel of speakers from across the history community, including those writing historical fiction (Philippa Gregory) and for television Michael Wood and Janina Ramirez and illustrious others: Emma Griffin (UEA & Royal Historical Society),  Valerie Johnson (The National Archives), Olivette Otele (University of Bristol & Royal Historical Society), Rana Mitter (University of Oxford) and Mel Jones (Historical Association). There was much to discuss because there is much at stake. Some of the most pressing questions were around identity, access and practice: who gets to do historical research, how is it done, and where does it happen? And there was also discussion of many other topics: the role of technology and the challenges of working with digital; the status of history as both a force for public good and as a popular leisure activity.

History matters

Professor Claire Langhamer opened the debate with a strong statement: History today is challenging, complex and creative. It’s interdisciplinary collaborative, energetic and purposeful. History matters. History is a force for social good. It is popular. History is woven into the fabric of popular culture that constantly invents new ways of using and understanding the past. Yet this is a tricky time for history and historians. The future of history is not a given.

There followed a very interesting discussion – I hadn’t realised that history can be quite so exciting!  Several key points came across to me – firstly the future of history is digital. But does that mean that’s it’s safe? We at the Archive of Market and Social Research are finding that many projects from the early digital years – say 1995 – 2005 or thereabouts – were saved ‘somewhere’ – but finding and accessing them is not easy or even possible. We are thinking that it may be that we have a ‘dark period’ in research history!

Digital implications

Another key point re digital records is that there is so much material – it’s impossible for any human to look through it – so we will need computing and AI to search it – and what are the implications of that? A computer may well see patterns that we would miss – but equally it could miss things that we would see? It is an issue that we are thinking about deeply as we start to build the modern collection – content is so different nowadays from what we are used to – reports are sometimes delivered interactively – how do we store them to be accessed usefully in the future?

One quotation that struck me, especially with regards to AMSR, was given by Michael Wood (Broadcaster and University of Manchester). It is the edict from the famous historian E P Thompson: that we must ‘rescue the poor luddites, weavers and frame-work knitters from the condescension of posterity’ . In many ways we at AMSR are rescuing the ordinary housewife and consumer from that dreadful fate!

Leisure activity

Michael Woods also made the point that history is the biggest leisure activity in the UK – more people ‘do’ history every week than go to football matches. There are 70 million museum visits per annum – not to mention all the activity in historical societies and genealogy research. History is becoming increasingly popular – and I think that AMSR adds to the richness and availability of history through what we are doing.

Another major point is the current emphasis on history being told from different perspectives – not just the rulers’ – but the peoples’ – and the individuals’ stories. Again, we are preserving the attitudes and thoughts of ordinary people in research projects – so we are adding perspective to history. Another notable point is that no-one edits or re-writes research reports – they remain authentic to their time!

The evening ended with a celebratory party – which was very enjoyable – but I came away with my head filled with many ideas – and, yes, an understanding that history matters and what we are doing with AMSR to preserve our own contribution to it is very worthwhile.  Hopefully the Historians of the future will be grateful![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The time yet to come” tab_id=”1670423007979-24a00e72-8557″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8347″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The Faculty of Business and Law, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, has been working with The Archive of Market and Social Research (AMSR) Marketing Committee for the past three years to encourage social historians and business, marketing, and communications academics to make use of the resources available in the Archive.

The main objective has been to develop a working relationship to ‘future scope’ academics and students use of AMSR content material for assignments and dissertations to develop knowledge about markets and brands.

So far two projects have been completed to understand the opportunities for AMSR alongside other sources of information used regularly. The first helped the AMSR Marketing Committee to understand how to position the Archive to University Librarians, academics, and dissertation tutors. The second was designed to assess the potential use of the Archive and found that there are over 700 academics and students per semester in the UK who could potentially use the Archive as a reference for project work and dissertations.

Using the Archive

The current research project is helping the AMSR Marketing and Contents Committees to understand how accessible archive material is for academic research and to learn more about the ways in which content is used. Last academic year Phyllis Macfarlane, Chairman of the AMSR Contents Committee, launched the project to students studying marketing and communications planning, presenting AMSR and its material. The pilot research project completed afterwards by Robin  Birn and Susanne Gilbert, the Module Convenors for these students, indicated that the process for searching for archive material needs to be simplified and should be supported with a practical guide to accessing AMSR. So, St Mary’s is continuing to work with AMSR to understand more about how the Archive could be used and to learn about the time yet to come when AMSR becomes the go-to resource for understanding the origins of trends in markets, marketing and research methods and brand development.

The working relationship is coordinated by a Steering Group including. for AMSR, Phyllis Macfarlane, Sue Robson, Phyllis Vangelder and Judith Wardle and for St Mary’s, Robin Birn, Susanne Gilbert, and a St Mary’s Graduate Nico Bellandi (who is currently studying Behavioural Economics at City University). This group has just confirmed the next exciting stages of the project which are being developed by the St Mary’s team. More progress will be discussed in future newsletters, but the two projects are as follows.

AMSR Research Centre

The pilot research has shown that time needs to be allocated to research archive material and use content for references. As some of the material in AMSR is in over 1,000 published books and texts St Mary’s is exploring the opportunity of setting up an AMSR Research Centre providing researchers with a room to complete the research and keep this rich resource of texts for reference.

As more in-depth research needs to be completed with students studying social studies and marketing and communications St Mary’s is talking to three other Universities to join the project and provide access to their students on similar Degrees. There are important benefits for AMSR in adopting this approach. Participation from other institutions will increase the sample for the research and will provide a robust analysis to help to publish the research findings in academic journals. It will also help to examine the issues further which in time will give AMSR the opportunity to apply for funds from the appropriate research programmes to assist AMSR to grow its resources for academics and students.

More updates will review the progress of these projects as our teamwork continues and becomes even closer.  We will let you know when the time yet to come has been spotted on the horizon.

Robin J Birn, the author of this article, is Senior Lecturer in Marketing, St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

The Board of Directors of The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) have recently awarded Life Membership and Life Fellowship to Robin in recognition of continuous support for CIM for the last 45 years.

Robin writes, “‘This is a great honour from the marketing professional body recognising a considerable time in which marketing has undoubtedly progressed due to the fast-paced profession. In this time the CIM and its members have continued to provide the necessary support and qualifications to allow marketers to excel and prosper in their chosen profession. The CIM Accreditation for St Mary’s Business Management and Marketing and Communications and Marketing Degrees allows me to continue to provide this support. It is the time of my life to stop counting the years but to make the years count”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”SRA Webinar ‘Using Archives in Social Research’” tab_id=”1670423017524-42bca947-13db”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8359″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The past may be a different country – but it holds lots of relevant information for researchers.

The philosopher George Santayana once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

But when I chaired the Social Research Association event, I wasn’t sure how digging up data from years gone by could help me as a social researcher very much focused on the present and future.

In fact, thanks to the amazing insights from our fascinating speakers –

  • Angela Whitecross, University of Manchester
  • Phyllis Macfarlane, Archive of Market and Social Research
  • Christina Magder, UK Data Service
  • Annie Irvine, Kings College London

– I learned a lot. Here are three of my observations about using the past to illuminate the present in social research.

1) Check if existing data can help contextualise or even replace fieldwork

Research ethics encourage us to minimise the burden on participants as far as possible, and this includes preventing them from becoming ‘over-researched’.

It’s important to consider what data already exists before jumping into field without thinking. This could be quantitative survey data from the UK Data Archive, which contains over 8,500 datasets Or perhaps a dive into the longitudinal qualitative exploration of personal and family relationships over time, which can be found in the Timescapes Archive.

Sure, our exact research questions and focus are extremely unlikely to exist already. But there could be incredibly useful contextualising information that might shed new light on a topic or change the focus of a project entirely.

It’s certainly something worth exploring in the early stages to ensure the research questions are as informed as possible – although this scoping time must be built into the project timetable.

2) History is constantly being rewritten, but archives are a snapshot in time

One thing that struck me when listening to the speakers was the relative ‘purity’ of the data in archives.

‘History’ is a constantly shifting entity that is continually being rewritten. In contrast, archived social or market research is fairly static.

Quantitative surveys or qualitative interviews are collected. Transcripts are created, analysed and written into reports. And that’s how it stays.

As a result, we have perfectly preserved snapshots of the attitudes or language of that time, even if that wasn’t the focus of the original project.

As an example, the NHS Voices of Covid-19 project was already documenting personal testimonies about health for the NHS at 70 project when Covid struck.

It was perfectly placed to capture and preserve real-time snapshots of attitudes to health and care throughout the pandemic; an invaluable resource of social history that can inform our research of a post-Covid world.

Another, slightly different example is the Archive of Market and Social Research, which holds decades worth of studies on everything from vegetarianism to attitudes towards the environment.

The reports, usually from research agencies, can tell us an awful lot about attitudes at the time, but also the language and framing of such issues over time. This can help us understand how present-day attitudes have formed and evolved.

3) Don’t be afraid to ask for help when re-purposing archived data

There is an increased focus within academia on creating and using archives (in part to encourage more responsible and ethical practice). However, using archives is still relatively new to many researchers.

The idea of taking data someone else has collected and re-purposing it with an entirely different focus can seem daunting or uncomfortable. What if you interpret it completely differently, having not been in the room with the participant? What if the original research team object to having the data used in this way? What if access is denied?

The response from the speakers is clear. Ask!

Archivists are extremely knowledgeable. Most are happy to give free advice on applying for access, as ultimately they want people to engage with the collections they carefully curate.

Likewise, engaging with the original research team of a study is not only permitted, but recommended. This can only help you understand the archived data better.

Certainly, there’s a balance to be struck on how involved they are with the new project, but ultimately most would be thrilled to have their data interpreted in a fresh new way.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Mass Observation and everyday life” tab_id=”1670423025232-1b9121ec-302c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8920″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Kirsty Pattrick, Mass Observation Research Manager, writes


Observing the everyday

As a source of qualitative data, Mass Observation provides a unique collection of narrative material on people’s everyday lived experiences, their thoughts, and opinions.

Founded in 1937 Mass Observation sought to capture that which would otherwise go unrecorded though diaries, surveys, and observations (1937 to mid-1950s). This was to counter what they saw as misrepresentations in the press at this time. All aspects of life were explored, from general elections and birth control to shopping habits, dancing and what is on your mantelpiece. It was active through the tumultuous years of the Second World War and today a vast collection exists, with a unique lens into this period.

Mass Observation today

Mass Observation continues as an active research project (1981 – present) generating new material through its national panel of self-selecting volunteer writers and wider open-calls such as its annual 12th May Day diary event.

The panel are sent Directives (open questionnaires) on 2-3 subjects in Spring, Summer, and Autumn. This currently generates a 35% response rate with approximately 110 narratives, varying in length. The material is rich in everyday lived experiences; the personal, social, and political. The most recent Directive (Spring 2022) included topics on smell, drones, the second world war and the Ukraine.

This directive questions are generated both in-house and through collaborations with academic researchers, who ‘buy-into’ the relationship nurtured with our panel. There is strength in its longitudinal potential due to the long-term commitment of the volunteers.

Volunteer ‘Mass Observers’

The volunteers have formed a relationship of trust with MO which has been nurtured over 40 years, with many contributing for years, if not decades. They write anonymously, with a unique reference number and therefore write openly and candidly. They do this with the knowledge that their writing will be safeguarded and used responsibly for research, teaching, and learning. It attracts volunteers of all ages but has a skew towards women aged 45 to 80 years.

There are multiple reasons why people join and as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded there was a sharp rise in interest. For the majority, it makes them feel good and the process of writing feels rewarding. They can write in their own way, at their own pace and this, in turn, produces in-depth and reflective narratives.

As an archive, people are motivated by writing for history, as a legacy of themselves and of maybe being like Nella Last, one of our most well-known wartime diarists. Our observers also know though, that their writing is being used by current researchers and this appeals, their voice being part of contemporary research.

Who uses Mass Observation?

Mass Observation is a public resource and is used by a wide range of people from academics and students to writers and filmmakers.  Our Outreach and Engagement programme supports schools, community groups and the wider public in contributing to and engaging with the material through different initiatives. This work challenges the barriers of access by many hard-to-reach groups such as those who are homeless and the prison community.

What next:

  • This year marks Mass Observations 85th Anniversary and to celebrate there is a year- long festival of events running into 2023 including a monthly seminar series. To find out more visit

On Wednesday 15th February 2023 there will be a joint online seminar with Mass Observation and AMSR. Speakers will include Professor Claire Langhamer (Trustee of Mass Observation Archive and Director of the Institute of Historical Research) and Dr David Tross, who will share their research experience as users of both collections.

A selection of directive themes since 1981

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”New additions to the Archive” tab_id=”1670423035454-d2def011-8f40″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8921″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane, Chairman of the Contents Committee, Chairman  writes

The key news is that we’ve just completed the loading of several hundred new reports (from the early 80s) into the CRAM Collection.

I personally was very excited because there are several Lucozade Studies, and since we’re working on a Case Study on Lucozade for Marketing Students, it was very useful to have this new input. But there are lots of other new and interesting reports – here are a few that we spotted:

The transport buffs amongst you might like The Effects of Timetable Frequency Changes on Suburban Services of Two London Areas. The areas in focus are Hackney and Dartford and the dates are 1983 (before changes) and 1984 (after changes). It’s a classic study – and the whole report brings back memories of much simpler times. Here’s the link:  The Effects of Timetable Frequency Changes on Suburban Services of Two London Areas (summary and basic tabulations, includes proposal) – The CRAM Peter Cooper Collection – The AMSR Online Archive (;

The earlier reports are also in the Collection.

The nostalgic and those interested in the history of drinks and alcohol might like a Babycham Advertising Project.  The advertising developments raised some interesting comments:

“this would be good for advertising Tizer’’

“this is a yobbo’s local drink but Babycham is light and feminine”

Here’s the linkBabycham Advertising Development [sparkling perry] – The CRAM Peter Cooper Collection – The AMSR Online Archive ( You’ll laugh at the imagery and verbatims.

There’s work on a Magazine on the Royal Family, the threat of Own Labels and New Mortgage concepts – too much to mention in detail – but the CRAM collection is always worth a browse.

Another delightful addition for artists and those interested in early advertising is a charming book: The Artist in Advertising: a guide for students in Schools of Art – published by The Advertising Creative Circle – dated 1953.

There’s a wonderful photograph – of what would be in our times a very ‘unartistic’ looking person arriving at an agency reception desk (it is 1953, after all) – but her ‘artistic’ status is signalled very effectively by the fact that her portfolio is covered in a Liberty print! Here’s the link: The Artist in Advertising: a guide for students in Schools of Art – Guides and rule books – The AMSR Online Archive ( Do look at the other photographs in the book as well!  How times have changed…

Other recent additions are:

A wonderful document entitled Change which is an interim report of a Clothes Rationing Survey prepared by Mass Observation for the Advertising Service Guild, reported in its Bulletin, August 1941.

A unique Collection of Vignettes from Humphrey Taylor.

Humphrey Taylor has generously donated to the Archive a lively set of vignettes recalling his uses of research in many encounters with the great and powerful in both the UK and the USA. These show him not only working with colleagues as a technical innovator many times over but also demonstrate his ability to influence decision-making at the highest levels of politics and business.

There will soon be a new page added to the Portal (click here) which will provide details of new additions.  This page will be updated regularly so keep visiting from time to time.

Enjoy having a look around the Archive![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 23 –  Issue 2 2022

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”juicy-pink” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”1662994781698-e5bd12a4-0b32″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8041″ img_size=”180 x 180″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]I was so pleased to hear that Liz Nelson has been appointed Honorary Trustee of AMSR.

Since the early days when she first drew me into the work of the Archive she was obsessed (and indeed she still is) with the dream of a living archive of market and social research material.

We first talked about the Archive some six years ago when we were at a Yoga retreat in Goa. We shared a lovely tree house. I was upstairs and  Liz downstairs  and I would come down to find her on the veranda, making notes on the backs of envelopes. She asked if I was interested in being involved and of course I said yes. We spent a lot of time talking about the values and ideas for the Archive. Liz was absolutely convinced that it had to be digital and how right she was. The brand came to the fore during Covid when libraries were closed and material about market and social research could be retrieved immediately at the click of a mouse.  And we came up with the acronym AMSR, now an established brand.

This issue contains a report from AMSR’s recent Summer Party held at the delightful venue of  the top floor suite and roof terrace of Bush House, now inhabited by King’s College, London. It was a great setting to hear distinguished speakers and socialise with friends and colleagues.

We also include inter alia some perspectives from the highly successful MRS online Conference in March and a report from Phyllis Macfarlane of another event in our ongoing outreach programme ­– her presentation to business and marketing students at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Dr Elizabeth Nelson OBE” tab_id=”1662994787276-3c67747d-8b81″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7928″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR has established a new position to honour Liz Nelson.

She has been appointed as an Honorary Trustee to mark the tremendous contribution she has made to the Archive. She was one of the founding triumvirate, comprising herself, John Downham, Geoffrey Roughton, who met in November 2014 to instigate an organisation that would rescue valuable historical material relating to market and social research. Liz was the first Chairman of AMSR’s Board of Trustees and her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm, have helped in steering it to growth and success.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The AMSR Summer Party” tab_id=”1662994796045-d1464ec7-9388″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8602″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR Summer Party

 We were very fortunate that The Policy Institute enabled us to use Kings College London’s top floor suite at Bush House for our Summer Party on 26 May. It was a delightful venue with an outside roof terrace which had views over North London. The event itself was generously sponsored by OvationMR. Supporters and friends were able to spill out onto the terrace with drinks and canapes, gossip and chat and even discuss issues of market and social research, before and after the short formal sessions.

For the formal part of the evening there were contributions from distinguished members of the market and social research community. The formalities were chaired by AMSR President Denise Lievesley, CBE, FAcSS and there were live contributions from Bobby Duffy, Professor of Public Polling and Director of the Policy Institute, King’s College, London and Phyllis Macfarlane, Head of Collections, AMSR. Kelly Beaver, Chief Executive, Ipsos UK & Ireland, was unexpectedly not able to be present in person and she addressed the audience via video.  Professor Patrick Barwise, Chairman of AMSR, summed up the talks. These demonstrated that the Archive has developed into a substantial digital collection of market and social research, which is increasingly in demand by those researching, teaching and studying British social, cultural and political trends.

Introducing the formal sessions, Denise Lievesley, spoke of her excitement in becoming President of AMSR. As a former head of the UK Data Archive at Essex University, archives are part of her professional history. She stressed how data collected at the time enables you to see and understand the priorities and contexts of information and how these change over time. And of course, as a statistician, she is particularly interested in the way methodologies have changed over the years.

She thanked the Policy Institute at King’s College for arranging the accommodation for the party and OvationMR for sponsoring the event. She concluded by encouraging people to contribute data to the Archive and if they were not yet involved in AMSR, to join the volunteers.

Shifting values

Bobby Duffy is the author of the recently published book, Generations: Does When You’re Born Shape Who You Are? which challenges the myths and stereotypes around generational typologies.  His work seeks a greater understanding of consumer trends.

He opened his presentation with a quotation from Winston Churchill which exemplified the value of the Archive: “The longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward”.

He illustrated the benefit of Archives, focusing on our shifting moral values. It’s easy to forget the past and the Archive enables you to see how much we’ve changed. He showed the differences between 1989 and 2019 on a list of issues which some people might think are immoral or morally wrong. Attitudes towards homosexual relationships between consenting adults changed from 40% who thought this morally wrong in 1989 to 13% in 2019. Or attitudes could stay the same: having sexual relationships with someone who is married to someone else was considered morally wrong by 52% in 1989 and 55% in 2019. Understanding how we’ve changed can inform some very big coming debates, for example about capital punishment (22% thought this was morally wrong in 1989, 37% in 2019) and euthanasia (22% in 1989, 17% in 2019). We often have to fight a sense of decline – but sometimes things have got worse! In response to the statement ‘In general politicians are good people’ 36% agreed in 1989, but currently only 23%!

The Archive goes back long enough for people to understand long-term trends. It is incredibly useful for putting events and trends in context. He referenced two important studies underlying this perspective: his recently published book Generations: Does when you’re born shape who you are? and The World Values Survey, highlighting particularly how values are polarising in Britain.

These are part of the rich historical data which provide practical input for researchers.

Lessons from history

Kelly Beaver looked at ‘Lessons from history: Ipsos and the Archive’. Explaining why Ipsos is a keen supporter of AMSR, she spoke passionately about the importance of preserving the past and holding on to the values from the historical social and marketing research it has collected.

She talked about the key challenges research archives might be facing in the future. “The way in which we collect and measure what the public thinks, feels and how it behaves is rapidly changing our capabilities. The amount of learning that comes from understanding how people are thinking, feeling, doing and behaving over time is critical for understanding how situations play out in the future and help us to interpret what is happening today”. She stressed the importance of data that allows you not only to understand how things happened in the past, but to interpret what is happening now and may happen in the future – what we might learn and do differently next time. The long-term view helps to contextualise today’s concerns.

There is the historical interest: what were the main concerns of the past? When did people’s values or opinions start to shift and how far have we really changed? Ipsos also have a commercial interest: its trends surveys help the company to stand out from the crowd. (The Political Monitor goes back to 1979, the Issues Index to 1974). Not only is this data useful in identifying research questions but providing advisory solutions in the present.

Kelly Beaver presented data from the Ipsos Issues Index showing trends from 1974 to 2022 in what people see as the most important issues facing Britain today. “We see what people are doing, how they think and feel”.

Relevance is important in understanding the challenges that we are experiencing Today – recession, Brexit and a huge pandemic – to look at how scenarios play out over time. The collection of key metrics on people’s attitudes and feelings about issues since 1974 provides the benefits of a long-time view and a relative perspective. In 1974, 3 in10 were worried about housing, during the 3-day week, 1 in 5 were worried about the cost of living and strikes, and 1 in 5 were worried about the common market.

Today, 4 in 10 are worried about inflation and with the benefit of a long-term view, we can say this is the highest level of concern about this since 1980. But in 1974, 8 in 10 people thought inflation was the most serious issue – double what it is today. The trend from the 70s means we know that the level of concern isn’t totally unprecedented – and that today’s level of concern can get worse. We can examine what high inflation means for consumers, not only regarding economic issues but their attitudes and the way they are feeling.

But not everything changes that quickly. Ipsos has long detailed evidence of how people feel. In 1999, 47% agreed with the statement “I support Britain’s involvement in the European Union”. Come forward 20 years, 48% had the same view in the referendum. In both surveys this attitude was concentrated among younger, better qualified and urban demographics. Long-term trend data give you the ability to understand what is changing and what is noise.


Some things are changing. “We are entering a digital age. We see this in the research world when we are trying to measure human attitudes and behaviour. The rise of digitisation and technology is changing the way market and social research organisations will seek to understand the British public. The kind of archiving we have historically done with AMSR – the MORI Archive, PDFs and paper files stored and saved on our systems, will not be feasible in the years ahead because the nature of how we select, collect and curate insights is changing”.

Kelly Beaver believes this is a challenge for AMSR and research organisations – to retain the values that their work can give to historians, academics and those that wish to understand consumers from marketing and brand perspectives.

The way we select and curate material has to adapt to digitisation. AMSR has to manage the early stages of the digital transition so its material can be accessible in the future.

Kelly Beaver presented two Ipsos tools. Iris is a multi-source audience measurement product which synthesises an establishment survey with online measurement, merged through data science. Millions and millions of data are coming out on an hourly basis. It shows how people were living on-line at this point of time and It helps Ipsos to answer clients’ questions alongside other forms of data collection at the same time.

Synthesio is Ipsos’ social listening platform, which allows Ipsos to listen to on-line conversations and understand their sentiment, by examining the keywords and terminology people use. This tool particularly poses the question for archives: how do you archive (and curate) social media data?

AMSR will need to think about how it can achieve archive this kind of digital feed, so that historians can mine it for the kind of questions and answers they want to Interpret what is happening today and ultimately understand how things will change in the future. This is a significant challenge. The way documentation happened before with historical paper-based records was hard enough. In a digital-first world how can we make archiving feasible?

Kelly Beaver concluded, “We really believe that the work AMSR is doing is incredibly important. which is why we will be continuing to support it. I hope that others will see the value in this and help to contribute”.

Content and usage

Phyllis Macfarlane, Head of Collections, AMSR, stressed that the future of the Archive depends on more content and usage. She talked first about the Heritage Collection, where we have succeeded in preserving around 7,000 items ­ (and they do keep coming in). AMSR has done ‘a great housekeep’ during lockdown. The Archive is now up and running again.

So, what’s next? More users and the development of the Modern Collection.  Phyllis Macfarlane went through the differences in types of users, “Social and cultural historians take to the Archive like ducks to water. They see things in the data, the background, that we don’t always see”. Marketing academics and students are interested in the ‘here and now’, although they want to learn from the past. But they want more curation. Secondary Education Students need more handholding. Those in the market research industry need more concrete examples.

Phyllis Macfarlane described research conducted amongst current MR agencies to understand the issues in building a Modern Collection. What is their archiving practice? What is actually retained and what are they willing to donate? Basically, a lot of early ‘digital’ work has already been lost. However, agencies are willing to contribute what is theirs to give, but they do not ‘quite’ see the value to their business.

AMSR would like to agree a ‘stream’ of work from current agencies, including ‘old’ continuous data of no current value. “We hope to get clients on board, perhaps via special collections. We are curating collections for marketeers, but we do need help. We are already creating teaching material for schools – A-Level and GCSE. We are also creating relevant examples for MR agencies, for example by adding context to their PR reports. The objective material in the Archive helps us understand our unconscious biases”.

Phyllis Macfarlane outlined the content we would particularly like to have: qualitative work and commercial research to understand and interpret behaviour; work linking research to action taken, for example, research input to advertising strategy, especially social media; research into customer satisfaction and loyalty development; how research led to product and service innovation. “But”, she concluded, all research tells us about society at the time: it can all have future value, and we need to preserve it”.

Summing up, Professor Patrick Barwise confirmed that, despite the pandemic, we are building a lot of momentum, thanks to our volunteers and supporters.

We are just starting to show the value of what we’re doing, including to people – academics and now A-level students – with no previous knowledge of, or interest in, market research, as well as industry leaders like Kelly Beaver and Bobby Duffy who see the value of putting policy and marketing into a longer-term context.

But we still have a huge amount to do to realise the full potential of the Archive. That especially means historians working on the social and cultural history of post-war Britain, but it might also include sociologists, political historians, human geographers, marketing academics and others. Our offer to them is that, if they are happy to talk to one of our user support team about their current and planned research, we’ll do our best to find relevant material in the Archive and send it to them. We’d also like to talk to A-level and undergraduate teachers.

Finally, we need money to run this operation. In particular, he thanked Kelly Beaver and Ipsos for their continuing generous support. Although we are volunteer-led, the Archive costs £35,000 a year to run, so any financial support is really helpful.

We still need the insight sector to help us preserve material that reflects our ever-evolving markets and society. If anyone has material for the Archive, either the Heritage or Modern Collections, he urged them to talk to Richard Asquith who has joined the band of volunteers to head up our relationships with agencies and consultancies. Professor Barwise also asked people who knew academics who might be interested in using material in the Archive, to tell them about it and put them in touch with AMSR.

At some point in the next few years we’ll be able to go to funding bodies like the ESRC or AHRC, perhaps with an academic partner, but we’re not quite there yet.

The event was not only a social success, but a fitting celebration of how much AMSR has achieved since it became a charity some six years ago.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”St Mary’s University – a New Generation of Users” tab_id=”1662994804658-6a1b79a6-ea6f”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8604″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The collaboration between St Mary’s University Twickenham and AMSR is a wonderful example of synergy.  St Mary’s has been a great supporter of AMSR from the beginning – they’ve promoted us, conducted surveys, helped us with marketing plans and encouraged their students to use the Archive. There is in fact a dedicated page on the University website reporting the joint research carried out by St Mary’s and AMSR.  We are particularly grateful for the support from Robin Birn, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the Institute of Business, Law and Society at St Mary’s, who sits on our Marketing Committee. Here Phyllis Macfarlane, Chairman of AMSR’s Contents Committee talks about her recent presentation to students.

On 10 March we had the opportunity to run a seminar for the students of St Mary’s to show them how to use the Archive and, more importantly, what we have in the Archive that might be of use to them in their studies. We’ve found over the last couple of years that that if we can give potential users an example that’s relevant to what they are studying they will very quickly get into the Archive and use it – otherwise, it can be a bit overwhelming at first.  If you search for ‘customer satisfaction’, for instance, you get 698 mentions in the Archive! Knowing how to start to break that list down into digestible chunks can make a huge difference to the transition from timid potential user to successful promoter and advocate of the Archive.

The audience for the Seminar was 2nd year Marketing and Communications students – there were 50+ attendees – and their task during the next semester is to write a Business Plan including a brand review and market research plan. Then, in their third year, they have to write a Dissertation on a subject of their choice. The University had shared with us the list of Dissertation topics from last year’s students – many were focused on branding, loyalty and customer satisfaction, advertising and telecoms – areas where the Archive has a lot of content to offer. St Mary’s is a university where all assessments are based on coursework – not examinations – so it’s important that the Business Plans and Dissertations are of high quality. The Archive can really help students deliver coursework that is unique and genuinely useful.

The University is located close to Strawberry Hill Station in Twickenham – you just follow the streams of young people from the train to the beautiful campus, which is centred on a church – St Mary’s (!) – surrounded by modern buildings and extensive gardens.  The University has 6,000 students in total. It’s number one in London for course satisfaction and teaching satisfaction (Guardian University Guide 2020), the 2nd safest university in London (Complete University Guide 2020), Top 4 in the UK for their sports scene (Which? University Student Survey 2019) and in the Top 5 in the UK for student experience (The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022). But perhaps most importantly in this day and age: 96% of graduates are in employment, vocation or further study within 15 months of graduation (HESA 2021), i.e. it works!

In the Seminar the students actually practised using the Archive on their laptops and I shared with them what we had on brands such as Nike and Lucozade, customer satisfaction and advertising effectiveness – using examples from the list of last year’s dissertation topics – for example we have several very interesting papers on Celebrity Endorsement of Advertising showing data on its effect and also identifying some of the questions it can raise – was Gary Lineker wise to endorse crisps in an age of obesity?

We also have some spreadsheets that our volunteers have prepared on what we have on subjects such as photography, pets, food and drink.  And for Social Studies students we have listed what we have on, for example, historic attitudes to immigration and the reasons for Mrs Thatcher’s downfall in 1990.

And I related some stories of our favourites – the Continental Quilt story, Cinema-going in Greater London (1963), the Running Buffet (food trends), Eve and Adam – BOAC and Women’s Travel Markets (you really should read* this last report if you have a moment – you really won’t ‘adam and eve’ it!). These reports tell a whole lot more about social history and attitudes in Britain at the time than ever we market researchers realised!

One of our current objectives is to collect instances of how the Archive is actually used – it’s a question we are frequently asked by current MR agencies when we ask them to donate modern content – so we have decided to offer 2 prizes of £200 each for the most interesting and innovative examples of use of the Archive in the students’ Business Plans: one for Communications and Marketing students and one for Social Studies students. We’re hoping to get some great examples that we can publicise – we’ll keep you posted!

One of the things that I always think about when demo-ing the Archive to potential users is what foresight our founders and volunteers showed in digitising the content right from the beginning. It makes the Archive so modern and accessible – as well as relevant. We hope that the students of St Mary’s are making use of it at this very moment!

*Eve and Adam – BOAC and Women’s Travel Markets – Reports of projects – The AMSR Online Archive ([/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”MRS Impact 22 Conference” tab_id=”1662994812774-f8e5f7ef-8227″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7744″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]MRS Impact 22 Conference

Judith Staig, ContentWrite, AMSR Marcomms and Phyllis Vangelder, AMSR Trustee and Newsletter Editor, tuned into the MRS Impact Conference, the second conducted online due to pandemic restrictions

AMSR at the MRS Conference

Buried gold in recycled research

Click on the image to watch a video of our presentation.

The presentation from AMSR was entitled ‘Buried gold in recycled research’ and it demonstrated why recycled research is valuable and how it is being used by historians, university students and teachers.

Adam Phillips, AMSR CEO, pointed out that market research and analytics are aimed at helping clients deal with decisions about the future. However, there is a lot of incidental data collected in the process that is valuable to people concerned with long-term behavioural trends and strategy. At the moment, most market research is thrown away after 5-10 years because to doesn’t have any commercial value for the agency that produced it or the client that commissioned it. 20 years ago the big tech companies, like Google and Amazon, discovered that there was a lot of useful information that could be extracted from data collected in the process of delivering a service like answering questions. This incidental data, sometimes referred to as ‘exhaust’ or ‘digital crumbs’ has transformed the performance of the big tech companies. They have learned how to use this data to predict and influence human behaviour.

‘Exhaust’ is perhaps an unfortunate term, but in the same way, market research produces a lot of information that is essential to the process but is not needed to answer the objectives of the client that commissioned it – profile data, introductory questions at the start of an interview, even the assumptions underlying the objectives of individual projects – are all elements that are taken for granted by the researchers working on the project. But, as Prof Claire Langhamer said: it is ‘gold’ to social historians.

Phyllis Macfarlane, Chairman of AMSR’s Contents Committee, described how the Archive has been collecting this data for some years, so that it can be used by history and marketing academics – people who necessarily have a longer perspective than most market researchers. We are also piloting its use as a teaching aid for students at university or in school. We hope that using the Archive may interest some of them in a career in Insight.

She stressed that we want the Archive to be an ongoing resource – not just a repository of research done in the last century – if we call that our ‘Heritage’ Collection – we want to move on and create a ‘Modern‘ collection – of research done in the last 20 years – and also to start to collect research being done now – even if  we have to embargo it for 10 or 20 years – it will eventually become available to users. Think what a resource we can create for future historians if we collect together all the Covid research that’s been done, now, rather than wait 20 or 30 years before looking for it.

At the start of the Covid pandemic several organisations contacted AMSR to find out if we had any research on past health crises that would be useful in dealing with the present one. A lot of work had been done on researching behaviour and tracking public opinion during the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. 10 years later the Meat and Livestock Commission did similar work during the Mad Cow disease crisis in the early 90s. Unfortunately, none of the original research survives. We need to be more systematic to preserve research for the future. It is not yet clear how we can do this, so we’ve embarked on a research project to understand basically how agencies archive their research, ­­what exactly they keep and what they think about contributing it to the Archive.

Phyllis Macfarlane confirmed that a lot of research these days is thrown away after 5-10 years.  What is kept varies quite a lot – the bigger agencies tend to be quite rigorous and delete as they go – usually after 7 years – and since they account for a major share of the market, it’s true that most research is thrown away. However, most of the newer, smaller, more specialist agencies are keeping everything that they have ever done!  The bigger agencies just keep the minimum ISO requirements. But if agencies keep everything then it is all there – including transcripts, videos, the data, everything.

One issue is that reports are very different now from how they were 30-50 years ago, and it’s difficult to always understand everything from a set of PowerPoint charts – you have to ask the agency to look for notes and the methodology and other details if you want them – so it is much more complex than scanning a traditional report printed on paper.

 Phyllis Macfarlane went on to say that there’s pretty much a consensus among agencies about contributing towards the Archive collections. Everyone we spoke to is happy to donate their PR/thought pieces /Conference papers and also published work or things that they have put up for Awards.  However, when it comes to commercial work – much of it is done under contracts which specify that the client has the IP – resulting in a general reluctance to release these reports. When pushed most agencies say that they would try a little to obtain client permission – send a letter etc – but frankly they don’t expect much to come out of it.  We know this is a big issue and we’re working on it. It’s solvable and we can work with clients and their archivists. We can address confidentiality issues by stripping out sensitive parts or perhaps get client permission upfront.

There is another hurdle that we have to overcome: one of the key issues is that agencies don’t see the use or the benefit of archiving commercial research. They say they mainly do just boring everyday projects – how could they possibly be of value? Or that they see the Archive as a repository of social research and history of the MR Industry – not ad hoc/commercial research. They certainly don’t perceive that there’s any ‘buried gold’ in it.

We need to demonstrate the use and value of archived research. The lack of Archive material on AIDS and Mad Cow disease showed how useful and important it is to persuade research agencies and consultancies to preserve unpublished research.

Agencies definitely see the point of saving research about exceptional circumstances – that comes under the heading of ‘social’ research for them, but they still find it hard to see the point of saving more day-to-day commercial research.

Adam Phillips pointed to the value of case studies as an important tool for teaching people how to deal with business and social problems but they can only be written if there is original source material describing the case.

Archives contain lots of this stuff. AMSR has a copy of the Target Group Index  (TGI). This Kantar survey has tracked consumer purchasing, media consumption and social attitudes for over 50 years. It is one of the very few long running surveys in the commercial sector where the data has been retained for more than 10 years. A few years ago, Adam Phillips was doing a presentation about the Archive and put up a TGI chart describing the change in the proportion of adults growing their own vegetables at a time when a television sit-com called The Good Life was being broadcast. The show was about a couple living in Surbiton who decided to retire from the commuter rat race and convert their garden into a small farm. In the 3 years from 1975 to 1978 when the programme was running, the proportion of British adults growing their own vegetables grew from around 25% to nearly 50%. Over the next 10 years, after the programme stopped, the proportion declined back to 25%. A researcher from one of the major TV channels came up to him after his presentation and said that he wished he had seen it the previous week because he could have used it in a planning meeting to demonstrate the impact of television on changing the behaviour in the population.

Alice Naylor, a postgraduate researcher at  Portsmouth University, described her experience of using the Archive.  She originally came to the Archive through her PhD research on the development of kitchen appliances, but this led her into issues of wider society, for instance the changing nature of the kitchen and women’s roles in the home.  Qualitative research on Continental Quilts in the Archive provided insights into attitudes to housework and changes in the home. These are examples of using the Heritage Collection to understand the post-war world.

Alice Naylor was asked how she thought modern historians like her might use the Archive in the future – i.e the Modern Collections? What will be interesting about ‘now’ in another 20/30/50 years? Alice is sure that historians in the future will be fascinated by our attitudes to climate change – perhaps how it changed the way we eat – and how, together with our attitudes to obesity, it took us back from convenience (highly processed) food to healthier eating (or perhaps not!). Maybe the trends of the last 50 years will be seen to be reversing – we’ll have a longer perspective and be able to look at cycles in behaviour. Also how did Covid change the way we live and work – did it help or hinder the role of working women, did it finally bring about a shorter working week, less commuting, the ‘cashless’ society?  One of the key things, is that we really don’t know what people will find interesting in the future – which is why it’s important to preserve as much as we can.

Adam Phillips summed up the presentation by pointing out that contemporary MR says a lot about the state of society – and not just social attitudes – but about how the commercial world views the consumer and their own brands – it also gives insight into how the consumer navigates the changing world of advertising, marketing, buying and consuming. We all know the impact that the Pandemic has had on how we shop, but in 10 years’ time most of the primary sources explaining what really happened will have been deleted from the Cloud. There’s a lot of important information in commercial MR that is buried treasure for academics, but information that perhaps we just don’t recognise as researchers and clients.  He finished by saying; “we are looking for companies and agencies that will help us pilot the preservation of digital research without traditional reports. If you are working in a company or agency that is doing this kind of research and would be willing to help us, we would like to hear from you. We still want heritage material from the olden days. And, of course, we are always looking for more volunteers. So please do get in touch if you or your company would like to help us”.

 Judith Staig writes

Many of us now have Zoom fatigue after two long years of in-real-life events being cancelled or diverted to the virtual world; the family Zoom quizzes fell by the wayside sometime back in summer 2020 and I gave up on Zoom-based yoga after too many failed attempts to reposition my mobile phone screen so I could actually see the teacher whilst doing the downward dog.

But the fantastic conference line-up as well as the purpose-built platform (complete with speed- date style networking) made the online format feel exciting again. There are actually some distinct advantages to the conference being online: it was inclusive of people who might normally struggle to attend in person due to disability or distance, it was filmed in advance so there were no technical issues on the day and the sessions all ran on time and, most importantly, all of the sessions are now available to watch on demand after the event.

This means that not only did attendees not have to choose between sessions that were scheduled at the same time, but also that all the brilliant keynotes, provocations, panel discussions and case studies have been recorded for posterity. And recording things for posterity is something we know a thing or two about at the AMSR.

The AMSR case study that was presented on the second day of the conference covered exactly that issue – the importance of preserving the research that is being done now, to become the buried gold for which future historians will no doubt be grateful.  Phyllis Vangelder’s contribution above covers that session in more detail.

There was much else in the conference to appeal to AMSR friends and followers. The theme for this year was reinvention – looking at how we have recovered from the pandemic, what we have learnt and how we can grow and strengthen into the future. As I’ve written in more detail here, it struck me that the AMSR has an important role to play not only in cataloguing the past but in being a part of that future.

So many of the sessions spoke about purpose and integrity and the need not just to put people before profit, but to do the hard work of figuring out how to put people and planet first (and that means all of the people) and still make a profit. Keynotes by Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever, Professor Dan Breznitz, Child’s Farm founder, Joanna Jensen, and  James Timpson stood out, but one of my favourite sessions was the provocation by Danielle Todd. She told us that we should stop catastrophising about the end of the industry, worrying about the value that we bring, and assuming that we can be easily replaced by bots and just get on with doing the creative and impactful work that we are so capable of.

I agree. This is an industry to be proud of. There is hardly a product, a service, an ad, a political campaign or a policy decision that has been made in this country in the last 70 or so years that hasn’t been touched in some way by market research. We have an incredible history and heritage. And that is where the AMSR comes in. We are the custodians of our industry’s history and heritage to date and, with the new modern collections, we are creating the history and heritage of the future. If we ever need to feel proud of our industry and what we have achieved, we need look no further than the Archive of Market and Social Research.

Keynote speakers

The MRS brought together a very impressive number of keynote speakers, drawn not only from the industry, but also in the public arena beyond. There is increasing evidence that decision-makers in every sphere of public and private organisation are using market research to steer their insights. It was also noticeable how many of the key speakers focused, not only on the bottom line, but also on the values that sustain organisations and society. Lady Hale, Former President of the Supreme Court, believes there has been a big change in businesses, as they become aware of diversity and sustainability. and adjust. Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever and author of Net Positive, pointed out that net positive companies take responsibility for their power and can bring humanity back to business and he stressed the role of market research in uncovering people’s basic needs.

James Timpson, CEO of the Timpson Goup, is a strong advocate of kindness and happiness within a company. How do you measure these attributes? The success of a company that cares for its employees and stakeholders provides evidence. Are these values more manifest in a family-run company than a large conglomerate?

Saf Ashad, Santander, incoming President of the MRS, focused on the pace of the insights that one gets when using data science. He believes that the sector should push on into the issue of big data at scale to drive commercial effectiveness. “It resolves around test and learn in the context of the rapid iteration of minimal viable products and getting stuff to market quickly”.

Implied in the theme of ‘Renewal and reinvention’ was, as Lady Hale put it ‘the need for ‘diversity of thought’ – the ability to rethink. Organisations such as MRS and AMSR provide the thought leadership that is needed for sustainable business now and in the future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Recent Additions to the Archive” tab_id=”1662994822103-4607a68c-c6cc”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6808″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Colin McDonald talks about the unique BBC World Service Collection

Almost all of Graham Mytton’s donation has been uploaded. We now have 646 documents in the BBC World Service collection, plus a few others which more properly belong in other collections. There may be a few still to come but the bulk is now there.

The BBC World Service collection we now have online must be unique. It covers mainly the period when Graham was Head of Audience Research during the 80s and 90s, but there are some items both earlier and later than that. It includes reports and summaries of media and audience research studies from all over the world, audience coverage and listening statistics, discussion documents on World Service strategy, papers and lectures on the importance of audience research and its methodology, and much else. This was a period when broadcasting technology was changing very fast (short wave being replaced by digital and satellite etc.) and more and more countries in the developing world were getting/improving access to radio and TV. There are many documents dealing with countries in Africa and Asia, Eastern Europe and so on, including times of political change (the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Bosnian war, etc.). Many of the countries covered were ones where sampling and interviewing were especially difficult, and the reports show how these were issues were resolved; in many cases qualitative approaches were the most appropriate.

Getting this all into the Archive has been a big task, and I would especially like to thank Pam Walker for her help with the cataloguing (saving me from various pitfalls) and Graham Mytton for his continuing help.

Vignettes from Humphrey Taylor

Humphrey Taylor began his research career at NOP in the early sixties, and then in 1967 co-founded the Opinion Research Centre. In 1971 he merged it with Louis Harris International, later re-named Harris Interactive, and spent much of his career as President and later CEO of the Harris research organisation on both sides of the Atlantic, ending up as its Chairman Emeritus.

He has generously donated to the Archive a lively set of vignettes recalling his uses of research in many encounters with the great and powerful in both the UK and the USA. These show him not only working with colleagues as a technical innovator many times over but also demonstrate his ability to influence decision-making at the highest levels of politics and business.

Some of the innovations he and his colleagues were involved in:

  • In 1963 at NOP he established the first proper multi-client survey service called The Omnibus Survey, a name which has subsequently been used by hundreds of such surveys around the world.
  • The 1970 UK General Election was the first in which polling was comprehensively integrated into campaign planning and day-to-day decisions. As part of his work with the Tory leadership he also invented ‘daily tracking polls’ with results delivered within a few hours.
  • The first research on hypothermia, among 2,000 of the elderly measuring their (low) core body temperatures via urine samples. This led to significant UK government action, not least the introduction of the annual ‘winter heating allowance’ for old people.
  • The first multi-country comparative survey of health systems in terms of access, satisfaction, quality and costs. This showed the USA to be poor in comparison with the UK and Canada, and it has subsequently been repeated down the years and broadened to include more countries.

In ‘Talking Truth to Power’ Humphrey describes inter alia:

  • The ten occasions when he was invited to the White House for meetings with Presidents Johnson, Ford, Reagan, both Bushes, and Obama, often to present the results of important social or political research projects.
  • In 1976, in preparation for his forthcoming visit to the USA, President Giscard d’Estaing’s government commissioned Harris to undertake a survey of American perceptions of France. This showed a strong identification of France with fashion, fragrance and food but, to their disappointment, little awareness of French aerospace, defence, pharmaceutical and financial service industries. When billed for the $100,000 cost of the survey, the French paid $120,000, asking that $20,000 of it should be diverted to the governing party’s coffers. When Harris queried this, they were told it was quite normal in France. But, seeing this as money-laundering, especially as it was soon after the Watergate, Harris refused to comply and insisted on receiving only the required $100,000 which, after some argument, was done.
  • Sitting through a long and tedious meeting of academics and government agencies, Humphrey commented to a friend who was Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School that a lot of the discussion seemed to be on arcane and irrelevant issues.

He replied: “Humphrey, you have to realise that many academics make their living by making things as complicated as possible, while you make yours by making complicated things as simple as possible”.

This is in line with the advice of the great economist JK Galbraith to a brilliant young Harvard economist that he would be more respected if he could make his papers harder to read and understand. This gap in working expectations between academic and commercial researchers remains a challenge to this day.

This is just a brief taste of some of Humphrey’s Vignettes, many more of which are freely available in the Archive in the press cuttings and ephemera or research history sections. The insights and experiences described there in Humphrey’s own words provide today’s enquirers with fine evidence of the potential, power and pitfalls of research on both sides of the Atlantic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Bookshelf (and some exhibitions)” tab_id=”1662994829975-175aae10-17ad”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6348″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]International Journal of Market Research

The March 2022 IJMR is a special issue devoted to the history of market research. Guest edited by Anca Yallop, Jonathan Baker and Judith Wardle, it looks at the past, present and future of market research and insight. A historical approach enables recognising and (re)framing both academic and practitioner contributions to market research through the years.

Peter Mouncey’s paper, looking at how the IJMR and its predecessor The Journal of the Market Research Society (JMRS) contributed to the development of market and social research, is particularly valuable. Peter was formerly Editor in Chief of the Journal and he describes its evolution from an in-house production in 1959 to its current status within the journal portfolio of a leading academic publishing house, Sage Publishing. He also looks in depth at the changing nature of the two main communities with the most interest in the Journal, academics and practitioners. You can read the paper by clicking on this link.

The paper includes several interesting tables illustrating the vast range of topics covered over the years:

  • Topics of Special issues which covered the whole gamut of specialised areas within the industry. Some 47 special issues were published from 1964 to 2021. ‘Survey data and the law’, Government decision making, ethnography, modelling and pricing are just examples of the areas covered.
  • Winning Gold and Silver Medal papers
  • JMRS ’Milestones in Market Research’: two special issues celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the MRS.
  • Contributions about public opinion polling.

Scanned copies of the first 30 years of publication are now available on the Archive, later copies being on the Sage Publications website.

From MORI to Magna Carta

Professor Kenton Worcester, the son of Sir Robert Worcester, has recently edited a book of his father’s selected writings.

Sir Robert was, of course, a leader in the world of market research, founding MORI  in 1969 and as a well-known public figure, acting as a spokesman for the industry. More recently he has led the international commemorations of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.

The first volume includes a biographical introduction and sections on Public Opinion, Business and Society, and Science and the Environment. The reprinted essays include book chapters, conference papers, journal articles, and lectures. The earliest piece, on “Research and the corporate image,” is based on a presentation that Sir Robert gave to the Market Research Society in 1970. The most recent is a lecture he gave in 2020 to the Royal Statistical Society on the history of market research. Taken as a whole, the two volumes canvass a full half-century of public engagement and professional achievement.

The second volume features essays on Journalism and the Media, Magna Carta, and an in-depth autobiographical interview, as well as a bibliography. Highlights of this volume include Sir Robert’s Journalist’s guide to the publication of public opinion polls, which was first published by MORI in 1987, and the interview, which spans his early years, college years, army experiences, and his illustrious career in the market research industry. The second volume closes with an index for the two books.

From MORI to Magna Carta : The Selected Writings of Sir Robert Worcester  is available from Amazon and all good booksellers.

The John and Mary Goodyear Collection

The late John Goodyear and his wife Mary were very generous supporters of the Archive from its beginning.

Readers may be interest in seeing the 55 original 19th Century English watercolours, collected by John and Mary Goodyear over 45 years which are being sold by the Goodyear Estate through the Chris Beetles Gallery off St James’s Square in London. Also on sale is an impressive catalogue of works by Albert Goodwin RWS which includes the artist’s extensive diary notes. (This can be read page by page via the gallery website).

To view the exhibition online go to

Sorting Britain: The power of postcodes

The Postal Museum (formerly the British Postal Museum & Archive) is run by the Postal Heritage Trust. It began in 2004 as The British Postal Museum & Archive and opened in Central London as The Postal Museum on 28 July 2017.

Its current exhibition, ‘Sorting Britain: the power of postcodes’ (March 2022 – January 2023) examines the ground-breaking technology that changed the way post is processed, sorted and delivered.

The Postal Museum, 15-20 Phoenix Pl, London WC1X 0DA; phone: 0300 030 0700[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 22 –  Winter 2022

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”1652704064212-cec92fd0-3576″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8041″ img_size=”180 x 180″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]I am always looking for quotes and analogies that express the values of archives. A recent ‘find’ was from an old legend about the Emperor Hadrian. On his way to wage war with his legions, he came across an old man planting fruit trees. “Old man”, he said, “why put in that effort, when you will be dead before those trees are mature?” And the old man replied, “If not I, my children will eat those fruits”.

We, who are planting the roots of the Archive, may not be around when its collections and information resources are used to the full, but we are planning its sustainability, so that future generations of market and social researchers, history academics and many other users, will benefit from the data and cultural insights which have been accrued.

John Downham, a member of the triumvirate (John, Geoffrey Roughton and Liz Nelson) who founded AMSR, has sadly died at the age of 97.  Peter Mouncey writes eloquently about his work and personality in the obituary below. John understood the old man’s philosophy very well. Archives are not only for people working and researching today, but for the next generation and the next…  They will discover gems of information and maybe get excited about some of the things we take for granted.

This is also a clarion cry to younger volunteers to pick up the baton and help plant some of those seeds of knowledge!

We are particularly proud of the inroads we are making in the field of education. We are helping A level students who are studying Modern British History and several PhD students with their dissertations, by pointing them to items in the Archive which illuminate their research. Phyllis Macfarlane writes about some of the educational initiatives below.

The articles in this issue include a fascinating contribution from geodemographic guru Richard Webber on  ‘What three words’, an insightful look at the work of Charles Booth, the pioneer survey designer by Judith Wardle and an update from Tony Dent on the Better Statistics initiative.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”What have we been up to in Contents?” tab_id=”1652704067064-546f762b-7fb9″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8556″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane and Pam Walker report progress

You’d have thought, wouldn’t you, that the pandemic would have slowed us down a lot? But it takes more than a pandemic to stop us in Contents….

We’ve been doing some serious housekeeping of the Archive – do you remember when ‘cleaning’ data in the old days we used to talk about just doing a ‘little light dusting’ as against a ‘proper spring clean’?  Well, we’ve done the latter. We obviously couldn’t go into our office in Harrow (kindly lent to us by Ipsos MORI) so we have used our time at home to do a thorough quality check on our catalogue and website contents, which have now been fully indexed.  Minor text and scanning errors have been corrected, layout further standardised and, where necessary, the content of titles has been extended to make them more useful to users.

Contributions have continued to come in, some of which have already been scanned by kind donors, while Colin Macdonald has been working overtime on his home scanner, dealing with both the new donations and items which, for various reasons, had not been fully scanned previously.  Due to this ongoing work the Archive has continued to expand and has, with these various improvements, developed both greater utility and a more professional appearance.

Our next task is a technical one – writing the specification for a web developer to improve the appearance of the landing page of the actual digital Archive so that it is easier for users to find what they are looking for – using the new index.

And talking about users – we’ve been working with a girls school in West London to encourage them to use the Archive in their History A-level syllabus. These days you have to submit a 5,000 word dissertation, as part of your A-Level coursework. If you’re doing the Modern British History module, you choose to address a specific question – there’s a list of 10 to select from – but three that the Archive can specifically help with are: – ‘How far did Britain become a ‘permissive society’ in the 1960s?’ ‘How effectively did British governments deal with issues of race relations and immigration in the 1960s?’ and ‘Assess the reasons for Margaret Thatcher’s downfall in 1990’. We produced a very short guide on to how to use the Archive for these types of questions, and sent it to all students, inviting them to contact us directly if they had any questions – and we know that several students are using the Archive! It’ll be thrilling to see how they use the data – we are an authentic ‘primary’ source, after all. The next step will be to extend the offer to other schools, and hopefully in the long run, get to be part of the syllabus.

We are also working with PhD students who are looking at Kitchen Appliances (the way in which they helped to change women’s role) and Repair (how attitudes to repair have changed over time)  – and again they’ve been able to access research reports on kitchen mixers and blenders, sewing machines, attitudes to DIY etc. What the historians particularly like are the quotations in qualitative studies – but we’re also trying to get them to use more of the quantitative data – for example TGI has long-term trend data on purchases of  different kitchen appliances and the growth of sales of convenience food. Is there a correlation? Let’s throw the incidence of ‘eating out’ into the equation …

BTW if anyone knows of any research on Green Shield stamps – we would be particularly interested…

It really is astonishing to see how historic market research projects throw a light on society and people at a particular moment in history – sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely, but always in a totally unique way. It captures the actual authentic voice of the time.

We’re working now on collecting contemporary research reports – to build the resource for future historians. Imagine how interesting it will be in 50 years’ time to look at what was researched and how people thought and behaved during the pandemic![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond” tab_id=”1652704069814-5472fc5f-d59b”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8339″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Paul Edwards writes

First of all I have to declare a bias. I believe that the study of history is a good thing.  It brings the past to us and helps us to recognise what has changed and what has not.  You will not be surprised, therefore, that I agree with every word of Rory Sutherland’s preface which locates the role of history in our personal and business lives.

How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond is a collection of essays derived from the contents of the Archive of Market and Social Research which shines a fascinating light on the history of the UK since the Second World War.

Think of this publication as a taster menu.  Each of the essays dips into one area from the Archive and gives you a flavour of what is available on that particular topic; if it leaves you feeling hungry for more it has done its job. The book gathers up many things that we have either forgotten or are too young to have known.

Historical Understanding Gives Context to Today’s Events

It is not just that there wasn’t the Internet; before the 1970s most people didn’t travel abroad for their holidays. Many people grew up without experiencing foreign travel or indeed meeting people who had come from overseas.  Historical understanding gives a context for things that are happening today.

Food emerges as a wonderful window on social change.  Not just what we eat; imagine life before pizza!  But think about travel again; we came home from foreign holidays with tastes for all manner of ‘new’ food experiences.  Food also shines a light of the role of women in food preparation and this links to the percentage of women working full or part-time.  Our attitudes to convenience in food preparation changed – and then we see them swing back as cookery becomes a serious pastime.  We began to shop less often in fewer, bigger stores and this too has begun to swing back as we tend to shop more locally and in more specialist shops again.  Inside the home the kitchen was the centre of food preparation and utility; it transformed into the centre of the home for the whole family and a marker of style aspirations.  In the post-war rebuilding of houses the changing importance of the kitchen within the home has been influential on architectural design.

So here we are with a wealth of resources to look at what has changed in society, what has not changed and what has begun to change back.  And that’s just starting with food!  It shows that ‘market’ research has as much to teach us about society as ‘social’ research. 

Statistics Create the Narrative of Change

Of course there are plenty of statistics within the Archive but it is the narrative that they create which gives the full value.  In 1969 49% of us smoked cigarettes and by 2018 this was down to 14%.  Between those two numbers are many lessons about social change and how this can be driven.  One of the keys to unlocking the future of the NHS will be to push back the obesity ‘epidemic’ and to release precious resources for new and expensive treatments.  It may feel like a daunting task but cast your eyes back to the numbers of cigarette smokers; positive change is possible.

Another indicator of change is in the use of language – and the questions here are almost as revealing as the answers.  On the one hand this throws up a methodological question about how much the language we use has to change to make sure that our longitudinal studies are actually measuring the same thing over time as language in society evolves.

 Do We Tread More Carefully Today?

On the other hand, and of more interest to the general reader, is the light shone on social change by the words we use.  It certainly feels that we were more ‘robust’ in times gone by and that we now live in the age of the perpetually offended.  One report described the overweight as ‘fatties’ – imagine the outcry today!  And here we are one step away from ‘culture wars’.  As much as we look around and think there is more to be done on the way we talk about gender or ethnicity or skin colour or body shape or age or whatever, we also need to recognise how much progress has been made.  Again the Archive, by preserving and sharing the past, can give us hope for how the future can be better.

As a marginal note it felt to me that one or two of the contributors were actually offering a personal point of view.  From the research industry, which has always put itself forward as fanatically objective, this does rather feel like progress!

It is also evident from the contributions that the Archive is very conscious of its role in the present as well as the past.  Material collected now about Covid 19, diversity, Brexit etc. will be vital evidence for historians yet to come.  It really is a sign of the times how often the ‘Covid’ pandemic pops up and let’s hope that in a few years readers will find that frequency to be a historical eccentricity and a useful marker of our society now.

All this and so much more.  These essays hardly scratch the surface of what is available within the Archive.  Yet they are delicious; mouth-sized morsels of what is on offer if you take the trouble to explore.  Here is a resource for the sociological history of the UK within living memory and it is to be hoped that historians and all interested readers will see the value of what is collected under the auspices of market and social research.

The book How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond’ is kindly sponsored by Opinium. It is available both as a digital download or a printed volume from the AMSR publications web page.  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”What 3 words” tab_id=”1652704072642-97212b94-2aae”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8555″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Richard Webber is one of the most important contributors to our impressive Collection on Geodemographics. He writes here of a business that has not been going that long and market research applications have not really been developed much so far.  Nevertheless he believes that these will follow in some form and puts this in relation to the evolution of postcode-based applications, which are still going strong even after 50 years.

2022 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the national launch of the postcode system.  Designed originally to reduce the cost of sorting mail, the system was initially received by volume mailers with both scepticism and resistance.  Indeed it required significant financial inducements from the Post Office to persuade direct marketers to add a postcode to each of their customer address records.

Fifty years later mail sortation has become a comparatively minor application of the postcode system.  Today the postcode is a near universal component of logistics software and of satellite navigation and used extensively for personal identification and statistical analysis of consumer behaviour.

Every system has its limitations and that of the postcode system, and the address-point system which identifies the location of individual buildings within a postcode, is that its use is restricted to the locations to which mail or other services can be delivered.  Whilst this is adequate for most applications there are numerous requirements for locational support for activities which don’t necessarily occur at a residential or workplace building.

Bridges maintained by Network Rail, crimes recorded by the Metropolitan Police and injured climbers on Ben Nevis typically needed to be referenced by a location sufficiently precise to support identification, rescue or statistical analysis.  It is to handle incidents of this sort that generations of British schoolchildren learned how to find or create an OS map reference during their geography fieldwork.

Today it is not just the inadequacy of our geography teaching that renders the Ordnance Survey system of limited value for these applications but also the difficulty of identifying, memorising and communicating an 8 digit OS reference.  How many readers of this Newsletter can cite the OS grid reference of where they live?

One innovative solution for identifying and sharing precise geographic locations that can not be located solely by reference to the nearest delivery address is known as ‘what3words’.  For example, what3word references the part of Speakers Green outside the Houses of Parliament where politicians choose to be interviewed by the three words ‘elbow, café, memory’.

If a typical British adult will be familiar with the meaning of some 20 to 25,000 of the 150,000 words in current use in the English language it follows that there are 20,000 x 20,000 x 20,000 permutations of commonly used English words.  This very, very large number is of a not dissimilar magnitude to another very, very large number, the number of square metres on the earth’s surface.  This makes it possible for each 3 metre by 3 metre square on the earth’s surface to be referenced by a unique three-word combination based on these 20,000 or so commonly used words.

Clearly there are host of practical issues that need to be addressed in order for the system to be operationally useful.  Words with offensive implications need to be excluded from the available dictionary.  So too must similar sounding words.  The three word permutations need to be translatable into local languages.  The world’s shifting tectonics needs to be taken into account.  However once these and other practical problems are addressed, the system opens up a large number of applications for which the postcode was never the ideal locational referencing system.

So far, and the system has only been operational since 2013, typical applications have been for delivery of goods to complex sites with multiple access points, maybe a retailer in the Bluewater shopping centre; the referencing of infrastructure, such as electricity pylons or motorway culverts; to the direction of emergency services to victims in road accidents or stranded climbers; or indeed to people wanting to find each other for a picnic at an otherwise difficult to find part of Hampstead Heath.

At this comparatively early stage in its development it is not clear how what3words will be most relevant to the conduct of conventional market research.  However it would seem that there is potential worth exploring for the collation of statistics relating for example to crime patterns in busy non-residential locations, to locations of high risk of injury or indeed use of emergency services, to breakdowns in the supply of public services.  For each of these applications it makes more sense to locate, aggregate and store this information on the basis of a gridded mesh than using individual point locations which is what currently tends to happen.

Whether or not what3words contributes insight to the research community as well as to operations may depend on the developers accepting the increasingly common trend in the tech sector of moving partly or wholly to open.  It may also depend on the development of contextual information about each 3-metre grid – what its land use is, what its surface material – much in the manner that postcodes became a much more useful analytic tools for the market research industry once geodemographic classifications were able to distinguish what types of people lived in them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Charles Booth’s Poverty Maps” tab_id=”1652704075589-67cdcc3a-144f”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8549″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Judith Wardle looks at Charles Booth’s pivotal role in the development of the social survey

Camberwell has been my home for over thirty years now and it has always attracted a mixture of people. On the Walworth Road, a stone’s throw from where I live, there are more ethnicities represented than anywhere else in London. Just up the road is the notorious Aylesbury Estate, the biggest council housing estate in Europe and much loved as a backdrop by politicians wanting to be interviewed when pronouncing on new policies to help the underprivileged. It is also where you will find gracious Georgian streets and beautiful London squares.

If you look at the Charles Booth’s Poverty Maps of 1889 of the area, you’ll see a similar mixture of wealth and underprivilege: the dark blue representing the homes of the people who were ‘very poor, casual, chronic want’ alongside the bright red of the ‘middle-class, well-to-do’, Yes, much has changed in London since the late 19th century, and it has been estimated that as much as 50% of the streets of London have changed in one way or another, but London is still home to a huge mix of classes and ethnicities.

Charles Booth’s poverty map of Camberwell 1889. From Charles Booth, ‘Life and Labour of the people of London’, from the LSE archives.

The Legend

These maps were the result of a 17 year study of London households; they were the distillation of countless hours of interviewing respondents, of walking the streets, of speaking to intermediaries. The methodology was complex and original, with Booth attempting to understand the lives of Londoners through a quantitative-qualitative-ethnographic investigation of their places of work and working conditions, their homes and local environments, and through the religious life of the city. His three goals were to understand poverty, occupation and religion. The plan was to interview intermediaries and the study began with the London School Board visitors who had a deep knowledge and understanding of the lives and circumstances of families and helped to scope the project at its beginning. All the houses in any one street were approached and the majority were interviewed. This was not a sample survey; it was a mammoth task.

They interviewed factory owners, workers and trade union representatives; they visited ministers of religion and their congregations. Observations were combined with interviewing using broadly prescribed questions. My local area for example was mapped and described by one of Booth’s interviewers, Ernest Aves, walking round with a local policeman. You can see the pencil drawings of their route and the notes alongside. These notebooks recorded the comments of respondents and informants which were then used to generate statistical evidence of the living and working conditions of Londoners.

Charles Booth was in part motivated by the question of whether the poor numbered as many as had been reported, 25%, and in fact his study showed that even those numbers were exceeded with 30.7% of Londoners being below the poverty line, a phrase he brought into common parlance. At first, he resorted to the most recent census but didn’t find the answers he was looking for and, indeed, campaigned subsequently for improving the information it demanded. Importantly, his philosophy was one of positivism, which sees knowledge as a product of sensory evaluation, so what you can see and hear, as opposed to other ways of discovery such as intuition or religion. He believed that it was important to gather the facts before developing policy and solutions, which seems logical to us but was not always the way governments operated then.

Twenty people made up the main army of interviewers, were largely gathered from the intellectual middle-classes, and included surprisingly a high proportion of women. Beatrice Potter, later Beatrice Webb, was one of their number and she later became one of the founders of the London School of Economics alongside George Bernard Shaw. It is this connection which has meant that Booth’s wonderful archive is under its roof. Clara Collet, another researcher, wrote the report on women, and incidentally was the first woman to graduate from London University in 1885.

The study revealed that poverty was largely caused by circumstance and not the fault of the individual but a result of society structures, especially when it came to labour. The largest group were the elderly who, no longer able to work, were left in penury and usually ended their days in the workhouse. Work was precarious in those days with few salaried full-time positions. A messenger, for example, worked unreliable hours, sometimes as few as two hours a day with correspondingly low wages. Booth’s work led him to campaign for an old age pension and an end to the ‘casualisation’ of labour. An old age pension was introduced in 1908, 5 shillings a week, but his efforts to create a less precarious labour market were less successful and we still have our zero hours contracts today.

The study was hugely influential, not only in its methodologies but in its philosophy, and It is worth asking ourselves why. I would point to the maps themselves, that distillation of the data into manageable groups, which tell the capital’s story of poverty and privilege simply and at a glance. They have been criticised for being too simple and obscuring important detail and in their colourways somehow belittling the poor (the choice of the dark colour as opposed to the bright cheery colour for the privileged), but they have acted as powerful communicators because of, not despite those apparent failings of simplification.

The study continues to be influential to historians, because of the exhaustive archive that remains. Acres of primary detail still exist and are a treasure trove for historians. Even before the new website was up and running, three to four hundred people a day accessed the Booth Archive. Like Mass Observation which came later, we can see and read the jottings of that army of people as they walked the streets of London and those descriptions of living conditions and hear the voices of residents; we can be that close.Charles Booth

Booth’s wasn’t the first investigation of social need but it was pivotal in the sense that it raised awareness of the importance and usefulness of discovering the facts of a situation before developing policy and solutions. The publication of the study created lots of publicity. It inspired a huge number of similar studies, in the US especially, and methodologies began to converge, establishing a norm for large scale quantitative research, which went on to form the basis for the developing social sciences. Prior to Booth’s study, information had been gathered at a parish level and groups of households had not been systematically defined. He was thorough, he thought big, he had a statistical mindset and he was organised. But this was not a random sample survey; households were not randomly selected to represent larger numbers. This was to come later.

Partly as a response to the recognition that poverty was a national and not a local issue, albeit worse in London than elsewhere, Seebohm Rowntree undertook a similar project in York and needed to use a similar methodology for comparison’s sake. Neither Booth nor Rowntree used sampling; this was introduced not long afterwards by Arthur Lyon Bowley, who wanted to understand households on a bigger scale and did not have the resources to question everyone. In 1912, he undertook a pilot study of working class households in Reading, interviewing only 5% of the universe. Later, he applied the same techniques, responding to the needs of a British Liberal government for its battle against protectionism.

So finally, if you know any part of London well, I urge you to log on to the LSE’s website and marvel at the picture it gives you of Londoners over one hundred years ago and ponder on how things have changed and not changed.


  • Bulmer M, Bales K, Kish Sklar K, ‘The Social Survey in Historical Perspective, 1880-1940’, Cambridge University Press 1991
  • Booth Collection, Archive of the LSE, London.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Better Statistics” tab_id=”1652704079142-7c15c2f1-22f6″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8348″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]In our last issue we reported on the then forthcoming launch of Better Statistics CIC. The purpose of this organisation is to campaign for more reliable statistics, whether created by private companies or by public bodies. It aims to promote public awareness of, and interest in, the production of accurate and reliable statistics.

Tony Dent discusses some of the issues which were raised at the launch and the way forward for the project. 

The launch of Better Statistics CIC held on 17 November 2021 was well supported with a total of more than 114 persons from 92 different organisations registering for the event.

Participants represented a wide variety of organisations from Universities to County Councils (both councillors and administrators), with representatives from all areas of our commercial and public life, including at least four different charities. The meeting was particularly well supported by our National Statistics Services with five persons registering from the Office for National Statistics, three from the Office for Statistical Regulation and three from the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA).

The main developments since the launch have been in the areas of population statistics, user engagement with UKSA and health statistics.

Population Statistics. The most popular element of the launch meeting concerned Population Statistics under the heading ‘Measuring the UK Population: Planning for People’. It was introduced by Simon Briscoe of Britain in Numbers. His comments on population and other statistical issues can be followed on the Britain in Numbers website.  The link to  latest evidence gives an update of Sir Andrew Wilson’s talk on this topic in the same session. Basically both Simon and Sir Andrew drew attention to significant errors in ONS’ estimates of population – which have had a huge effect on planning and other matters.

User Engagement with UKSA.  Those most concerned by the principle focus of Sir Andrew’s talk will also be interested in developments concerning User Engagement.   Sir Andrew is the Chairman of the Council for the Protection of Rural England, an organisation heavily involved in the use of public statistics.

Following the launch meeting, I have represented Better Statistics in a series of discussions with Owen Brace of the ONS, Mike Hughes from the Royal Statistical Society and Professor Paul Allin, Chairman of the Stats User Forum (SUF).

Owen Brace will present the proposals of the UKSA for the new User Engagement Structure at a special (Microsoft Teams) meeting of the SUF.  In the meantime, we have not proceeded with the idea of establishing some Topic Forums on the Better Stats website.  Although there is considerable interest in such Forums, we do not wish to take the matter further until the ONS plans for SUN and SUF have been finalised and our future relationship with that structure is decided.

Health Statistics.  We had not included Health Statistics within the programme for the launch of Better Statistics CIC because of the volume of current activity in that area.  We have, however, considered it as the main topic for our next public meeting and we have conducted an investigation of the Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS) as provided by the ONS.  The suggestion being that we might have a session comparing it with the REACT survey.  Reading the QMI methodology published in July 2021, we noted the statement that the survey oversamples larger households. Nevertheless, it was also explicitly stated that the weighting to adjust the sample for potential bias did not take account of household size. This seemed to us to be unsatisfactory, particularly because we would expect that the larger the household the more the likelihood of infection.  There has subsequently been extensive correspondence with the CIS ‘team’ which has recently included the assurance from Ruth Studley, Deputy Director for Infection Survey Analysis, that, “Our random sampling should mean households are at least approximately representative”.

We would estimate that the total cost of the CIS is likely to be as high as almost £1 billion pounds.  In contrast the Census cost less than 10% of the CIS during the period.

We understand that the costs associated with CIS will be much greater per head than the Census because of the testing required and the additional complexity of the project. We nevertheless consider that the response rate of just 13% represents an extremely poor return for the money spent.  Correspondence with the CIS team continues and we expect to publish the details on our website when concluded.

Meanwhile we consider that our support for the new User Engagement strategy will be heavily influenced by whether the new structure will help avoid the type of confrontation that is now developing over the CIS and that evidenced by the controversy over Coventry and other local population statistics.

The main finding of the feedback survey of the Launch is that most respondents feel that “Challenging poorly prepared or presented published statistics” should be the primary aim for Better Statistics”.

Full details about the  BSC are on its website:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Scanners’ return” tab_id=”1652704082189-e9ae1f86-fac5″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5766″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Members of the Scanning Team enjoying a lunch, to celebrate not only New Year, but the return to Harrow to our ‘engine room’ at Ipsos MORI.

We are delighted that we can now work there once again, and also receive contributions.

We also welcome new volunteers to join the Team. People usually work in pairs and seem to enjoy it![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”British Social Attitudes” tab_id=”1652704085468-f8247456-089c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8557″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The latest issue of Natcen’s British Social Attitudes Survey – Number 38 – looks at social attitudes in post-Brexit Lockdown Britain.

Historians and social scientists will doubtless be assessing the significance and long-term consequences of both Brexit and the pandemic – and their relative importance – for many years to come. For a project like British Social Attitudes (BSA) which has been endeavouring since 1983 to trace how the climate of public opinion evolves in the wake of social, economic and political change, such a confluence of events poses an obvious, immediate question – what imprint, if any, has it left on the country’s social attitudes?

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the state intervene in social and economic life on a scale unprecedented in peacetime, an experience that might be thought to have challenged – or, perhaps, reinforced – people’s views about the proper role of government in a 21st century society. These questions are the central preoccupation of this year’s BSA report.

Some of the issues covered include:

  • New values, new divides: the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on public attitudes.
  • Have attitudes changed as a result of the pandemic? This chapter examines if and how attitudes to work and health have changed since 2019, whether these changes can be attributed to the pandemic and what this means for future attitudes to policy in this area.
  • Brexit, the pandemic and trust and confidence in government
  • Immigration
  • Social inequality.

See Natcen’s website for full details of the British Attitudes Survey: [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Poster Research” tab_id=”1652704088324-dc0e01f0-3df5″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8558″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Vangelder writes

Does anyone know the whereabouts of Simon Copland or the Copland Poster Library?

Very many years ago, I catalogued Brian Copland’s extensive library of poster and outdoor research, comprising books, reports and articles, devoted to his own iconic work in this field, as well as that of other researchers all over the world.

But I have no idea about what happened to this library, nor have I seen or heard about Simon for many years.

The Copland Collection would make an important addition to the Archive so it would be great if it could be tracked down.

Please contact me if you can help via[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”All about ‘The Life in Research’” tab_id=”1652704091421-c302b872-8cea”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8551″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]To cheer you up in these gloomy times, here’s a book which entertains and informs in full measure – and supports the AMSR: The Life in Research, edited by Peter Bartram. With 100+ stories collected from 40 research interviewers, execs, directors and clients, it tells of the often mischievous things they got up to on the nation’s doorsteps, in their offices, in presentations and at their conferences across the years when this industry grew to its prominent place in our national life.

Some of the areas covered are:

  • Internal office politics: getting the best out of colleagues in other departments, and the pitfalls of office parties.
  • Client entertainments which do not go according to plan.
  • Some focus group problems to avoid; beware product testing mishaps, i.e. with chocolates in summer, with sampling alcoholic drinks, and when to pay your group participants.
  • Questionnaires: problems arising from a failure to pre-test; words to be precise about; allowing for respondent non-comprehension.
  • Sampling and weighting: keep to the established rules; how to hold a conversation about the Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test.
  • Beware of ‘Sonking’ – the Scientification of Non-Knowledge.
  • ‘Big Data’: one view is that it “is like teenage sex – it claims to know how to do it, and claims to do it, but actually doesn’t”.
  • Presenting results: problems with equipment, content, and audience expectations.
  • Beware of any buyer using polling purely to advance their political or business agendas.
  • At conferences, the things people get up to; how to enliven delivery of your paper.
  • Internationally, the problems of transatlantic, European and ‘third-world’ cultural misunderstandings.

The book has attracted remarkable testimonials from leading researchers, including: Ben Page, Global Chief Executive of Ipsos (“Great read and very accessible”); Humphrey Taylor, Chairman Emeritus, The Harris Poll (“I couldn’t put it down. It’s very readable, full of insights for young researchers … I laughed a lot”); Phil Barnard, former CEO , Research International (“What a splendid read!”); John Samuels, former CEO of BMRB (“It is a triumph! Very amusing and a delightful read”); and, not least, Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at London Business School and Chairman of the AMSR Trustee Board (“I’ve read it from cover to cover with much enjoyment”)’ His favourite bits included –

  • Research company RSL’s self-perception as ‘the Athens of the North Circular’
  • The interviewees on page 19 – one dead, one ‘queer in bed under the doctor’
  • The US government job candidate who thought ‘do you favour the overthrow of the US government by force, subversion or violence?’ was a multiple-choice question

Copies are obtainable  from Amazon and Waterstones, with its royalties donated to the Archive of Market and Social Research [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Obituary” tab_id=”1652704094316-f9f0e0a3-e125″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7958″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]John Downham 1924-2022

Peter Mouncey writes

It is with great sadness that I heard the news that John Downham had died on 15 January, aged 97. Throughout his career, and into retirement, John played a very significant role in the development of the market research sector.

John was one of the three visionary founders in 2014 of the Archive of Market and Social Research, along with Liz Nelson and Geoffrey Roughton. Following an initial discussion in July about the need for an archive, they organised a meeting for 17 like-minded individuals at the Market Research Society on 23 November 2014, at which it was agreed that it was a worthwhile to initiate an Archive.  AMSR was established as a charity on 1 April 2016, with John as Vice-Chairman, a position he held until the end of 2018 when he retired as a Trustee. However, he continued to be a member of AMSR’s Governance Committee until his death. He made a major contribution to AMSR in the early days, including drafting its first Business Plan. The success of AMSR is a very fitting tribute to John’s commitment to the market research sector, covering over seven decades.

Early days

Following schooldays at the King Edward VI Royal Grammar School he joined the local Home Guard when the war started, then the RAF in 1943 as an Officer Cadet on a six-month RAF Short Course at University College Oxford reading Modern History. As a trainee pilot, he initially trained at St John’s College Cambridge, being one of very few people to have studied arts and science at both these universities! He was commissioned as an air-crew navigator in 1945, latterly serving as an Operations Room Controller towards the end of World War II. Returning to Oxford after leaving the RAF in 1946, he switched to a PPE course, gaining a first in 1948.


After leaving Oxford he joined BMRB as its first Research Officer in 1948. By the late 1950s John had risen to be joint Director, running BMRB along with John Treasure. John Downham then took sole control as Managing Director in 1960 – when John Treasure moved to JWT, which owned BMRB. At this time, BMRB was becoming much more independent, and less reliant on undertaking research for JWT clients, moving from JWT in Mayfair to its own offices in Ealing in 1960. This period also included John’s first experiences of international research, working on projects in Kenya, Ceylon and South Africa. Unilever, by then a major client of BMRB, requested help in setting up its own in-house research international facility, with John moving there on a two-year secondment. This turned into a permanent appointment, with John staying at Unilever when Eileen Cole set up the Research Bureau Ltd in 1962 as the UK arm of the European Market Research Group, that became part of Research International, Unilever’s international in-house research facility, alongside the long established equivalent advertising facility, Lintas. Both of these later became independent agencies (Research International sold to Ogilvy & Mather in 1987, and Lintas is now part of the Interpublic Group). John therefore became responsible for the client-side operation within Unilever, with international responsibilities including training, quality standards and special projects, a post he held until retirement in 1988.

The Market Research Society

Having joined the embryonic UK Market Research Society in 1953, John became Secretary/Treasurer in 1956 and Chairman 1959-60. In the 1960s he served on Exams and Education Committees, helping develop and run the MRS education and training programmes, including convening the Summer School and the initial thinking on a professional qualification. During his time as Chairman the MRS launched a journal in 1959, now the International Journal of Market Research. John described the reasons behind this decision in an article published in the issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Journal (Downham, J, ‘How did the MRS journal start?’, IJMR 50/1, pp 7-9). He served on the MRS Awards Committee in the early 1980s and was a long-serving member of the Professional Standards Committee until the late 1990s, continuing to provide advice on standards issues after retiring from this committee. This included work on the first guideline to help members identify the nuances created by the collection and use of personal data in the emerging world of database marketing. John was also a founder member of the Market Research Benevolent Association (MRBA) committee when it was launched in 1977, becoming President in 1987 serving until retiring in 2001. John was elected a Fellow of the MRS in 2000 and awarded the prestigious MRS Gold Medal in 2001.

Other organisations

John was also extensively involved in ESOMAR, which he joined in 1957. In the 1970s, he was the first Chairman of the Professional Standards Committee, remaining a consultant on professional standards until 2004. He was responsible for drafting the first ICC/ESOMAR International Code of Practice as well as many of the Guidelines including one on International Research. John also joined the Institute of Statisticians in the early 1950s, serving on the Council and later as Vice Chairman, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society after the two associations merged.

Not surprisingly, John was a prolific author of papers, and books. He contributed many papers at market research conferences during his career, the earliest being in 1953. During his time at BMRB, a leading client the Reader’s Digest Association, commissioned him in 1953 to write a book The Communication of Ideas, based on an in-depth study conducted in Derby. This was followed in 1956 by Readings in Market Research, co-authored with John Treasure and Eric Shankleman. John was also commissioned to write a definitive history of BMRB, BMRB International: The First Sixty Years, published in 1993 to celebrate its 60th anniversary. He also wrote a brief history of the MRBA to celebrate its 25th anniversary. For ESOMAR, John wrote the anniversary book celebrating ESOMAR’s 50th, and along with Robert  Worcester, he co-edited the first three editions of the ESOMAR Consumer Market Research Handbook, a standard text for many. More recently, John was involved in the development of the market research Oral History project. His interview, talking about his life and career in market research, can be found at

I’ve personally known John for many years including working with him on MRS PSC projects. When I was appointed Editor in Chief of IJMR in 2004, I was acutely aware of how his vision as MRS Chairman had led the MRS to introduce a journal back in 1959 (the year I started grammar school!), and my responsibility to ensure that this legacy was nurtured and protected. I feel very privileged to have known John and in compiling this obituary, all those I’ve contacted have underlined my own personal view of John, demonstrating their tremendous respect for his long experience and knowledge of market research and the sector, and as a person always charming, courteous, incredibly helpful and great company socially. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 21 –  Autumn 2021

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”orange” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”1645483434788-58abdd5b-31d4″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8041″ img_size=”180 x 180″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are very excited about the launch of our second Book in the series ‘Showcasing the Archive’, How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond.

This excitement is manifest in the article below in which Judith Staig, the Editor of the Book, describes its contents, linking them with the Archive Collections and pointing to the way the Archive can benefit researchers and academics now and in the future.

Both Books were conceived, planned and edited during Covid. All the work was done by volunteers, with the exception of our talented professional designer, Jonathan Garland.  And except for two small, very effective face-to-face Editorial Workshops, all the editing and writing was done on-line. Necessity became the ‘mother’ of creativity.

We are very grateful to James Endersby Managing director of Opinium, who has sponsored both ‘Showcasing Books’. He writes in his Foreword to the new Book, “As an insight agency, our job is to understand people – what people think feel and do – and to help our clients to navigate the future based on this understanding. And with the context of the past, our understanding of the future can be richer. We are proud to continue to support the Archive in preserving the work of our industry”.

An overview of the splendid Book Launch at the IPA on 30 November follows Judith’s article.

The success of these books, together with the myriad activities of AMSR – its outreach programme, its contact with academic historians, its revision of the Subect Index – to name only some of these – makes us increasingly aware of the contribution made by its volunteer workforce. Indeed Robin Birn asks in his article on St Mary’s Research , “Why has  AMSR, a volunteer organisation,  better impact with its outreach activities, than many commercial archives?”.

I muse on the AMSR model of volunteering below.

There are also articles on the outreach programme, an account by Tony Dent of a new social enterprise for Better Statistics, a comprehensive overview of the synergistic research conducted by St Mary’s University Twickenham for the Archive and a personal view of telephone research by Derek Simonds.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond” tab_id=”1645483439257-dfe711a3-f027″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8344″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Judith Staig, Editor of AMSR’s second book in the series ‘Showcasing the Archive’, writes

Read any good books lately? The winner of the 2021 Booker Prize has been announced, but don’t rush out to buy it just yet. Why? Because on 30 November, we launched How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond, the second in the Showcasing the Archive series of books – and we think it’s a much better read than a mere Booker winner.

We know that the Archive is a treasure trove of UK research data that brings the voices of the past to life; the book is designed to demonstrate this to a whole new audience. We are targeting anyone studying, teaching or researching post-war history and social, political, cultural and consumer trends and we are confident that the book will help us attract many new supporters.

If you ever find yourself questioning the value of the AMSR, or wondering why we all put so much time and energy into digitising and preserving the dusty relics of long-forgotten research projects, conferences and periodicals, this book should leave you in no doubt about the importance of the Archive and the many ways it can benefit researchers and academics today and in the future.

How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond brings together 12 short essays by researchers, academics and friends of the Archive, using resources from the Archive to tell stories about how life has changed over the last 75 years. The topics are as follows:

  • Food: From Sunday roast to poke bowl. A review of how we have progressed from the ‘Great British Menu’ to the interesting and exciting foods available today.
  • Retail: Still a nation of shopkeepers. Tracking the change from small, independent grocers to superstores and online shopping
  • Women at home: What did the kitchen ever do for us? The changing role of women and the significance of labour-saving appliances
  • Women at work: Plus ҫa change. Reflecting on how far we have come, but also how far we still have to go to achieve equality.
  • Holidays: A shrinking world. From a week by the sea to multiple foreign holidays per year – and thinking about the impact of COVID-19.
  • The arts: A special case for research. Looking at how market research and advertising techniques have been applied in the arts to bolster the commercial side of a creative business.
  • Smoking: A blueprint for change? Reflecting on how public attitudes have changed, despite the powerful smoking industry lobby.
  • Health and wellbeing: Bringing body and mind together. From health being about the absence of illness, to wellbeing becoming a lifestyle choice.
  • Diversity: The struggle continues. Looking at how attitudes to diversity and inclusion have changed.
  • Generational cohorts: OK, Boomer. Should we segment by generational cohort? How different and how similar are we?
  • Green issues: The world is hotting up. Sustainability then and now, greenwashing and climate change.
  • Happiness: Can money buy it? What do you think? Evidence from the Archive and beyond.

One of the most exciting things about the book is that is not just about the past, but also looks to the future. We’ve asked leading researchers working in the industry today to contribute companion pieces to some of the articles, giving us their view of how the topic may develop into the future. For the articles on diversity and green issues, we asked for views from representatives of the many groups working hard to ensure a more inclusive and more sustainable future for the research industry: MRSpride, WIRe, CORe and MRS Unlimited. We also created a competition for the young researchers in MRS &more to respond to the article on generational cohorts. These companion pieces are some of the most moving, personal and inspirational writing in the book.

The book represents a lot of hard work by a large team of volunteers, some as writers but also many others behind the scenes. So please read the book and share on social media and to all of your contacts. I hope you enjoy it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Report on Book Launch” tab_id=”1645483443808-0bc582a2-4411″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8339″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Vangelder reports on the book launch on 30 November

Book Launch

How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond

A report from the launch on 30 November

AMSR is very proud of the launch of the second Book in its series on ‘Showcasing the Archive’:  How We’ve Changed: Social Trends from Post-War to Present Day and Beyond. Like the first book it was conceived, authors commissioned, written and edited during Covid restrictions. Sadly the launch was also subject to restrictions and a limited number of people were allowed to attend the live launch at the IPA on 30 November. Nonetheless a good audience of academics, journalists, supporters, volunteers and friends linked in to the lively online webinar, and were able to hear some of the contributors to the book.

Professor Patrick Barwise. Chairman of AMSR, introduced the Editor, Judith Staig, and three other contributors to the Book.

Before handing over to the speakers, he presented a brief update on where we are and what we’re doing, describing the development of AMSR as a voluntary-led charity set up just six years ago with the initial aim of persuading market and social research agencies and clients to give us their old reports rather than destroying them, enabling us to create an Archive for anyone interested in the early history and evolution of British commercial market and social research.  He commented, “There can be value in preserving material even if you don’t know what you’re going to do with it”.

Balliol history

Professor Barwise was reminded of the May 1968 events in Paris.  Every night, students at Balliol College Oxford daubed the walls with graffiti about the imminent collapse of capitalism, mainly in French. And every morning, a college servant got up at dawn to remove the latest daubs. But before he did so, the eminent ancient historian Russell Meiggs went round the college recording the previous night’s graffiti on bits of paper which he passed on to the college librarian – because, whether or not you agreed with them, they were part of Balliol’s history.

He believes that the main value of an archive comes from it being available, accessible and used by other people.

AMSR’s paper Archive is stored at the History of Advertising Trust in deepest Norfolk. So we decided early on to scan everything and make it available online.  Professor Barwise reported proudly that we have now scanned over 130,000 pages – including 60,000 in the last year.

“But”, he emphasised, “We want more! So please let us know if you have potentially relevant material sitting in a filing cabinet or your loft. We’re happy to take embargoed items and observe any ‘release date’ restrictions or other confidentiality strictures”.

Professor Barwise explained that AMSR is continuously improving the website and index to make the material more accessible to potential users – especially those who (like most people) have little or no knowledge of, or interest in, commercial market and social research methods and sources, but who may be interested in the research findings.

Six years in, AMSR is now ready to start reaching out to more people and actively building the wider awareness and usage of the Archive beyond the world of market researchers of a certain age. To make this happen, several initiatives have been set up.

We now have a user support team and have started to contact British social and cultural historians, offering to help them find material relevant to their research. One of those we’ve contacted is Alice Naylor’s  PhD supervisor Deborah Sugg Ryan in Portsmouth.

Professor Barwise stressed that if any of the academics in the audience would like to talk to one of the user support team about what they are currently researching or planning to research, they should let us know. Once they have agreed a brief, the team will see what they can find about the research in the Archive.

He went on to describe some of the other AMSR initiatives – assisting student projects and other teaching purposes, as well as  running  a pilot study with A-level history students at a school in West London to use the Archive as a source for their individual projects on post-war British history: curating easy-to-access ‘contemporary collections’ on three current issues: Covid, Brexit and diversity; and  exploring the potential for the AMSR to act as a Hub to other relevant collections around the world.

He pointed out that we are talking to younger researchers about how the Archive can evolve to reflect their research methods and interests and to show them that preserving what they’re doing now will be of value in the years to come.

Finally and importantly, AMSR has now started publishing a series of books, the ‘Showcasing the Archive’ series, in e-format and print. Professor Barwise thanked Opinium Research for their very generous support for both of the books published so far, without which we wouldn’t have had the resources to do this – and we wouldn’t all be here for the launch..

 Editing the Book

Professor Barwise introduced the Editor of the Book, Judith Staig.  She confessed that when Phyllis Macfarlane first asked her if she could give some time to the Archive, she wasn’t really sure whether it was for her – she imagined it as boxes of dusty old questionnaires and tables, and she wasn’t sure about the relevance, what it meant or whether it was important – but she pointed out that it’s very hard to say no to Phyllis Macfarlane, and she thought she would give it a go.

And actually, one of the first challenges in writing for the book was how to put data from the past into the context of today, to make meaning from it and make it feel relevant and interesting. As soon as she started to use the Archive, she was hooked.

She  quickly learnt that it’s not even so much the data that matters, but the questions we were asking, the way we were asking them and the language we were using that highlight how much has changed – or not, in some cases.

Judith Staig commented that the authors of the 12 pieces we have in the book have all done a fantastic job of finding interesting and pertinent pieces in the Archive and making sense of them in the context of where we are today and she thanked them all for their hard work and creativity.

Companion pieces

She described the way the book has been made particularly current and relevant by asking people working in the industry today and representing special interest and support groups to respond to some of the articles in the book. They have written short forward-looking companion pieces – these accompany the articles on diversity, green issues and generational cohorts. Ellie Jacobs, who was our prize-winning author from &more, the young researchers network within the MRS, was a speaker at the Webinar.  Judith thanked all the authors of companion pieces for their interest in the Archive and their fantastic, in many cases moving, personal contribution to the book. She also mentioned that three of our authors have been nominated as MRS research heroes – so we are even more excited to have them on board.

She thanked everyone who has worked so hard behind the scenes, and doesn’t get a credit in the book – especially Lynn Scrivener, who had been behind the event, Paul Gebara, who put together the tech for the live stream and Jonathan Garland the designer who made the book look so beautiful.

She concluded …” despite my initial misgivings, now I have had the absolute privilege to work with the wonderful team of people who have been involved not only in this book, but the last one too, I can say it has been the most joyful experience. I’ve learnt so much, met fascinating people of all ages, made new friends and, more importantly I am an absolute convert to the Archive. I think the Archive is a wonderful and rich resource – and as Rory Sutherland has said in his preface, looking backwards is incredibly valuable in helping us understand where we are today. There’s a quote in the book in which Barack Obama likens history to a forest – alive, deep and rich, rooted and branching off in unexpected directions and I think that is a great metaphor for the Archive  – it is full of rich, surprising and exciting things to discover – and so, we hope is our book”.

Women in the kitchen

Judith handed over to one of the writers from academia, Alice Naylor, to talk about her article. Alice Naylor is a design historian. Her particular interest is everyday objects that become design icons. She is now working with Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan as an AHRC-funded doctoral researcher at Portsmouth University and the Science Museum, looking at the design, mediation and consumption of Kenwood appliances from 1947 to 2020.

The timeline of the modern kitchen is often deployed as a means of reflecting on the multifarious ways that women in particular, are caught between the hegemonies and tensions of domestic life.  Alice Naylor echoed Patrick Barwise’s words on the value of preserving material even if you don’t know what you are going to do with it. The Archive enabled her to interrogate how the kitchen is less a site where the housewife goes about her duties, but a social hub, a site of self-realisation and a better world articulated through design and in particular, labour-saving devices for the home. It is part of the socio-cultural dynamics that are in a constant state of evolution: a traditional space for women to form a coherent identity laid out by accepted ideas of the feminine and the tethering of life to the home.

She pointed out that the Archive holds research that reflects consumer attitudes to kitchen and domestic themes. It provides invaluable data that can be utilised as a means of tracing changing social and cultural trends around kitchen appliances, food preparation and the domestic interior.

The design and consumption of aspirational goods in post-war Britain captured the mood of energy and optimism brought about by greater wealth, social mobility and a fervent re-modelling of home life.  There is little doubt that kitchen appliances from the 1960s onwards were increasingly not just purchased as labour saving devices but as a reflection of taste, class and ‘cultural capital’. A 1975 survey on Hand and Electric Kitchen Equipment Blenders, demonstrates the attitude that the housewives surveyed had towards kitchen appliances. Observing how the respondents are divided into,  three ‘fairly sharp categories’– ‘Labour saving oriented’, ‘Traditional laissez-faire’, and ‘Aspirant owners’ helped  her to understand how the identities of female consumers were categorised in 1970s Britain.

For example, ‘labour-saving oriented women’ not only felt the devices were important to assist in their day-to-day running of the kitchen but ‘equally significantly’ a reflection of their status as a modern housewife.  The survey reveals the iconography and status of kitchen appliances such as the Kenwood Chef where attention is paid as much to its look and styling, as its technical excellence and user-friendly interface: their feedback reflects the regard in which it was held.  It was undoubtedly seen as a high-value object and a much coveted addition to the kitchen. Respondents affirmed that ‘When you think of mixers, you just think of Kenwood’ and ‘you can do anything with a Kenwood…’  The decision to purchase the aid, ‘was often taken by the husband rather than the wife’ and although the term ‘breadwinner’ is not used, it raises questions on the tussle between the will and desires of the breadwinner; the husband, and how complicit he may have been in mediating the purchase of kitchen appliances for the home.

Changing tastes

It is worth reflecting too on changing tastes in the purchasing, preparation and consumption of food with speed and convenience emerging as critical factors in the housewife’s decision-making process. It might be considered ironic that from the 1960s onwards, when kitchen appliances to ease the labours of domestic life were becoming more firmly entrenched as a necessity rather than a luxury, ‘convenience food’ was becoming more prevalent.  Alice Naylor described a 1976 CRAM survey on Jif Cooking Aids, a product which introduced housewives to pre-packaged flavour enhancers such as lemon, garlic and onion, to enable the home cook to add ‘gourmet flavours without the fuss’.  It offers a fascinating glimpse of British food culture from the 1970s with words such as ‘foreign’, ‘fashionable’ and ‘adventurous’ applied to cooking practices that, from a 2021 perspective, could be seen as quaintly retro.  Quaint notwithstanding, this data enabled her to unpick British opinions on food during this time period and the emotional connections attached to feeding family and guests when food skills and conspicuous consumption were less fetishised. The survey also highlighted the frustrations felt when laboriously prepared family dinners were not appreciated, anxieties about budgeting for the household and the social conventions of After Eight versus Elizabeth Sharp Mints.

A 1976 study reflects on a TV commercial for the ‘Parker Lady’ (which for those of you under the age of 50, was about the gifting of expensive ball point pens to women).  The idea of ‘gift giving’ is covered extensively by historians but reading outside of academic papers, the survey is a valid reflection on the attitudes held by respondents on ideas of luxury and class which is invaluable for Alice Naylor’s research. Comments such as “People could judge your character with a pen like that. I’d like to have one” demonstrates the usefulness of the Archive and how market research can offer a broader perspective on subject matters such as taste and gender.

Alice Naylor concluded, “Historians and cultural commentators who seek to uncover the subtle but revealing attitudes to British consumer desires will find much to draw on in the Archive”.

Generational cohort analysis

Rebecca Cole, Managing Director of Cobalt Sky, was not only one of the team that managed the creation of the book, but the author of two articles. She explained that the first one that she volunteered for, was at the time rather fluidly labelled ‘Generational Issues’ She narrowed the focus  and eventually decided on a piece on “Generational cohort analysis’.

Anyone born after the year 1883 has belonged to a named generational cohort. The first one which ran from 1883 to 1900 was the rather dramatically named ‘Lost Generation’, followed by much more well-known cohorts. Probably the most well-known are, of course, the infamous ‘Baby Boomers’, but others have made their mark, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, and have become commonplace phrases, elevated into everyday vocabulary.

Rebecca stated that she was one of the unfortunate souls to be absolutely horrified in spring this year to discover that she had been allocated to a new, more specific cohort namely: ‘A Geriatric Millennial’. These are people born in the early 80s, who technically fall into the Millennial bracket but remember dial up internet and Myspace – and therefore quite rightly get immediately disowned by the younger Millennials.  She commented that people feel instinctively protective of the era they grew up in. She believes that is why she was attracted to it as a subject – it’s relatable to everyone.  She remarked, “I’m sure there are a range of generational cohorts in the room, but despite being in different cohorts I’m sure we all remember being told by our elders that we didn’t know how lucky we are (whilst oddly also continuously telling us that things were so much better in their day….). And of course, we perpetuate this. We cannot help ourselves! I have two children under 10, and I cannot count the number of times I’ve ‘regaled’ them with stories about how when I was growing up there were only 4 channels…..

“It’s also interesting to look at the different cohorts in terms of how they view their place in the world. How much power do they feel they have over the world they live in, and to affect change in it? It’s something that has really shifted across the cohorts and is fascinating”.

Treasure hunt

Rebecca went on to say how fascinating she found the topic. Being able to see how societal issues such as legalising the use of marijuana and same sex marriage have been viewed by the different cohorts, and having a chance to look in depth at different cohort characteristics, how they view the world and their place in it, was an absolute privilege, and she was amazed by the sheer volume and quality of material available in the Archive on the subject. She confessed “Being honest, writing these articles was the first real experience I’d had of the Archive, and as a novice I found it an absolute joy, it was like a treasure hunt. It reminded me of Lego. I was a huge Lego fan, and in our household, we subscribed to the ‘one huge box with all the bricks in’ method, and I mean huge – bricks of all shapes and sizes, and accessories. And searching the Archive reminded me of the pleasure that I used to get in searching for certain Lego bricks. That’s not to say that the Archive is just everything thrown together – it’s incredibly well organised, with extensive search parameters available. It’s more that the nature of the act of searching, which returns absolute gems, that you didn’t think you were looking for but nevertheless are fascinating and you find yourself rabbit holing. Be warned – leave enough time to browse properly and leisurely would be my advice! “

One of Rebecca’s favourite things about this book is the companion articles that accompany some of the pieces. It’s why the book was named ‘present day and beyond’. Because the Archive isn’t just about the past, it’s also about the present and making sure that the wealth of research that will be essential in the future is readily available and protected. And as with anything when we look to the future, we look at how we may move away from current practices, and generational cohort analysis, whilst fascinating, has its shortcomings, and what’s interesting is to look to the future of segmentation and what might come next.

Rebecca introduced Ellie Jacobs, the next speaker, who wrote the companion piece about the future of segmentation. Rebecca commented “it’s such a great piece of writing. And introducing her is a neat way of demonstrating that actually generational cohorts are a load of old rubbish. Actually I really am a geriatric Millennial, because when I asked Ellie what cohort she was she told me that she is also a Millennial”.

 Bias-based segmentation

Ellie Jacobs is a senior research executive at Northstar, specialising in how behavioural science can be applied to marketing, especially in technology markets. She is a member of &more, the young researchers group of the MRS.  The AMSR ‘Showcasing the Archive’ team ran a competition for a younger researcher to contribute a chapter to the book and Ellie was the winner.

She commented that generational segmentation is popular thanks to its simplicity and ease of application. However, she believes the approach is limited due to its assumption that each cohort is uniquely influenced by their membership to, and experience of existing within that cohort. This is reductive. To illustrate this, in her article she gave the example that she and footballer, Marcus Rashford were born a year apart, but their lives are very different, in numerous ways. Likewise, are the behaviours and activities of the Queen representative of most people in their 90s?

Ellie pointed out that generational segmentation is only one of many segmentation methods used today. She chose to write her article for the generational tribes’ section because she is really interested in how we might segment people in the future.

Very few concepts have had such significant impact on how we understand consumer motivations as behavioural science has over the last 20 years. The way we view consumers’ attitudes, beliefs and behaviours has changed in light of findings from the discipline, as has how we examine and analyse consumers. Yet, segmentation hasn’t been scrutinised through this lens yet – a lens based on sophisticated methods and scientific evidence.

So, while segmentation today is valuable, Ellie believes it could be made better.

Recorded biases

To bring in the wealth of knowledge from behavioural science to segmentation, Ellie proposed a bias-based segmentation. which is based on biases, and individuals’ susceptibility to them. A bias in this context is a predictable human error in judgement and decision-making, as opposed to random human error. There are hundreds of recorded biases. Using these well-documented biases alongside an understanding of the factors which make us more or less susceptible to them, allows us to harness them for our benefit.  All humans are predictably irrational – we just need to map out when these biases are present and understand their respective intensity, to enable their use in a segmentation.

Ellie asked the audience to consider loss aversion – we dislike losses roughly twice as much as we like gains of equivalent value. It tends to be that those with lower levels of emotional intelligence who have a high tolerance to loss. Their behaviour is influenced very little by loss aversion. Therefore, an ad campaign using loss aversion (e.g., “don’t miss out, sale ends Sunday”) wouldn’t be suitable for this segment of the population.

Emotional indicators

Another example is status quo bias – a preference for the current state of affairs. When we’re happy this bias is particularly strong. This stems from our evolution, it’s for survival. When we’re happy, it signals there’s no threat to our survival, so we have a strong desire to keep things the same. However, if we’re experiencing negative affect, we want things to change – so our bias in favour of maintaining the current state of affairs is negated. Historically we might have used ‘life events’ as a means to inferring satisfaction with the status quo. However now we have more options – emotions can be inferred through a variety of things such as cursor movement patterns, music choices, and voice patterns via virtual assistants. These emotional indicators can allow us to know when someone is unhappy, more likely to want change, and therefore more likely to want to change spending habits or want a service provider to offer something new.

Due to the varying permanence of the factors which influence bias susceptibility, the segmentation model will be continually updating, with more (and more opportune) data. Consumers will shift between segments, and segments themselves may evolve. The model will remain accurate in-the-moment.

Although practically, it would be difficult to collect all this data and apply it to use as a segmentation method, with the birth of the Metaverse, who knows what could be possible?

Ellie expressed her pleasure at winning the competition. She is also delighted to have discovered the Archive. She didn’t use the Archive for her article, but the competition has allowed her to discover what a great resource it is. For every marketer, it’s imperative to understand the longer and broader context of your objective – this includes the historical context. You have to do your homework before embarking on research and the Archive is really valuable in helping you do just that. And it’s not just historical data; there’s data being collected today for the Archive – the modern collections: on COVID, Brexit and diversity. Data is being collected for tomorrow’s history, so it’s going to continue being an invaluable resource. Ellie concluded, “I’m very glad that I’m aware of it so early in my career and encourage others to explore it”.

The evening concluded with a lively discussion among speakers and audience. Several issues were raised, for example:

Responding to a question about how the Archive will develop on the ‘outside edges’ e.g. globally or in the marketing arena, Professor Barwise believes that where, for instance, a similar archive develops overseas, e.g. the US, where there are many more resources, we can influence the way it works. AMSR is very serious about developing a Hub, providing sources of information about marketing and social research throughout the world.

There is already a wealth of material in the Archive that can inform marketing. People researching products and services need to be aware of things in their markets which do change over time and those which do not. AMSR is starting to demonstrate that it can help marketing with these and other issues.

Judith Staig, the Editor of the Book was asked how the authors were chosen. She pointed out that the ‘showcasing’ team first chose chapter topics and then reached out to their members or further afield to write the appropriate pieces.

Asked about the ease of searching the Archive, Alice Naylor made a plea for a simple way of finding visual material for her research. “Visual material is analogous to museums which can throw up gorgeous surprises”.

Both ‘Showcasing’ books are available through the website – PDF versions can be downloaded for an optional donation to AMSR. Printed versions are also available for postage costs and an optional small donation. Visit[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Reaching out” tab_id=”1645483448825-9892c1e3-6a3f”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8346″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Articles about AMSR and its webinar presentations to other bodies are part of its outreach programme aimed at informing relevant organisations about the value of the Archive.

&more is the MRS network for young researchers. Sponsored by Unilever, it is a learning community and a hub designed to enable young insight, research and analytics professionals to connect.

History, Insight, and Nostalgia – a webinar presented to members of &more

In a webinar for &more delivered in August 2021, Phyllis Macfarlane and Alice Naylor, a PhD Student in Modern British History, explored the importance of market and social research in understanding the history of real people.

Alice and Phyllis covered how the quantitative and qualitative research projects stored in the Archive of Market and Social Research collection are contributing to the research and teaching of Modern British History Academics and to the dissertations of students. They particularly wanted to inspire young researchers to think about ensuring that their research is used in the future!  And to show how the Archive can help them improve their skill sets and make them more insightful. In fact Phyllis issued a challenge: if any young researchers wanted to see if the Archive contained anything that would be helpful for a current project or proposal, she suggested they should send her an email and she would do her very best to help.

Phyllis urged young researchers to contact her if they would like to contribute to the Archive – or would like to volunteer to help, particularly if they are interested in history – it’s definitely something to get involved in!

The Webinar is now up on the &more Resources page at: The direct YouTube link can be found at:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Social Research Association” tab_id=”1645483453021-a42db767-d278″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8359″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane contributed this article to the Autumn 2021 issue of SRA magazine, Research Matters

Making history: why archiving social research matters

There’s a 1982 Charles Addams cartoon that shows a large Viking-like figure with a clipboard asking a poor householder, ‘Would you say Attila is doing an excellent job, a good job, a fair job or a poor job?’ It makes me smile every time I see it – but then I always think: if only someone had archived the data! I, for one, certainly didn’t realise the interest that modern historians would have in market and social research. And particularly in qualitative projects that show how people – clients and respondents – thought at the time. Every report is a gem of social history: from the housewives talking about their ‘housekeeping’ money, to children describing how they decide which sweets to buy.

What is AMSR? The Archive of Market and Social Research was established in 2016 by a group of the UK’s senior researchers. The charity’s volunteers preserve the documents, papers and other research materials of the industry’s achievements over the past 70+ years, making them available in digital format on the AMSR website. Until now we have focused mainly on the collection of paper-based material since this was at the greatest danger of being lost, and we have built up a collection of some 6,000 documents.

We are not just building a library. Education is AMSR’s key purpose as a charity: the education of the public in the fields of the history and significance of market and social research.

Who are our users? When we started, we had only the vaguest idea of who our users might be, but once we had a critical mass of documents, we turned our minds to thinking about who might find them helpful. First, we talked to modern British historians – and found that they were interested in post-war culture, consumerism, changing gender roles, youth, politics – in short all the things we had in our collection. And we’ve subsequently had great fun helping them with their teaching materials, PhD theses and coursework. Reports from the 70s and 80s on ‘changing eating habits’ monitor the decline of the great ‘British breakfast’, and the move away from set meal times and ‘set’ tables. Changing attitudes to immigration and race relations can be tracked from opinion polls. All are all invaluable to modern social historians – particularly as they are scientific studies. They demonstrate not only what people thought at the time, but also the attitudes of government to their citizens and businesses to their customers. They are ‘gold’, as one professor put it.

We’re now looking at what we could do for schools – starting with the A-level history curriculum. We can help with coursework on questions such as ‘How far did Britain become a ‘permissive society’ in the 1960s?’ or ‘Assess the reasons for Margaret Thatcher’s downfall in 1990’. We have many relevant surveys. Students have to show that they have accessed a range of sources, and being free-to-access and digital makes us a helpful resource for them. We are also thinking of developing online lessons for GCSE-level to help teach, not only maths and analysis skills, but also interviewing and data interpretation skills – perhaps encouraging the researchers of the future.

The future? We are now moving on – to safeguard the future sustainability of the archive – by establishing ‘modern’ collections. We are starting with three new specialist collections covering all the research done into some current issues: Covid-19; diversity, inclusivity and equality; and Brexit. There is a growth area in histories of the 80s, 90s and 2000s – that is, very contemporary history – so collecting recent material is particularly important. Could SRA members help? Yes, if you have reports in your personal ‘archive’ please do think of contributing them. Remember that the UK Data Archive preserves a lot of data, but not the qualitative context in which the questions were asked, nor always the interpretative reports. As archivists we help shape history – by preserving the materials which will be used by future generations. We should let our work as researchers contribute to an accurate view of social history in the future.

SRA has opted to be a virtual organisation, and AMSR is archiving its material, an important addition to the rich data on social research already in the Archive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Phyllis Vangelder muses on the AMSR model of working volunteers” tab_id=”1645483457379-854d9a9b-bdab”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8340″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Those of you who were active in the early days of The Market Research Society will remember the model whereby volunteer Council and Committee members were completely responsible for decision-making and strategic changes within the Society (the small staff were perhaps analogous to civil servants, providing advice and knowledge of the past and traditional procedures, but were tasked to put any decisions made by the volunteers into motion). The volunteer Committees, in effect, ran the Society.

The volunteer model of AMSR has points of similarity with the early MRS model. However, it differs in several important ways:

  • It is not dependent on the generosity of employers. Volunteers give as much time and work commitment as they wish, depending on their personal circumstances;
  • It is not dependent on the time-span of Committee membership, nor on selection by Committee Chairmen.

The model of a volunteer workforce works on the premise that volunteers do what they enjoy and what they are good at, so there are no ‘power politics’. Volunteers get immersed with the product, and are interested in the results, so there is no question of ego or hierarchy of importance, position or experience. You do not volunteer to work for AMSR to improve business relationships or take part in power struggles. People who work with AMSR do so because they believe in its aims and values. Whilst many older volunteers may not be interested in enhancing their CV, volunteering may in fact demonstrate a broader range of interests beyond just doing the job and also provide experience not available in one’s day job.

It is a highly professional workforce, but promotion or advancement are not relevant. AMSR is able to access professional expertise which is completely focused on the problem or issue. Sometimes this means working alone, sometimes in teams.

There must be complete transparency and trust – every working volunteer in the organisation is making a contribution and must feel valued. Of course there are pressures when there are specific deadlines to be met or events to be organised. But there is a recognition of people’s times and lives. Stress is so often caused by one’s own set of standards rather than that of a hierarchical system.

The 60 or so AMSR volunteers are not a coterie. They would love more people to join them in work that is fun, stimulating and makes a contribution to the industry. Talk to any member of the Trustee Board or Executive Committee about the kind of area in which you are interested. Now we are able to meet face-to-face again, the work is more social and lunches and coffee are possible. You’ll probably meet old friends: you’ll certainly make new ones.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Better Statistics CIC” tab_id=”1645483461809-d816951c-7558″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8348″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Better Statistics CIC is a new social enterprise founded by three directors Tony Dent, Phyllis Macfarlane and Iain Mackay to campaign for more reliable statistics in the private and public domain.

Tony Dent describes the thinking and research that underpins this initiative

Although I can trace my personal interest in estimating the economic influence of small businesses as far back as the early 1980s with the innovative Small Business Monitor (operated by MAS Research Ltd), the more immediate genesis of Better Statistics CIC was our concern with the accuracy of official UK business statistics and the belief that the economic contribution of micro-enterprises was being undervalued.

We considered that the contribution of the so-called ‘gig’ economy was inadequately recognised and that the GDP of the UK was probably being understated. This belief was given further credence by the Bean report of 2016 and as a result the initial focus of our campaign was concentrated upon measuring the gig economy.  Accordingly, we conducted some pilot work in the Autumn of 2019 to test the viability of telephone research as a means of estimating the contribution to personal income through interaction with various websites. Clearly any online survey on this subject could be strongly susceptible to potential bias towards web activities.

Amongst other results to the survey we were able to report a correlation between the use of smart phones and the income from web based activities; although, for all but a very few respondents, the money gained represented a relatively minor, secondary source of income. With this survey we had also begun to take an interest in the measurement of wellbeing and trialed a ‘future wellbeing question to determine people’s expectation for the year ahead and whether they expected to be ‘better off, worse off or about the same’ in a year’s time. The following table provides the results by gender for each of the landline and mobile telephone samples:

These quite striking differences between the sexes and between the mobile and landline samples were obtained in 2019, prior to the arrival of the pandemic, although the total sample size of 290 persons should not be taken as providing a definitive result.  The differences are, nevertheless, important and they highlight a concern we have with the standard dashboard, as provided by the ONS, because it concentrates on the total population and does not highlight important differences across our population, such as those shown above.

In the event we were unable to follow up this work due to the onset of Covid-19 and the lockdown in March 2020. Instead we conducted some original telephone and online research amongst UK business in the week commencing 28 March. That project was purely exploratory and designed to understand the effects on business of Covid-19 and the government’s response, with the proposal for us to establish a regular business monitor. However, our response rate was poor because we experienced considerable difficulty in contacting respondents due to lockdown affecting the operations of many types of business.

Nevertheless the resulting report now makes interesting reading, with some of the immediate effects noted continuing to be reported today, particularly supply chain issues.  The report is also a testament to the resilience of the (mainly manufacturing) businesses that did respond.

At that time our campaign was operated by Ltd, under the trading name UKPLC and we are pleased to acknowledge the sponsorship support received from Ronin International and DBS Data Ltd for our research at that time.

As a result of the response difficulties, together with more direct effects of lockdown, our proposed Covid-19 business monitor did not proceed; however, at this time the Office for National Statistics had started its BICS series of fortnightly reports on UK Business.  Subsequently we were critical of the estimation methods used by the ONS for this data in our commentary on the Purple Research report summarising some of the BICS findings.  Meanwhile, the spotlight placed upon our National Statistical services by the need for timely data on the effects of Covid-19 had widened our interest beyond purely business and economics data. In particular, as a result of some work Phyllis Macfarlane had done whilst Chief Executive of GFK (UK) we were pleased to respond to the joint UKSA/Treasury consultation on RPI methodology.

At this point we began to understand that many of our concerns with the quality of our statistics were more widely shared than we had previously appreciated. We therefore decided to recognise that fact by transferring all the intellectual property of UKPLC into a Community Interest Company. We particularly wished to encourage public engagement.  We had emphasised the potential value of this objective to the Good Practice Team of the OSR, in our reply to their consultation on the User Engagement Strategy, advising that the definition of a user should include the total population of the UK, because we are all dependent upon the efficacy of the data produced by our Government Statistical Service (GSS).  We believed that accepting that definition would have the following benefits:

  1. a) It will encourage the GSS to ensure that they will always use language appropriate for communicating with the public.
  2. b) It reminds individuals and policy makers of the need to consider the whole population and therefore that they must be aware of any limitations of the data they are using and the degree to which any statistic is representative of the population affected by any decision that employs that statistic.
  3. c) It strengthens the main strategy of the service, to provide statistics for the public good.
  4. d) Ultimately, it should increase public confidence in the GSS.

We provided further emphasis for this opinion in our response to the consultation on the National Data Strategy, where we said “the benefits of data should be accessible to, and inclusive of, all citizens and these aspirations should be a specific objective of the National Data Strategy”.

It was with these sentiments in mind that we began our work on the public understanding of the measurement of inflation.  This work has been supported by original research conducted online by Opinium on our behalf.  A  key finding was that only a minority of 43% of people interviewed believe the official inflation rate to be a reliable measure, with the proportion of ‘believers’ increasing as household income increases.

Better Statistics CIC was officially launched on 17 November at the National Liberal Club with an impressive list of eminent contributors. A keynote speech from Sir Bernard Jenkin was followed by discussions on  Measuring Public Opinion with Sir John Curtice and Sir Vince Cable;  Population Statistics with Simon Briscoe of Britain in Numbers and Sir Andrew Watson of the Campaign to Protect Rural England; and a session on the wide-ranging topic of Beyond GDP.  This reviewed some of the issues of introducing measures of Welfare/Wellbeing and levelling up into an amended GDP as the key indicator of a successful economy.

Richard Heys and Dr Stephen Brien from the Legatum institute  both spoke in the session on Population Statistics. Bringing them together, with an introduction by Vicky Pryce, who was joint head of the UK economic service at the outset of considerations for extending GDP, widened the debate on this important topic.

The objective of the meeting was to increase public engagement on these and other topics and we are grateful for the support received from our advisory group, our other speakers, our sponsors and those who assisted in publicising the event.  In particular I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Paul Allin, Chair of the Statistics User Forum, for his support.

We hope it made a small contribution to improving the quality and understanding of our statistical activities, both great and small.

The aims and objectives of BSC are on its website:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Co-creation for growth” tab_id=”1645483465595-0ddf7484-2a9c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8347″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Robin Birn, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Institute of Business, Law & Society, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, describes the collaborative research undertaken by the University for AMSR

Over the last three years the AMSR Marketing Committee and St Mary’s University, Twickenham have been working together to provide information and guidance on opportunities for social historians and business, marketing and communications academics to become aware of and use the resources and material in the Archive.

The author of this article has been coordinating a number of activities as a member of the AMSR Marketing Committee and also Faculty of the St Mary’s Institute of Business, Law and Society. These activities have given both students and academics the opportunity to work on a ‘live client’, and also to complete research activities to provide analysis and recommendations to provide guidance for strategic challenges and a new perspective on AMSR’s development.  This has been through support from a dedicated intern from the St Mary’s programme managed by its Centre for Workplace Learning; and 25 students each year studying on the Management Consultancy module.  Research findings have been reported to the AMSR Executive and Marketing and Contents Committees and have provided guidance for actions for AMSR communications and events.

The AMSR project is important to St Mary’s as it is contributing to a series of projects listed under the Research Excellence Framework, the UK’s system for assessing the excellence of research in UK higher education providers.  The REF outcomes are used to inform the allocation of £2 billion per year of public funding for universities’ research.  Excellence in research demonstrates work of originality which has made an observable impact on the subject and these collaborative projects have demonstrated these benefits.

Research projects

There have been different projects completed and used by AMSR.  The initial project was to explore how content relating to marketing and market research is distributed to and within universities. The research involved personal interviews with librarian senior managers selected from 14 universities. The interviews with librarians provided insight into how AMSR could be distributed to university libraries and how it could be accessed.

The findings highlight the role of university academics in specifying the content of marketing and market research. They focus on ‘real world’ management problems to deliver research with impact and relevant teaching. Therefore, they need company and industry information and are more likely to use current sources. The study maps the process of acquisition of marketing and market research content by universities and identifies the different roles involved in this process. It is in line with the emerging literature that focuses on the role of education in explaining the relevance gap in marketing research. The study contrasts the situation in the university market and industrial buying and adds to understanding of the complexities associated with the distribution of the marketing research material. The result is expected to be a much sharper focus for the marketing of the archive material, leading to greater use of recent high-quality market research by marketing educators, and changes to marketing and market research syllabuses.

The follow-up projects have been to interview social historian and business management, marketing and communications academics and researchers in both a qualitative and quantitative survey with a sample of academics and researchers.  The survey results indicate that there are over 700 academics and 50,000 students per semester who could be potential users of AMSR material provided the Archive promotes its resources to these targets regularly. These communications can be focused on 6 industry sectors and 10 research techniques to ensure that these academics and students engage with AMSR for their core studies.

Communicating the project and research findings

The findings of the librarian project were published in a paper, ‘Distribution of Marketing Research Material to Universities: The Case of Archive of Market and Social Research (AMSR)’ in the April 2020 edition of the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, 27,2, pp 187-202.

These projects and research activities were also published in June 2021 in a chapter in the new Routledge Companion to Marketing Research, authored by Robin Birn,  Professor Merlin Stone and Emmanuel Kosack, a graduate student at St Mary’s: ‘The Archive of Market and Social Research: looking backwards to look forwards’. (John Kelly gave permission to quote some of the key timelines from his presentation, ‘A Little History, It’s Not That New’, May 2011).

The AMSR Chapter relates to the work of AMSR, detailing how it liberates a rich set of data and commentary generated since the 1950s by the market and social research industry to support commercial and social progress.  AMSR was initially focused on the marketing services sector.  A series of qualitative and quantitative research projects carried out to identify the market for the Archive showed that the information could usefully be made available to universities, to enhance research and learning in business and social science disciplines and to prepare for their careers.  The chapter reviews in full the contents of the Archive and suggests how it (and similar archives and material) could be used in developing academic understanding of marketing research.

Academic papers and books are listed in Google Scholar and ResearchGate resources used to explore related works, citations, authors and publications.  ResearchGate is the largest academic social network in terms of active users and has been the most effective for these publications about the Archive. The Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing paper has achieved 110 reads and a research interest rating of 4.4 and the Routledge Book 58 reads and a research interest score of 4.3.

The way forward

Work is in progress to plan further research and publications as the collaboration has been so beneficial to both organisations. The next project is likely to assess the effectiveness of online research resources marketing and communications and why AMSR, a volunteer organisation, has better impact with its outreach activities, than many commercial archives.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Genesis of the Telephone Interview Centre (and other techniques)” tab_id=”1645483469431-ea8245e7-686c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8342″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Derek Simonds gives a personal account of the very early days of telephone interviewing

An IDV (International Distillers and Vintners) director once said that you would need to hire the Albert Hall to accommodate everyone that claimed to have worked on the start of Bailey’s while you could fit those that worked on a multitude of failed brands into a phone box.

Very often we confuse the true start of a new product with the time it first became visible on the mass market and I suspect the same may be true of some MR techniques and services.

I have seen reference to the development of telephone interviewing during the 1980s whereas its genesis was much earlier. The first central telephone interview centre emerged largely unnoticed by much of the industry sometime around 1972 – those that did notice were at best cynical.

Precise dates and detailed recall become progressively hazy with time but this article is anchored by an ESOMAR paper in Hamburg September 1974 documenting the first two years of development and experimentation. This was almost certainly the start of central location telephone interviewing in the UK by some margin but apologies to anyone with better memories or whose activities might predate this.

The telephone centre had two characteristics of most successful long-term new products:

  1. it came about to meet an identified need.
  2. was slow to be adopted even initially resisted by the mass market.


The ‘need’ was a client requirement. The Post Office, before BT, was a major client of Midas Research, the ad hoc arm of Birmingham-based retail audit company Stats MR:

  • Their target sample had telephones at a time when penetration of residential phones was only 35%, rising quickly to 50% around the time of my paper.
  • The PO wanted telephone as the interview medium, particularly when Midas successfully gained a contract to conduct a customer satisfaction monitor involving thousands of interviews per year.
  • Telephone interviewing from home was proving costly and inefficient.

Encouraged by the emergence of telephone interviewing centres in the USA, two facilities were built in Stats MR’s offices, one in London and the other in Birmingham:

  • A maximum of 20 stations were arranged in rows with supervisors at the head of each.
  • Supervisors managed efficient sample allocation, listened in for quality control and checked documents so that at the end of each session completed questionnaires (paper in those days) could go straight to analysis.
  • The centres worked mid-morning to mid-evening in shifts and interviewers were of a very different type than the norm at the time, having been recruited and trained specifically for the telephone interviewing task.


An enthusiastic period of experimentation followed to explore and develop commercial opportunities, supported by the Post Office which was keen to see wider use of telephone in MR. Several more open-minded clients, both consumer and B-to-B, also started to show interest:

  • Penetration of residential phones was a limiting factor but growing fast, and businesses were totally accessible.
  • New methods emerged such as personal product placements with a series of phone follow-ups and recruitment of small telephone panels.
  • Questionnaire design evolved with ways to administer scales or show cards plus experimentation with qualitative interviews and even groups, pushing the boundaries but sometimes too far.
  • The 1974 ESOMAR paper, now with the archives, documented progress including survey types, questionnaire design, response rates etc.


At Midas we were enthusiastic for the future of telephone interviewing, a view not shared by the rest of the research industry. Responses ranged from polite cynicism to strong opposition, a view particularly prevalent in other agencies and industry bodies:

  • In the pub where competitor companies regularly gathered it was a source of entertainment rather than interest – a device to win Post Office work rather than a potential new technique.
  • At an MRS conference the field director of a major agency attacked it as ‘undermining the field force that was the backbone of our industry’, while the high-profile MD of another simply dismissed the work as ‘misguided’.
  • More disappointing was resistance from the MRS, refusing to recognise surveys of this type because interviewers were not trained to MRS criteria and therefore not accredited and that quality control measures were inadequate.
  • That traditional interviewers were not suited to this totally new way of working, requiring recruitment of a different type of workforce trained and closely monitored in a new technique, fell on unsympathetic ears.
  • The live monitoring by supervisors of all interviews, combined with real time checking of output, was rejected as inadequate quality control with insistence on the 10% independent backchecks as required for unsupervised field interviews – missing one of the fundamental advantages of central control.

Moving Forward

The economic crisis of the mid-seventies forced our telephone interviewing centres to close. Projects of all types were scarce, contracts cancelled and MIDAS did not survive. It would be some considerable time before the phone centre would re-emerge on a stronger commercial basis as a viable interviewing method and be embraced as a replacement for field interviewing in a changing environment.

The Process Continues

An interest in liquor research generally and the on-license particularly led in the mid- 80s to the creation of Cardinal, an agency that, unlike most others at that time, specialised entirely in the unique demands of one market.

Different interview techniques were essential to overcome problems associated with classic market research techniques in reaching important categories of on-trade drinkers and workers. A new demographic was the type and quality of outlet in which drink was consumed rather than traditional consumer demography – sampling and analysis by outlet and occasion rather than consumer.

Methodologies mirrored the departure from the norm of the early telephone centre and attracted similar resistance from the MR establishment. Detail is outside of the scope of this article, but for illustration procedures adopted included:

  • Fieldwork conducted in pubs – structured by different trading sessions.
  • Interviewer teams recruited for compatibility working in pub environments, typically mobile between cities and sometimes countries.
  • Trade and consumer interviewing during opening hours. Quantitative questionnaires combined with qualitative interviews informally in outlet or recruited on the spot into private areas. Large participation events for bar owners and their customers in their own environment.
  • Product testing and new brand test markets extending over weeks or months in real market context.

Clients were typically senior marketing management who embraced an approach more relevant to their market, unconcerned that interviewing techniques might fall short on some criteria demanded by the MRS and more traditional research managers. Early driving forces were United Distillers and Guinness (soon to be Diageo) which  championed an extensive programme of work across much of their global network. This provided a foundation for Cardinal that enabled it to continue to evolve licensed trade specialisations for some 35 years until its recent acquisition by Savanta.  Although never fully accepted by traditional research communities, either here or internationally, some methodologies have been adopted and adapted by other agencies, their genesis quite understandably lost in time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Happy Birthday” tab_id=”1645483473786-1071fde5-2c5f”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8341″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]A postscript from Adam Phillips – Chief Executive AMSR

Phyllis Vangelder, the editor of this Newsletter, celebrated her 90th birthday a few weeks ago. Phyllis has been involved in recording and promoting the activities of the market and social research sector since the early 1960s. She continues to remind people about the role research has played in the development of our society, not only by editing this Newsletter but also by playing an active role in the content preservation side of AMSR. Her encyclopaedic and discerning knowledge of the history of the sector, the people who worked in it and what they could contribute to the Archive is unique.

We all wish her a very happy birthday.

Adam Phillips
Chief Executive
Archive of Market and Social Research[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Obituary” tab_id=”1645483477611-46851262-e664″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8343″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Gordon Heald

Phyllis Vangelder writes

I was saddened to hear of the death of Gordon Heald.

He ran Gallup Poll in the UK between 1979 and 1994 and ORB International from 1994 to 2000.  He was one of the most well-known pollsters of his generation and ran innumerable studies all over the world.

He was intelligent and perceptive, but hid this behind a facade of frivolity and jokiness. He was always fun to be with: I well remember his attempt at paying for an MRS function with luncheon vouchers!

His son Johnny has written a very sensitive and thoughtful obituary which can be found on the Research Live site:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 20 –  August 2021

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”purple” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”1637615313478-38fe6166-16f4″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8041″ img_size=”180 x 180″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Most of us have experience of heightened awareness when something is particularly salient. Have you ever had a new red car and noticed all the other red cars on the road?

This kind of awareness seems to happen to me when I hear or read the word’ ‘archive’.  My senses prick up. This happened recently during a discussion of a Spanish novel, The Impostor by Javier Cercas (translated by Frank Wynne), which, I confess, I haven’t yet read. But I love the quotation, “the past is never dead, the past is the present or a dimension of the present … ”  There is also a reference to archiving as ‘the industry of memory’.

I’m now collecting relevant quotations. So please let me have any you come across.

We have actually held a face-to-face meeting in an office. The Contents Committee went to the Ipsos office in Harrow – masks in public places, only two in a lift, fewer than 10 people at the meeting and only two at time in our small ’engine room. It was wonderful to be with people in the flesh rather than Zoom. But no-one else was around and it was eerie to see large offices, quite empty of people and computers.  However, restrictions are lifting and hopefully next time there will be the usual buzz of office life.

Of course, we have to acknowledge that Zoom does have benefits. It has stopped us being too London-centric – one of the members of the Marketing Committee joins us from Scotland. Volunteers also tend to work in silos, and Adam Phillips’ very enjoyable ‘coffee mornings’ and ‘tea parties’ have enabled us to socialise and share experiences. And working digitally, the Archive Catalogue has been standardised and revised; one e-Book has been produced and one is in preparation.  In addition, we have been able to help university lecturers in Modern British History to use the Archive as an invaluable source of information. And, more recently, we have established a relationship with a girl’s’ independent school to help A-level students in their research. And of course, most importantly, the Archive could be freely accessed throughout the pandemic.

Market research has always harnesed technology, applying it for applications and understanding. So we fully appreciate its value.

It is just so lovely to be able to meet face-to-face again![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Unsung Research Heroes” tab_id=”1637615317282-d5cad51e-bd60″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8115″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Two people heavily involved in AMSR, Gill Wareing and Inger Christensen, are among 25 unsung ‘Research Heroes’, recently recognised by the MRS in its first tranche of an on-going programme to coincide with its 75th year.

The 25 individuals were selected by a panel of judges following a call for nominations from the industry. Criteria for selection were that the Heroes work in research, insight or analytics and have achieved one or more of the following:

Contributed during the past year to make a difference in the sector or to support colleagues or the community; given consistent service for which they cannot be recognised with a professional award, e.g. a fellowship; advanced the cause of research, or causes such as quality, diversity and sustainability.

AMSR realised soon after it became a Charity that that it could not move forward unless it employed someone to help with the administration. Gill Wareing joined us in September 2016 as part-time Administrator. Her contribution to the Archive has been invaluable. In addition to being Secretary of the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, she manages all enquiries to AMSR and provides support for the Database. She has long-standing experience in the market research world and is still pivotal in the management of the IQCS (Interviewer Quality Control Scheme), as well as being Secretary/Treasurer of the Research Network from its inception.

Inger Christensen was brought into AMSR’s Marketing function as a volunteer and has been particularly active in the Fundraising Group (now known as the Development Group). She believes it is important to reach out to a wider society and, as a vocal advocate of market research, she has a great deal to offer the Archive in its mission to expand and excel. Her contacts in and understanding of the industry have been of immense help to AMSR in its fundraising work. Inger is one of the founders of the market research recruitment company, Daughter of Sailors, and Chairman of the MRS Flex Forum.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Hubs and Links” tab_id=”1637615320211-079936b1-6dca”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7076″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Starting places and stepping stones

Judith Wardle writes

If you think of archives as can’t-hear-a-pin-drop places, shafts of sun lighting up dusty motes, background smell of deep dust then think again. The world of archives is changing. Historians can now access a huge variety of collections from their laptop and unique and precious documents are now seen framed in computer screens. There is a quiet revolution happening, too, in the aims and mindsets of archivists; they are no longer happy to stay cocooned in their ivory towers, cataloguing and searching, but now are more concerned with reaching audiences and converting those investigative clicks into downloads. After all, with space at such a premium and more and more archives jostling for attention, if archives are not used, they risk being dismantled and lost.

As people with marketing mindsets ourselves, we have instinctively wanted to spot audiences and boost usership. This has run against the grain of how archives were traditionally found and used. The typical historian searches for a data source that will reveal information that others aren’t aware of and news of such sources are usually passed on by word-of-mouth, often from academic supervisors, but historians always have their archive-seeking radar switched to ‘on’ and find data in unexpected places.

Our Archive is a new sort of archive representing content; at its heart, business and social history and the 20th century. This is attracting more and more interest from the academic world. And we want to be a key player. We want to be the first port of call for anyone wanting to find out more, a sort of starting place or ‘hub’ from where researchers can pursue their subject through archive ‘stepping stones’, till their data collection is complete. They will all tell you that this is the best bit of their work and we want our Archive to be linked with that joy and excitement of discovery!

We are busy compiling lists of companion sources and archives, so that users can click through to other useful collections. They are ‘companion’ sources because we also intend linking up with their librarians and archivists, creating a network of like-minded professionals who can spread the word and create activity and interest in what we are doing.  It is a work in progress, but we have divided the list of data sources into four, reflecting the users the Archive attracts: business history, cultural and social history, business information and political polling. Each section contains a list of sources with brief descriptions and, given time, each will link to the relevant website.

Keep your eyes peeled for our new hub page on the website. And then tell us you are not tempted to click through to some fascinating stories. This is a stepping stone to the Archive as a ‘Hub’: a unique entry point to global sources of information on market and social research.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Lannon Legacy” tab_id=”1637615323086-b4128b52-9544″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6346″ img_size=”300×200″ title=”The Lannon legacy”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are very grateful for the generous legacy left to the Archive by the late Judie Lannon.

Phyllis Vangelder talks about her invaluable contribution to the industry and, not least, the Archive, and remembers her as a friend.

Remembering Judie

Judie is greatly missed – as a creative doyenne in advertising planning and market research, as an enthusiastic and influential volunteer for the Archive of Market and Social Research, and, not least, as a dear friend.

Her influence on the development of planning in advertising agencies cannot be overestimated. John Griffiths wrote in the recent AMSR Book Post-war Developments in Market Research, “In the late 1960s, in the biggest advertising agency of the day, J Walter Thompson, the late Judie Lannon embarked upon an experiment to change the way research was done inside the agency.  Planning brought research into the heart of the creative and media process. Judie Lannon played a unique role at this time of change. The discipline of advertising planning has now spread to every kind of agency and everywhere in the world. But Judie Lannon, who had previously worked in the research department of Leo Burnett in Chicago, was at the forefront of a shuffle – a rebalance of the powers of research and advertising agencies and in how research was used internally and with clients. She established the Creative Research Unit in JWT, and spearheaded a new methodology which enabled research to be an integral part of account planning”. John has written of Judie that she was the ’Godmother of account planning’.

The obituaries of Judie were overwhelmingly affectionate memories of her personality – she was ‘modest, glamorous, indiscreet and very, very funny’.

She joined the volunteer team of AMSR wholeheartedly, leading the PR group with enthusiasm and, more importantly knowledge. As Editor of Marketing Leader she had immense experience in, and understanding of, marketing and communications. She gave her views unstintingly and confidently, but always with charm and modesty.

I particularly remember two incidents during this period when she headed up the PR and Publicity Team. The two of us went to see Jim Kelleher, a ‘Twitter specialist’ at Ipsos. who was very helpful and expertly guided us through the vagaries of this platform. We recognised that we were, both by nature and generation, unlikely to become ardent Tweeters.  But this did not deter Judie from her understanding of the vital contribution of social media in any modern communications strategy. Largely through her guidance this is now an essential part of our Marketing Strategy.

The other memorable occasion was a PR meeting on a sunny day in May 2017, in her lovely Chelsea garden. Judie had gathered together a group of influential communicators, (whom of course she knew well), including Peter Wallis (aka Peter York) and Torin Douglas. We looked at target groups, messages and events, both externally and internally. What were then ideas and hopes have now, only four years later, become realities. It is creative thinkers like Judie who lay the groundwork for strategies which come into place, even after they have gone.

Although we had always known each other, our friendship was cemented when Judie, Liz Nelson and I  attended a Yoga Retreat in Goa in India for a precious week, a couple of years running.  No one could fail to be attracted by Judi’s charm and vivaciousness. In addition, the young ‘yogis’ loved the sight of three ‘old ladies’ giggling over their meals. We had so much fun!

Until just before she died, Judie, Liz and I were meeting regularly in London for laughter-filled weekend pub lunches.

II was a privilege to know Judie in so many contexts. There is a big Judie-shaped hole in our lives.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Using the Legacy” tab_id=”1637615326015-477dbcdd-75f7″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8119″ img_size=”300×300″ title=”Using the legacy”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are using some of Judie’s legacy to carry out a small-scale research project to help define our Modern Collections.

Phyllis Macfarlane describes the project

Defining the Modern Collection: Collecting very contemporary market and social research history

The Archive of Market and Social Research has been in existence for five years now, focused mainly on the collection of older paper material – which was in the greatest danger of being lost. Having built a very respectable collection of such material we have recently turned our focus to potential users of the Archive and to issues of our future sustainability.

If we regard our current collection as basically pre-digital and name it our ‘Heritage Collection’, (and material continues to flow in), then our thinking is to move our focus into building ‘Modern’ Collections including within that the concept of ‘Specialist’ contemporary collections (Covid, DI&E and BREXIT). I.e. to focus our content collection activities on material from the early 1990s to the present. 

Our work with History Academics has demonstrated the growth of both academic and popular interest in ‘very contemporary’ history – so there is definitely encouragement and justification from a user point of view to move into this area of modern content. A modern focus should also help define a sustainable strategy for the Archive.

Defining the Project

Defining the Heritage Collection was relatively simple – it was a case of uncovering the reports and materials that people and agencies had preserved. In effect it defined itself.

However, the definition of what we actually might wish to collect from recent (digital) years is more complex, since research is now very different in both scope and structure, and research reports are no longer complete summaries of work. This is especially relevant in the case of qualitative work, which nowadays comprises content in the form of images, videos, blogs, web-scrape-ings, search data, communities, online diaries, ethnographic observations, etc.

The research project will focus on the definition of what we might want to collect from current market and social research work.

Two examples to illustrate the types of issues we need to address:

Companies like EasyJet (and many others) run continuous online communities – the content of which would be a fabulous resource in the future, especially over the period of the pandemic. In many ways this would be (a very large amount of) qualitative content, very much like the MassObs Archive content, but there would also be summary reports and presentations. It is probably the qualitative content which will be most interesting in the future. How can the preservation of this sort of material be ensured long-term?

Some modern agencies continuously monitor the effectiveness of advertising – they must be building vast archives – which will be very interesting in 50 years time, but will this information still be available then? We need to be able to take over ‘old’ content that they no longer use and/or the total archive in the case that they are no longer in business or (more likely) have been merged into another organisation in 50 years time. How can we think of putting such arrangements in place?

We anticipate that the project will comprise research with current agencies on their current archiving policies – because we need to research both what is available and what it is possible to collect, as well as research with other current archives to see how they are tackling the issue of capturing the present.  We shall also talk to historians to understand what they mean by ‘very contemporary history’ (i.e. is it really ‘just everything’ – because we can’t predict the questions that will be asked in the future).

AMSR requires an understanding of:

  • How current agencies are/have been archiving and disposing of their projects over the last 25 years.
  • What other archivists are doing to capture modern digital content for their archives.

This research will enable us to define modern market and social research content and reveal what agencies believe will be worth saving for the future.

We believe Judie would have approved of the research, as a way forward in understanding the present and the future and helping to ensure the sustainability of the Archive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Legacy” tab_id=”1637615329130-f1dd076d-a7a9″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8121″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The AMSR is in sound shape thanks to our generous donors but, as the article above illustrates, legacies can be transformative in allowing charities to achieve goals that they cannot easily do with the regular donations they receive.

Have you ever thought of leaving a legacy in your will to AMSR? 

Leaving a legacy in your will today does not require any immediate financial outlay on your part, but it will provide the AMSR with a long-term benefit.  Leaving a legacy to the AMSR is a meaningful way to support AMSR as they allow us to develop long-term initiatives to improve our Archive and promote it more effectively – as we are already doing with Judie Lannon’s legacy.

There is also a benefit to you and your beneficiaries, as leaving a legacy can be tax-efficient because gifts to charities are exempt from inheritance tax.

It is easy and straightforward to do, even if you already have a will. A solicitor will advise but do contact us if you want to know more.  And if you have provided a legacy to AMSR in your will we would appreciate you letting us know.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Market Research Oral Histories” tab_id=”1637615332562-779ae81e-aa49″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7741″ img_size=”600×900″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Sue Robson writes

In 2011, the Research Network began the important project of conducting oral history interviews with significant figures in the market research industry, past and present.  Since then the project team have interviewed a wide range of market research professionals and, indeed, will continue to do so.

These recordings were originally held on the website of the Market Research Society and so were not widely known outside of the market research world.  AMSR have now taken over responsibility for siting and promoting this invaluable historical resource.  We hope that they will now be of wider interest and more easily accessible.

Lawrence Bailey was the key initiator of the project. He quoted The Centre for Urban History at Leicester University as saying:the recording, preservation and interpretation of historical information, based on the personal experiences and opinions of the speaker…  is an invaluable way of preserving the knowledge and understanding of older people”.

With his background in qualitative research, Lawrence was the ideal first interviewer.  He has now handed over to a small team of other experienced qualitative researchers.

Lawrence’s original idea was to interview in a style not unlike Desert Island Discs (without the music!), in which plenty of time would be devoted to reminiscence and narrative regarding the events and people that have shaped and developed market research… hoping that the interviews would bring out the character and interests of the interviewees as well as their knowledge about phases in the development of the industry, and the research activities in which they been involved”. 

Since this early start, the focus has shifted to include the major contributions those being interviewed have made to the market research industry, such as key developments in market research techniques, the development of new businesses and the cultural context in which everyone worked and clients marketed and advertised their products and services.

The full-length audio interviews are available here.

AMSR are grateful to the Research Network for providing us with this valuable resource.  We are pleased that they will continue with their programme of Oral History interviews.  There will therefore be updates to the list of people and their audio contributions from time to time.

The current Collection of Oral Histories includes such illustrious names as:

  • Marie Alexander
  • Hugh Bain
  • Phil Barnard
  • John Barter
  • Peter Bartram
  • Bill Blyth
  • Tim Bowles
  • Juanita Byrne-Quinn
  • Tony Cowling
  • Gerald de Groot
  • Jackie Dickens
  • John Downham
  • Pam Edwards
  • Valerie Farbridge
  • Paul Feldwick
  • Roddy Glen
  • Gerald Goodhart
  • John Goodyear
  • Mary Goodyear
  • Wendy Gordon
  • Ivor McGloughlin
  • Peter Mouncey
  • Liz Nelson
  • Nick Phillips
  • Tom Punt
  • Sue Robson
  • Ed Ross
  • Geoffrey Roughton
  • John Samuels
  • Bill Schlackman
  • Martin Simmons
  • Nigel Spackman
  • Ted Whitley
  • John Wigzell
  • Sir Robert Worcester

As Lawrence Bailey wrote: “What historical riches….. the best fund of research industry knowledge, experience and anecdote to be found anywhere”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Reaching Out” tab_id=”1637615335644-1caa29cb-fb12″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8124″ img_size=”500×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR’s webinar presentations to other bodies are part of its outreach programme aimed at informing relevant organisations about the value of the Archive

Phyllis Macfarlane reports from an AQR webinar

The Making of History

On May 17  2021 the AQR (Association for Qualitative Research) hosted a webinar for its members on the ‘Making of History at which Professor Claire Langhamer (University of Sussex) discussed Modern British History with Phyllis Macfarlane and Peter Bartram of AMSR, exploring the importance of qualitative research in understanding the history of real people and society today.

As AMSR our objectives were to explain to AQR members how our recent work with Modern British Historians has highlighted the real importance of qualitative research in the Archive, how it could be of value to them personally, and ask them to think of contributing projects.

Claire described what she did as a Modern British Historian, how historians see our research from a different point of view and how valuable qualitative research is – each project tells you what clients and users were actually thinking at the time. She values the authenticity of real research done at a specific point in time.

Some fascinating issues were raised, illuminating why the Archive is useful:

  • How sources are used creatively by historians
  • How modern history is a growing field – we need modern digital content to be collected – we don’t know what future historians’ questions are going to be
  • Archivists shape the future of history – by giving historians the resources
  • Who is the future historian? History is being democratised. ‘Horrible Histories’ are an example of this. One of the benefits of a free-to-access-digital archive is its appeal to a broader audience. 

We also covered what AQR members can do if they are interested in contributing their research to the Archive or getting involved with AMSR. They can contribute materials – old research, modern research, or research for the specialist collections (Covid DI&E, BREXIT), conference papers and articles.  Indeed, anything that relates to research and the research process.

We’re also working with marketing and business academics – who are interested in marketing and brand issues and how they were addressed historically. We are especially keen to continue to build the Archive for the future.

Louella Miles of AQR, who chaired the webinar, commented on how clients are more and more ‘curating’ their own research portfolio – is that an opportunity? Indeed it is, and we’re working with the Business Archives Council (BAC) to get Client Archivists on Board. The important thing is to preserve the work.

Since the webinar we’ve had several very useful contributions to the Archive from qualitative researchers – thank you to AQR for giving us the opportunity![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Worshipful Company of Marketors” tab_id=”1637615338650-e5f2d837-d0ca”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8126″ img_size=”500×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Peter Bartram reports on a webinar presentation to the Worshipful Company of Marketors

A lively webinar was held on 20 May to introduce Marketors to the Archive of Market and Social Research. It was chaired by Event Director Julian Boulding, who is also a Director of the Marketors’ Trust.

Julian introduced the three AMSR participants: AMSR Trustee Peter Bartram, a Liveryman since 1993, Adam Phillips, AMSR Chief Executive, and Patrick Barwise, Chairman of the AMSR Trustee Board and Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at London Business School.

Peter began by emphasising that since most marketing activity is underpinned by research, the Archive is for all Members, not just those with a research background. Full details of the 130,000 pages of material already collected in the Archive, mostly online, may be freely accessed via .

Adam described the development and content of the Archive, emphasising that it can especially help Members of the Worshipful Company, which does not have its own library or archive of historical achievements in marketing.

In addition to its usefulness to commercial marketers and researchers, the Archive also appeals to social and cultural historians and other academics. To help them, a Query Response Team has been set up and the first of a planned series of Books published: Post-war Developments in Market Research, free to download or you can order a printed copy on the AMSR website.

The AMSR’s immediate priorities are to expand the network of related archives, establishing it as a central hub providing access to other sources; to create ‘Specialist Collections’ likely to appeal to younger researchers; and to curate collections which can be used for teaching undergraduates and even A-level school students.

Patrick emphasised the need to explore the potential among business academics, to incorporate data analytics into the Archive, and to expand AMSR marketing, increasing its awareness and usage.  He added that “No-one else anywhere in the world has done what we are doing”, and urged all Marketors to look at the website, donate material, volunteer their marketing expertise, and supplement the splendid and much appreciated financial support provided by the Marketors’ Trust with a personal donation. “We’re a small, volunteer-led charity, we run a tight ship, and your support will enable us to scale up faster towards the bright future ahead”.

In the Q&A session, as many as 13 connected topics were raised by Members including several past Masters. There were questions on the numbers supporting the Archive financially (about 100) the numbers actually using it (929 in December 2020, and growing) and its most surprising and interesting items: the speakers’ responses included the extent of the decline in religious belief, the use of Polaroid cameras in bedrooms, and the impact of the TV series ‘The Good Life’ on vegetable growing.

Final comments by participating Members indicated they had not heard about the Archive before and were very impressed by what they had learned. Indeed, Andrew Marsden, a past Master, referred to it as ‘An outstanding resource’.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Looking Backwards to Look Forwards” tab_id=”1637615341739-514016fa-2483″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8131″ img_size=”460 x 460″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The title of the Chapter by Robin Birn, Emmanuel Kosack and Professor Merlin Stone in Routledge’s recently published ‘Companion to Market Research’ encapsulates the philosophy of AMSR.

We talked to Robin about the work he and his colleagues at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, have done in promoting the use and understanding of the Archive.

AMSR and St Mary’s have worked together in a comprehensive study of the use of the Archive as a source of information (which we shall report on in the next issue of the Newsletter). And St Mary’s staff have been involved in the writing and editing of this new text.

What is the context of your contribution to this textbook?

Our work in the profession has always been to provide a focus for reference to practical and academic material. Merlin and I have worked together for some time – we have co-edited the MRS Kogan Page Series on Market Research and their International Handbook and we certainly have no plans to stop writing and lecturing on these topics.

What are the links between this and the Archive?

AMSR and its Marketing Committee are bringing to life a source of reference which is unique for those researching brands, their history, and survey material archived for its contribution to marketing and marketing research. Working on the Archive has been inspiring as it has given us a platform for bringing together practical and academic material.

Can you tell us more about this particular textbook? How does it differ from the myriad texts on the market?

This single-volume reference book provides an alternative to traditional marketing research methods handbooks, focusing entirely on the new innovative methods and technologies that are transforming marketing research thinking and practice. It also, refreshingly, transcends the old divisions between qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Can you give us a taste of some of the contents?

Sure. Besides the important article on the Archive, which I can enlarge on later, Merlin and I have written chapters on ‘Deciding on and using research data’ and ‘Key issues in managing marketing research and customer insight’, Merlin has written either solely or as the lead author on topics such as:

  • Innovation and marketing research
  • Mixed methods research; why and how to use it
  • Researching the advantage of low quality in short cycle products
  • Business models and marketing research
  • Artificial intelligence in  marketing and market research
  • Fakes and futures
  • Smart cities and smart transport

So tell us more about the chapter on the Archive

The AMSR Chapter relates to the work of AMSR, detailing how it liberates a rich set of data and commentary generated since the 1950s by the market and social research industry to support commercial and social progress.  It points out that AMSR was initially focused on the marketing services sector.  But, as a series of qualitative and quantitative research projects carried out to identify the market for the Archive showed, the information could usefully be made available to universities, to enhance research and learning in business and social science disciplines.  The chapter reviews in full the contents of the Archive and suggests how it (and similar archives and material) could be used in developing academic understanding of marketing research.

The Routledge Companion to Marketing Research.  Edited by Len Tiu Wright, Luiz Moutinho, Merlin Stone and. Richard P. Bagozzi, 2021, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, ISBN 978 1138682788 June 2021, Hardback £190.00; eBook £35.00[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Filling the Gaps” tab_id=”1637615345241-996604a8-9fea”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”8129″ img_size=”460 x 460″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We have amassed several important collections, which define the way social and market research developed.

Sadly there remain a few gaps in our collections and we should be very grateful if you could pass these to the Archive.

Market Research Abstracts

We are missing these issues

  • Volume 1 January-June 1963 (the first one)
  • Volume 8 July-December 1967
  • Volume 12 July-December 1969
  • Volume 18 July-December 19972
  • Volume 30 July-December 1978
  • Volume 44 July-December 1985

MRS Conference papers

We are still missing some volumes of MRS Conference papers, and others which we have are in poor condition. We would be particularly grateful for any of the following:

  • No 3 Business Forecasting (1958), covering the first Conference in 1957.
  • No 6 Marketing (1961), covering the third Conference in 1960.
  • No 7 Research in Advertising (1963), covering the fourth Conference in 1962.
  • No 9 Research in Marketing (1964), covering from the sixth Conference in 1964.
  • The 10th, 11th and 12th Conferences (1965-1969)
  • The 20th Conference (1977)

If you wish to keep them, we only need to borrow them for scanning and will return them to you immediately. We promise to take the greatest care that they will not be damaged in any way.

MRS Organisations Books and Membership Lists

It has been decided that these provide a very valuable indication of changes through the years, particularly of companies and people, so please pass any copies to the Archive. We do have MRS Membership Lists for 1965 and 1966 (at present housed in the CPR Collection).

Please look in your cupboards or attics and contact  if you can help to fill any gaps. The more complete our collections, the better our value to users.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Smile please” tab_id=”1637615348556-52ec37ad-233d”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7735″ img_size=”460 x 460″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text] – We are NOW registered.

We are very pleased to report that we have now registered with Smile Amazon, allowing Amazon customers to support us as their chosen charity.  By registering AMSR as your beneficiary on Give as you Live and/or Amazon Smile you generate a donation every time you make a purchase on affiliate online stores. For every eligible purchase made through Smile Amazon, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase to AMSR, as your chosen charity.

There are no costs involved, and you can see when you have made a purchase, if that item is eligible for Smile Amazon, as well as the amount of the donation which has been made so far on your behalf (based on your eligible purchases) to AMSR.

Smile Amazon has raised and donated in excess of £7.4 Million to UK charities.

To access Smile and AMSR charity, please use the link below:

Don’t forget we are also registered with ‘Give as you live’ for people who use other retailers and service providers online.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 19 –  May 2021

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”orange” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”1628894913688-04b5467b-9222″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7498″ img_size=”180 x 180″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Simon Patterson has introduced me to a Japanese word, ‘Kaizen’ meaning ‘continual improvement’. This seems particularly appropriate for AMSR. In spite of the constraints of COVID – not being able to work in our ‘engine room’ at Ipsos in Harrow, not being able to have face-to-face meetings, not being able to attend conferences, university fairs and seminars to promulgate our product, we have, nonetheless, been able to maintain a tremendous amount of activity and momentum.

Whereas it might have been assumed that our Friends Event, normally held at the IPA in February, with news about the Archive melded with drinks and mingling, would have been disappointingly second rate without face-to-face connections, on the contrary, the webinar held online was a great success. There were 73 attendees.  The presentations were given by our ‘home team’ of Patrick Barwise, Adam Phillips, Phyllis Macfarlane and Sue Robson. Modern British Historian,  Professor Claire Langhamer of Sussex University, gave a dazzling talk about  her experience of the Archive with great enthusiasm and charm, liking it to a beautiful tapestry, and  Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos MORI, demonstrated vividly how you need to have a knowledge of the past to interpret the present.  Most of you will have attended this and if you wish you can watch the video on Vimeo, so we are not printing a verbatim report here.  However, we re-print Paul Edward’s excellent overview below, followed by some results from the post-Event survey.

Patrick Barwise, our Chairman of Trustees, Adam, Phyllis and Sue also took part in a session at the MRS online Conference in March.  Their relaxed informative presentation illustrated our achievements during this period, particularly the publication of the first eBook in our ‘Showcasing the Archive’ project, ‘Post-War Developments in Market Research’, and the relationships we are building up with Modern British Historians. A video of the session is on our Vimeo page.

The lockdown has given us the opportunity to tidy up the catalogue and indexing. In particular Colin McDonald, Christine Eborall and Pam Walker have been engaged in restructuring the catalogue into a more standardised format. The aim of this is to clarify and control how we enter our data, separating what we upload to the website as metadata from details which we need to record for our own purposes. Standardising all the collections in this way will improve searching for anyone who wants to search across the whole Archive rather than within particular collections (as we think, most academic users will wish to do).  Colin McDonald gives a detailed description below.

And at a time when physical museums and libraries are closed, our USP of digitising all our Collections, providing free universal access, has underlined our unique role in information search.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”AMSR Trustee Phyllis Macfarlane awarded MRS Gold Medal” tab_id=”1628894916832-9b04bcd9-9416″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7145″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Phyllis Macfarlane, a Trustee of AMSR and Chairman of its Contents Committee, has been awarded the Market Research Society’s prestigious Gold Medal, in recognition of her services to the market research industry.

The Gold Medal recognises significant contributions to the market and social research sector. There have been only 17 recipients of the award since it was introduced 39 years ago.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Shirley Williams and the Archive” tab_id=”1628894919757-fddc2adf-f143″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7737″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Vangelder asks ‘What is the connection between Shirley Williams and the Archive?’

The recent death of Shirley Williams and the extensive coverage of her career in the media, makes one very aware of the considerable amount of material in the Archive about the fluctuating positions of our political parties, and, in this case, the emergence of the Social Democratic Party.

Shirley Williams was one, certainly the most popular, of the ‘Gang of Four’ senior Labour Moderates, which also included Roy Jenkins, David Owen and Bill Rodgers, who in 1981, formed a breakaway new Party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which could well have determined the end of our two-party system.

Browsing in Collections such as British Public Opinion, MORI Political Monitor, and NOP Political, Social, Economic Review, as well as publications such as Britain Speaks out 1937-87: A social history as seen through the Gallup data, reveals the changing fortunes of the SDP and its later alliance with the Liberals.

In addition to these regular, longitudinal studies of political attitudes and intentions, specialised work conducted by Peter Cooper and colleagues, reported in the CRAM Collection and the forthcoming MRS Conference Papers Collection, reveal fascinating insights into the fortunes of the SDP using creative qualitative research approaches, including Extended Creativity Groups (ECGs®) and psychodrawings. The ground-breaking paper by Peter Cooper, Tony Lunn and Oliver Murphy, ‘The Social Democratic Party: a new political party or a new way of life?’ presented at the MRS Annual Conference in 1982, describes the methodology of research into what the SDP meant to people, what it could mean and how it could perhaps capitalise on emerging needs and values.

The starting point of this research was the hypothesis that the 1980s were seeing the emergence of deep unfulfilled non-political desires for change and a basic questioning of modern values and traditional behaviour which were postulated to account for part of the current appeal of the SDP.

One of the ways of bringing the parties to life in the creative research was the use of analogies. When the SDP was imagined as a ‘family’, Shirley Williams was generally seen to be the boss in real terms, but her style was characteristically ‘firm and fair’.

‘The fluctuating fortunes of the UK Social Democratic Party’ by the same authors is to be found in the CRAM/Peter Cooper Collection. The original article from European Research was based on the same model, that consumer behaviour is often found to be dictated by deep, sometimes concealed motivations or is a covert expression of lifestyle.  Both papers described the use of Extended Creativity Groups to gain insight into the values, motives and attitudes underlying voting behaviour and intention. ECGs® had long been applied to consumers’ choices of products or services, but they were here used in a political context.

One of the most satisfying aspects of the Archive is the frequency with which ‘nuggets’ of data from the past can be linked to current events and ideas.

Do browse the archive website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Post-War Developments in Market Research” tab_id=”1628894922412-793ff2b0-b6b6″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7616″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Paul Edwards reviews the first eBook in the Archive project ‘Showcasing the Archive’.

Don’t be put off by the rather clinical title. This little eBook is actually 12 essays providing a tour d’horizon of research written by 12 genuine luminaries of the research firmament. For older readers it will be a waterfall of memories and half- remembered details. For all new entrants to the industry it should be required reading; a primer covering the breadth of market and social research. It is a real tribute to the AMSR that they have gathered such a high quality panel of contributors. Paul Feldwick has published two excellent books of his own on the world of advertising and was a crucial part of BMP when it was making ads with household fame. Ben Page is familiar to everyone for his election night appearances on the BBC, helping them to navigate through the real meaning of the exit polls. Sheila Byfield has made a major contribution to the field of media measurement where millions of pounds change hands on the strength of the data created. Julian Bond is a world expert in the field of innovation and NPD research having built several branded models himself. Judith Passingham built a career in the specialised world of panels before going on to general management success at the very top of TNS. From those I haven’t mentioned specifically I can only beg forgiveness and point out that they in no way dilute the quality of the authors here.

Lessons of the past

William Gibson is often quoted as saying “The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed”. This collection made me feel that the past was all around us but also not very evenly distributed. I know there are those who think that post internet the world of research has changed beyond all recognition (perhaps not just the world of research but the world in general!). But don’t be fooled; just because some of our primary data collection methods have shifted doesn’t mean that the principles and lessons of the past become irrelevant. These essays will help practitioners to think for themselves and decide what things remain true or relevant and which need reshaping. Because these are compact essays you can read them in any order you like to follow your interests. But they are short enough so that you can read them all. I’ve been lucky enough to work in almost every area of research and because of the breadth and depth of these essays there were still lots of things to learn. There is a little bonus to the essays as each one of them comes with a helpful list of references to items in the Archive. These serve as an excellent entry point for a browse in the Archive, allowing you to narrow down on your particular area of interest more quickly or follow a fascinating new trail. There are some wonderful hidden hands revealed in these essays too. In qualitative research Wendy Gordon learned her trade with Bill Schlackman who worked for Ernst Dichter who was trained in Vienna at the time of Sigmund Freud. Fortunately we have moved away from some of the extremes of Freudian analysis but I sometimes feel that a stronger hold on the ‘motivational psychology’ roots of qualitative research might have led to Behavioural Economics becoming a part of research rather than perceived as a new ‘science’; one that is often used to criticise market research approaches. And here is the hidden hand of Stephen King, the godfather of advertising planning. His inspirational analysis and use of research data and his encouragement of the qualitative contribution has helped to make research a serious and useful contributor to the communications industry. Watch out for George Gallup whom we have largely to thank (or blame) for the media obsession with election polls. We also glimpse Andrew Ehrenberg whose first principle analysis of consumer panel data has added genuine rigour to the way we understand how people buy products. Anyone aware of Byron Sharp and his thinking should know he is rooted in the Ehrenberg tradition. And then there are the little factlets that surprise. In 1982 only 77% of people had access to a phone at home (and for younger readers that is a phone fastened by wire that you could not take out and about with you!). The importance of audit research in the growth and success of commercial television. Newspapers used to own polling companies. The retail (and consumer) prices index relies on data from surveys to ensure they are representative of goods purchased. It is revelations like these that make the Archive so attractive to social historians. Indeed this is not just a collection for market research aficionados; anyone with an interest in the culture and commerce of Britain since the war will find something to fascinate. I suspect it will also lead many to dig further into the Archive for yet more detail and wider reading. The breadth and diversity of the individual essays makes it almost impossible to summarise this book. It is certainly an important contribution to the history of the research industry. But it also makes the topic very accessible. I would like to hope that it goes beyond history and becomes part of a window through which potential recruits can see a vibrant career path and through which the general public can understand more of the role of research and be more willing to cooperate when they are asked their opinion.

You can obtain a free copy of this e-Book, which has been kindly sponsored by Opinium, from the AMSR website. A print edition is also available while stocks last, for a small fee.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”AMSR Anniversary Event” tab_id=”1628894924989-20861155-0f9f”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7613″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Paul Edwards reports from the AMSR virtual event on 2 March 2021 to thank donors, friends and supporters and to mark five years of building the Archive.

As well as being of interest to market researchers and research academics the Archive is proving increasingly valuable to modern historians.  Professor Claire Langhamer of Sussex University provided a range of examples of how the Archive has relevant papers on the subjects of research for her and her postgraduate and undergraduate students.  She has used the Archive to discover how people lived their lives, what they said about their lives and how they felt about their lives in her areas of interest around the home, leisure, happiness and love.  She summed up the Archive rather well: “loads of really useful stuff about the past.”  I particularly like the idea of the continental quilt coming into the UK and drastically reducing the time spent making beds.  It became known as a duvet, but perhaps we should go back to ‘continental quilt’ post Brexit?

And this is what keeps the Archive dynamic and relevant – modern historians will look back on the data we are archiving now to help them understand Brexit, Covid, DI&E in the lives and words of our research respondents.

Sue Robson introduced AMSR’s new eBook ‘Post War Developments in Market Research’. This publication coincides with the MRS’ 75th Anniversary and is now available free from the AMSR website.

Ben Page of Ipsos/MORI provided a lively cameo reminding us of Mark Twain’s maxim that ‘history may not repeat itself but it rhymes’.  He laid out a clear warning for commentators who think that two data points make a trend with some highly relevant examples.

  • ‘During Covid women’s anxiety levels have been higher than men’s’ – women’s anxiety levels have been historically higher.
  • ‘Look at the current trend for nostalgia’ – that tracks back to the 1990s.
  • ‘Look how trust in politicians has collapsed’ – lack of trust goes back at least to the 1980s (in fact in the USA you have to go right back to the time of President Eisenhower to see high levels of trust).
  • ‘The election polls always get it wrong’ – long term error on political polling has been ±2% since the 1940s.

So be warned!  Ben’s message was if you want to interpret the present you have to understand the past.  And the AMSR is, of course, the ideal resource for the past.

Professor Patrick Barwise (AMSR Chairman) summed up the trajectory of the Archive by reminding us that we began by trying to stop the destruction of historic material and we are now maximising the value of the collection by demonstrating its usefulness.  If you are interested in the commercial and cultural trends in post-war Britain, then the AMSR is the first place to look.

Post-Event Survey

Paul Gebara and Joe Murat were responsible for a Post-Event Survey which was sent out by email to the 86 individuals who accepted the invitation.  There was a response rate of 34%.  It was of course a small universe. The majority of answers were positive comments including compliments and encouragement. In summary there was overwhelmingly positive feedback. Current aspects of the Event were highly rated, though the Q & A session could be longer; satisfaction was high and expectations were met. All respondents were willing to attend a future virtual Event.

There were also some very nice comments, for example:

  • “An interesting event showcasing what can be achieved through archive material”
  • “Very excited by the Archive. It’s a huge contribution to the industry and society”.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”MRS Conference” tab_id=”1628894927751-beb371a6-645c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7743″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Impact 2021

Like our own Anniversary Event the MRS Conference, Impact 2021, had to be online this year. It was impossible to hear every session in three days of Webinar presentations. It was a tour de force, with presentations on the market and social research, particularly focused on transformation and recovery, covering many of the societal issues with which AMSR and the research business generally are concerned, e.g. diversity and inclusion, happiness and crucially, the impact of the pandemic on consumer behaviour.

Here Judith Staig, ContentWrite, looks at the coverage of diversity and Phyllis Vangelder picks up some of the themes in renowned statistician David Spiegelhalter’s keynote address.

Diversity and the AMSR

Judith Staig, ContentWrite

One of the highlights of the MRS Annual Conference, Impact 2021, aside from the AMSR presentation of course, was the richly diverse group of speakers and panellists that took part.  Jane Frost, CEO of the MRS, said that the Conference had the most ethnically diverse line-up we’ve ever had and also makes headway towards the neuro- and socio-economic diverse programming I am committed to us sharing with our audiences”.

The recent Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements have helped to move this issue of diversity, inclusion and equality (DI&E) to the top of the agenda, both corporate and individual; it’s also a topic of great importance and interest to the AMSR. The rich and varied contents of the Archive enable us to look back at issues of race, gender, class, disability and sexuality, and to marvel at how much – and sometimes how little – has changed.

We’re working on building up the Archive’s modern collections, to include material from the digital age of the 1990s to today; as part of that effort, we’ll be putting together a special Collection on DI&E (as well as Collections on Covid-19 and Brexit). These collections will be of value to future academics, writers and researchers to whom, we hope, the many forms of structural discrimination that exist today will seem to be relics of a distant and shameful past.

We’ve also just published our first eBook, ‘Post-War Developments in Market Research’. You can download a copy from our website. The next eBook in the series, to be published in the autumn of this year, looks at cultural and social changes since WWII, and features an essay on DI&E, which draws on the Archive to help put today’s struggles in historical context.


Many of the sessions at Impact 2021 highlighted the importance of our history and our market research expertise in tackling issues of DI&E. Ben Page spoke, as he did at the AMSR Anniversary Event, to remind us that often we can’t make sense of the present without this context from the past. For example, there’s a prevailing belief that trust is in decline – but the levels of trust that the British public place in politicians have barely changed since the 1980s and, despite Trump, trust in the US Federal Government has stayed the same since 2011.  Ben Page argued that when we focus on recent change, we can be blind to the longer-term trends and that real change, driven by our values, happens more slowly.

It was clear from the focus on DI&E at the Conference that we can’t – and won’t – wait any longer for change to happen slowly. Fortunately, in our industry, we have a superpower. Elaine Rodrigo, Chief Insights & Analytics Officer at Reckitt Benckiser said, in a debate on increasing representation “We are trained to immerse ourselves into the world of others and use our empathy and curiosity to decode it and bring it back to our organisation. That’s a core skill”.

This reminds us that it is so important to tell our stories and listen to those of others to understand experiences that are not like our own. This is what market research is all about; the Archive holds stories for us and for the next generation. And the passion and commitment of this next generation of researchers evident at the Conference shows that they will be the change-makers. In The Future Can’t Wait, a debate that showcased the talent of some of young MRS &More members, we heard again how important it is to inspire others with our stories.  The panellists recommended the Significant Insights website; we would also recommend the oral histories of some of the best known people in our industry, currently hosted by the MRS, but in the process of being transferred to the Archive.

“CEOs should remember that time when they were starting out, they were vulnerable, and they had no clue what they were doing… tell that story so the next generation can see.”  Theo Francis, Founder & Director, GuineaPig Fieldwork

The Conference highlighted that despite the diversity of the speakers, there are issues at all levels of our industry; we need to improve the representation and the experiences of the people who work in the industry, the quality and representativeness of research we do, and the way that brands connect with diverse consumers. The Archive has an important role to play. Sharing our experiences, our stories and insights from the long history of market and social research will help all of us to work towards those improvements today.

 Communicating statistics

Phyllis Vangelder writes

David Spiegelhalter stressed the importance of using data in the best possible way and ensuring they are made accessible, clear and transparent, indeed comprehensible.  While some news journalists do not understand ‘undercount’ and ‘overcount’, he feels that as a society we are getting better at understanding data and people can now interpret line graphs.

We are obsessed with the uncertainty of communications, but statisticians have to be confident about their uncertainties. Crucially, there is an ethical duty to demonstrate trustworthiness. “If you are confident about your uncertainty, the audience does not lose trust in you”. This is a core, basic principle.  David Spiegelhalter cited the ONS and Public Health England as exemplars at communicating statistics. Stressing the importance of open, ethical data for government, he questioned whether the pandemic experience would lead to more evidence-based government. It could, in fact, result in fundamental changes in the use of data and evidence.

Echoing one of the principles of research, David Spiegelhalter pointed out: “The data doesn’t always show you what to do, but I wouldn’t want to make decisions without it”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”1963 Study of Cinema-going in London” tab_id=”1628894930638-95686085-ea99″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7741″ img_size=”600×900″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane looks at a recent acquisition from John Bittleston

At the end of January this year we were contacted by John Bittleston, who introduced himself as someone who was much involved in Market Research in the 1950s and 1960s, and a great friend of Liz Nelson.

He wrote to offer us a report which he thought might be of value to the Archive. He said: “In 1959 I was asked by the Federation of British Film Makers (FBFM) to conduct a survey of Cinema-going in Greater London. This was really inspired by John & Roy Boulting who worked with me on planning the survey. They wanted it because the circuits were blocking their films. Of the 4,600 cinemas in the UK at the time this meant that some really great films couldn’t be seen in any Odeon, Gaumont, ABC or Granada cinema. Most of the Independents were scruffy little cinemas with a few notable exceptions.

My survey was the biggest that was ever undertaken on the subject. It created a lot of interest and was even discussed in the House of Commons though whether it resulted in legislation modifying the cartel-like behaviour of the circuits, I can’t remember. But it certainly changed their behaviour. They were scared of what they might be forced to do, so they started showing the Boulting Brothers and other similar films”.

John thought he ought to ask the Federation of British Film Makers for permission to give the report to us as it is technically their property. And he asked us to find out if they still existed, and if so to let him have their email address, so that he could write to them.

This led us on quite a trek round the internet!

The Federation of British Film Makers became part of the British Film Producers Association in 1967. And then tracking the British Film Producers Association we found a veritable ‘Russian Doll’ of Associations:

THE FILM PRODUCTION ASSOCIATION OF GREAT BRITAIN LIMITED, became THE BRITISH FILM PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION LIMITED, which became THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION LIMITED, which is now part of THE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION which is linked with PACT (PRODUCERS ALLIANCE FOR CINEMA AND TELEVISION) – which was the organisation that John needed to contact. Which he duly did. I think his own description of the project which he wrote in his letter to them is the best:

“In 1960 John & Roy Boulting asked me to do a survey of Cinema-going in Greater London. I had been a reviewer for the cinema trade of new releases while working for the London Press Exchange Ltd, Britain’s top advertising agency at the time. The LPE had many clients using cinema advertising including Cadbury’s, Fry’s and several others. Major Harrison, Chairman of the London Press Exchange, had employed me to solve a problem of relative attendance at cinemas when admission figures were strictly confidential to the Board of Trade. The market researchers at LPE, through its subsidiary, Research Services Ltd, had abandoned the project on the grounds that a representative sample was too expensive.

The Boulting Brothers purpose was clear. British Lion films were being barred from the big circuits, Odeon, Gaumont, Granada, in favour of the output of Pinewood, Elstree and so on. They hoped the research would raise a furore in their favour.

“I figured that cinema was going to lose to television in the end but at the time the Boulting Brothers approached me there were still some 4,600 cinemas operating and the habit of escaping the family to do some courting in the back row of the stalls had been firmly established during WWII. The commissioning body was the Federation of British Film Makers / Andrew Filson. I engaged Marketing Trends Ltd / Michael Lyster to conduct the research.

“I still have a copy of the final report and, in view of my now approaching my 89th birthday, I offered it, subject to your approval, to the Archive of Market and Social Research. They are keen to have it”.

The Managing Director of PACT graciously gave his permission, and the report has now been uploaded online and catalogued. The physical copy will be kept with our paper Archive at HAT.

It’s a really good read – veritable film history.  It really brings back images of life in the sixties.

And there are fabulous verbatims:

“The audience is mixed – mods, yobs and rocks – mostly round  15  or 16,  and some older people taking the nippers.

When you start shouting they (the older people with nippers) look round, very snooty. Yes, I suppose you could say we were interfering with their enjoyment but we’re having ours. We go for laughs, whatever the film. No film could get me into a serious mood if I’m with the gang and we’ve gone for laughs. You know how it is: someone in the picture says something you can think of a funny answer to;  so you shout it out,   and then someone else comes up with another –  that’s what I go for a good time… It’s a form of showing off to the girls. They don’t shout out –  well, sometimes they do, but mostly they just laugh and stamp their feet and clap”,

Doesn’t it transport you back to a different time!?

From a research point of view, one thing that struck Colin McDonald on reading it was their use of the term `pilot’. They did what they called a pilot study before proceeding to the main survey – but this pilot was clearly a fully fledged qualitative study, with group discussions and individual interviews, not a mere testing of the questionnaire which is what `pilot’ later came to mean. The report quotes lots of verbatims which this pilot produced. So, this was a classic study where they carefully researched the ground beforehand in some depth before deciding what questions they needed to ask at scale. The progressive weakening and eventual disappearance of the idea of `piloting’ is instructive, isn’t it?

All-in-all, a wonderful addition to our Archive – we are very grateful to John Bittleston for donating it. You can read the report here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The life in research” tab_id=”1628894933365-36386976-72cb”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7740″ img_size=”500×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]This light-hearted compendium, collected and edited by Peter Bartram, is packed with candid memories from across the last 50 years in research.

Geoff  Wicken enjoys the memories

I once found myself in a meeting in Bogota, discussing the sampling methodology for a particular study in Colombia. The local fieldwork company bore the name of its owner, Napoleon Franco. He was in the room. A colleague remarked afterwards that the views of any man named after not one, but two dictators had to be taken very seriously. It’s perhaps no accident that many who have worked within market research have stories to tell. You can find yourself in situations that are unexpected, fascinating and amusing – sometimes simultaneously. ‘The Life in Research’ aims to reflect these characteristics of the industry. It’s essentially two books in one, targeted at different audiences: those familiar with the world of market research, and also those who might like to know more about it. In alluding to both, its title is well chosen. In it, Peter Bartram blends tales contributed by many researchers about their experiences in the business with his own wisdom. He offers plenty of good advice for the researcher, or budding researcher, of today. As he writes, it’s a working life which is varied, challenging, enjoyable, ethically beneficial and worthwhile. He sketches out a history of market research, describes how the industry works and explains its purposes. As well as being useful to readers who may be considering a career in the field, this macro-level view may prove interesting to those who work or have worked in market research. I hadn’t appreciated how it evolved across different business sectors over several decades, for example. Peter brings a fine eye for detail that speaks to the value of market research as a profession but also has curiosity value: such as the study into hypothermia amongst the elderly that required interviewers to administer a questionnaire but also take the participants’ core body temperatures. The book’s structure, with the input from contributors clearly set out in inset boxes, gives the signposts that will allow readers to differentiate between the components. Peter has also sourced cartoons which will raise smiles. For those who have made a career in market research, much of the appeal will be in the recognition of types of behaviour, or perhaps even specific references, from the contributors’ stories. There might be some fun in identifying or guessing at anonymised individuals. Some contributions are both amusing and wise. There’s a lovely tale of how Philip Mitchell, a former colleague of mine, dealt with a client objection about the sample size of TGI in Ireland. He unfolded his street map of Dublin, got the client to agree that it was accurate and reliable, and said: “The scale of this map is 1:1000, which is exactly the same ratio as the TGI sample size is to the population of Ireland!”

One of the beauties of market research is that its practice is a shared endeavour. Those engaged in it do not generally feel themselves to be in competition with each other. This generates a willingness to share learnings – be that at events and conferences, or simply in conversation. This spirit of openness and support underpins the ethos of the Archive of Market and Social Research. It’s fitting that – from a book that both reflects and celebrates this ethos – Peter is donating the proceeds to the AMSR.

The Life in Research, collected and edited by Peter Bartram can be bought from leading book retailers, with proceeds donated to the Archive of Market and Social Research[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Archive Catalogue” tab_id=”1628894936121-5fdefcc8-4e48″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7739″ img_size=”500×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Colin McDonald describes the detailed work that has been undertaken by AMSR volunteers in ensuring that the Archive catalogue is contained in a library-standard website which meets the needs of all types of users.

Christine Eborall,  Pam Walker and myself have almost completed the task of getting the catalogue into shape. It has been redesigned as follows;

  • Each collection page is now standardised so as to clearly separate the metadata (those details which we upload to describe the items on the website) from other details which we wish to record for our own purposes but do not upload to the website.
  • Columns A to J, in each collection, contain the metadata: Catalogue Number, Author(s), Title, Publisher/source, Year, the four index facets, and Donor (the labels may differ slightly between collections but the principle is the same throughout). Columns to the right (K ff) contain the private information: date scanned, where the item is sent plus date, etc. – column T is for special notes.

This standardisation means that whether users search the website within collections or (as we think most likely) across the whole Archive, they will always see the key information organised in the same way. They will be able to order the data for display (using the display box) according to title (the default), authors, source or date (year), and the facets (which enable the selection of items according to subject matter) will contain the four index categories plus the year.

As well as this standardisation, we have been editing the detailed metadata to include the clean-up work done by Pam Walker and Mike Fernie during the past months: this includes correcting errors, typos etc, and also improving the quality of the information shown in many cases (for example, composite items like conferences or journal issues will now have issue details, number, dates etc, included with the titles so that readers can see immediately what is there). This stage (phase 1 of the whole project) is now almost complete.

The next phase will be getting the revised metadata onto the website. This will involve, for most collections, a complete re-upload because of the scale of the changes that have been made. Each collection upload must have:

  • Full scanning: with the exception of the Books Collection, we will remove from the website all items that have not been scanned in full, and will reinstate them only after this has been rectified.
  • Full indexing.
  • Editing checks before re-uploading to correct where we can for previous scanning errors – most of this has already been picked up.

We shall re-upload each collection piecemeal when we are able. It is hard to estimate how long it will take to do them all – 2-3 months is a best guess. As/when the process is completed, we hope we shall have a library-standard website which offers a much improved user experience.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”MRS Conference papers” tab_id=”1628894939017-30033181-9cec”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7744″ img_size=”460 x 460″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The MRS Conference papers identified and highlighted the temperature and themes of what was happening in a particular year.  It is important for us to have a complete digitised set of these papers.

All available MRS Conference papers have been fully scanned and this new Collection will hopefully be uploaded very soon.

However, we are still missing some volumes of MRS Conference papers, and others which we have are in poor condition. We would be particularly grateful for any of the following:

  • No 3 Business Forecasting (1958), covering the first Conference in 1957.
  • No 6 Marketing (1961), covering the third Conference in 1960.
  • No 7 Research in Advertising (1963), covering the fourth Conference in 1962..
  • No 9 Research in Marketing (1964), covering from the sixth Conference in 1964.
  • The 10th, 11th and 12th Conferences (1965-1969)
  • The 13th and 14th Conferences (1970 and 1971)
  • The 20th Conference (1977)
  • The 21st Conference (1978)

Please look in your cupboards or attics and contact  if you can help. This is a very valuable Collection, containing some of the best (even iconic) papers on market and social research written over the decades. If you wish to keep them, we only need to borrow them for scanning and will return them to you immediately. We promise to take the greatest care that that they will not be damaged in any way.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Smile please” tab_id=”1628894941951-695d9702-f678″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7735″ img_size=”460 x 460″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text] – We are NOW registered.

We are very pleased to inform you that we have now registered with Amazon Smile, allowing Amazon customers to support us as their chosen charity. For every eligible purchase made through Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase to AMSR, as your chosen charity.

There are no costs involved, and you can see when you have made a purchase, if that item is eligible for Amazon Smile, as well as the amount of the donation which has been made so far on your behalf (based on your eligible purchases) to AMSR.

Amazon Smile have raised and donated in excess of £7.4 Million to UK charities.

To use Amazon Smile and donate to AMSR click on this link which will take you to our donation page where you can register for Amazon Smile: . Then in future remember to make your Amazon purchases via their Smile web site. If you don’t use Amazon this page offers other means of donating to AMSR as well. Thank you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 18 –  Feb 2021

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”1621902187038-69285248-0ace”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7498″ img_size=”180 x 180″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]I hope you are all coping with the current uncertainty and anxiety. I now look back with nostalgia, when during the ‘rule- of-six’ period, a few of us from the Contents Committee met in the outside extension of a restaurant. We were huddled up in coats beneath a heater, but it was such joy actually to meet face-to-face.

My journey there was via the Underground. I was struck by the dearth of commercial advertisements. In their stead were lovely public service ads: ‘Be kind to others’, ‘Disability is not always visible’, ‘Be considerate to others’. London Underground has a long tradition  of iconic  public service advertising, going back to World War II ‘Careless talk costs lives’, ‘Eat more bread’ (or potatoes, depending on stocks), ‘Dig for Victory’.  Much of this early advertising is at HAT. We should love to find the research material that underpinned such campaigns and many other reports from the superb research carried out by the London Underground in subsequent decades. The Contents Committee is on the job!

In spite of Covid, volunteers at AMSR are working hard to ensure that the Archive retains its momentum.  Below Phyllis Macfarlane describes how she and her team have helped find relevant material for academic modern historians.  We also have a preview of the Spring Event, which this year has to be virtual.  And to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of the MRS, we are producing e-books under the banner heading, ‘Showcasing the Archive’.

Meanwhile, until we can return to the Ipsos office in Harrow, Colin McDonald continues to catalogue and scan from home: a new Collection from Australia and several new items have been added to the Archive in the last few months, including an important internal memo from Judie Lannon in which she set out her plans for the Creative Research Unit at JWT, which was to become the model for the Advertising Planning function in advertising agencies.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Modern British History” tab_id=”1621902190305-029c6dfb-04a8″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7487″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane reports on how we are helping academics in Modern British History

We are always looking to define and expand our potential audience. Inspired by our Chairman, Patrick Barwise, we increasingly see academic cultural and modern historians as very important potential users.

Patrick and his wife, Catherine, have introduced me to some Modern British historians and I am delighted to report that we have been very successful at finding material that they can use in their research and teaching.

They are interested in post-war culture and history, especially gender issues, youth, fashion, and family, both for their own research and the books they are writing, and also for teaching and their students’ (under- and post-grad) theses.

Sheila Robinson, Kay Garmeson, Christine Eborall, Judith Staig and I took the detailed personal interests of each of the historians on their websites, researched the Archive and produced spreadsheets of what we thought might be of use to them.

And there were lots! I cherry-picked some of the more interesting looking reports, sent the spreadsheets and reports to the historians and then sought their reactions.

Dr Claire Langhamer is Professor of Modern British History and Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities at the University of Sussex. She is especially interested in social and cultural history with a focus on gender and feelings. We created a spreadsheet which listed material of relevance to women through topics such as housework, cooking and eating, leisure, cosmetics and so on. The liberation of women has a continuing and dramatic effect on the provision of meals in the home and we were able to find several fascinating surveys and reports on changing eating habits in the Archive. We were also able to provide data for one of her PhD students who is researching ‘Women and Money’.

Claire specially liked the fact that we were able to focus on specific issues. The reports had objectives, methods and conclusions. And the surveys were the results of talking to real people. I am delighted to say she will be talking about her experience of the Archive at our Spring Event.

We were also able to help Jane Hamlett, Professor of Modern History at Royal Holloway College, University of London. Her interests are focused particularly on the home and family, as well as the material and visual world. In addition, she broadcasts on TV and radio and is a curator of exhibitions connected with the home. We found material on the role of pets in family life, as well as data on photography, and women in the 20th century on which she is running special courses.

Dr Shahmima Akhtor, a History Lecturer, also at Holloway, is particularly interested in migration and we found 96 reports in the Archive on immigration and race relations.

We also learned that Holloway offers an MA in Public History aimed at historians who are keen to engage in communicating ideas about the past in a range of spaces and media. They tend to be interested in fashion, youth, consumer culture and branding, and what they term ‘the dark side’  A trawl of the Archive found a great deal of ‘gold’.

We really do have lots of very useful material for Modern British Historians – for their research, books, teaching and for their students, and this pilot shows that we can target other Universities.

We also discovered that being digital is a really great USP – especially currently when most archives are closed.

What this, albeit small-scale, exercise did reveal is that we have a very fascinating and valuable product. There is a lot of work to be done, but there is no doubt this route can result in the widespread dissemination of the richness of the Archive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Spring Event” tab_id=”1621902193383-507df2a8-ff2f”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7491″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR will be holding a Spring Event on 2 March. A year ago, we held an early evening drinks event at the IPA to thank our donors and supporters for their help in building a substantial and valuable archive of market research material. Unfortunately, this year we have had to go virtual.

We have planned an interesting event with a strong line up of speakers who will present updates about our latest progress, report on how visitors to the Archive are making use of it and give a pre-view of its future plans.

The Event will be shorter – beginning at 4.00 pm and lasting only an hour. Although there will be no chance to meet in person and share a drink, we shall be very happy to receive and discuss any questions people may wish to raise.

The programme will be introduced by our President, Professor Denise Lievesley, and will be followed by Adam Phillips, CEO, looking at what we have achieved in the past year.
Sue Robson, will then talk about AMSR’s forthcoming publication, ‘Showcasing the Archive’, which covers post-war developments in market research and important cultural landmarks.

Phyllis Macfarlane will describe the small-scale project which she and a team have undertaken to help academic modern historians in using the Archive for their research.  Dr Claire Langhamer, Professor of Modern British History and Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities at the University of Sussex, will talk about her experience of the Archive at this session.

Ben Page, CEO Ipsos MORI, will remind us of the well-known quotation. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” in the context of the Archive.

The Event will close with a Q & A panel, Chaired by Patrick Barwise, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Emeritus Professor of Marketing at London Business School.

Readers of this Newsletter should have received an invitation to this Event and, if they reply they are coming, will be sent a weblink the day before the meeting. If you have not received an invitation and would like to attend (or if you think some of your colleagues might be interested)), please email

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Research News Collection” tab_id=”1621902196630-84ff5f33-7fa5″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7492″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We now have an important Collection from the Research Society in Australia.

We were contacted by the Research Society (formerly the AMSRS, Australian Market and Social Research Society) in November 2019. Founded in 1955, it is the peak body in Australia for anyone engaged or interested in market, social and opinion research. They were looking to build an archive and wanted to know what software we used. After some discussion, they felt it would make sense to add their content to our Archive and chose to become a Gold Donor. The content consists of feature articles from their magazine.  As well as a selection of articles, the Collection contains complete issues of the Society’s Research News from 2014.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”MRS Conference Papers” tab_id=”1621902199430-b3d91513-c2fe”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7490″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Colin McDonald writes

We are in the process of digitising the MRS Conference Papers. Initially we were just digitising the Contents pages, but we have realised that digitising of our Collections in full is one of our USP’s.

From 1969 onwards we have a complete set up to 2000. All of these have been scanned and shown in the Archive, title and contents only. All are at HAT except 1969, 1977 and 1989, which were borrowed from MRS for scanning and returned to them.

Thanks largely to copies donated by Peter Mouncey, full scanning is now under way, without the need to borrow copies back from HAT. 1975 and 1979 to 1996 inclusive have now been scanned and (with luck) 1997 to 2000 will have been scanned by early February. So, all from 1979 onwards have been taken care of.

However, we are still missing some volumes. We have no MRS Conference books in our possession earlier than the twelfth event in 1969. So there should be eleven earlier books to find, going back to 1957.

The early Conference papers were bound in black and covered specific topics:

No 3 Business Forecasting (1958), covering the first Conference in 1957.

No 4 Attitude Scaling (1960), covering the second Conference in 1958.

No 6 Marketing (1961), covering the third Conference in 1960.

No 7 Research in Advertising (1963), covering the fourth Conference in 1962.

No 8 New Developments in Research (1963), covering the fifth Conference in 1963.

No 9 Research in Marketing (1964), covering from the sixth Conference in 1964.

What we need to find are 1976, 1977 and 1978, 1969 to 1974 (6 issues), and all 11 (?) issues before 1969.

Please look in your cupboards or attics and contact  if you can help. This is a very valuable Collection, containing some of the best (even iconic) papers on market and social research written over the decades. If you wish to keep them, we only need to borrow them for scanning and will return them to you immediately. We promise to take the greatest care that that they will not be damaged in any way.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Why Does the Pedlar Sing?” tab_id=”1621902202229-981e6eef-3174″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7495″ img_size=”600×900″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Paul Feldwick is a well-renowned guru in advertising research, working with BMP for over thirty years, becoming Head of Planning and after the merger with DDB taking a global strategy and training role. He is the contributing author on Advertising Research in the forthcoming AMSR publication, ‘Showcasing the Archive’.

His new book, Why Does the Pedlar Sing?: what creativity really means in advertising, while celebrating  the fact that advertising has always been more show-business than science,  builds on scientific evidence and current theories of advertising effectiveness, to explore the role  of popular culture and humour in advertising. Paul suggests that  the advertising business today is misled on one side by managerial myths of rationality and logic, and on the other by a cultish misunderstanding of ‘creativity’ and  it risks forgetting how to appeal to the public, and how to build successful brands. As a result, evidence suggests, today’s advertising is less liked and less effective than it used to be.

Throughout history, selling and entertainment have gone hand in hand – from the medieval pedlar and the medicine show, to generations of TV commercials featuring song and dance, comedy, and cartoon animals, right up to today’s celebrities who launch their own multi-million dollar brands. There are good reasons for this; we now understand better than ever before the psychological and sociological reasons why apparent frivolity creates serious business benefits.

The book is published by Troubador. It will be in bookstores in March and will also be available as an e-book and audiobook.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Donate to celebrate” tab_id=”1621902205296-588fcdaf-414a”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7488″ img_size=”500×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]In the past few months we have marked special birthdays with Collections for AMSR in people’s names, last year for Peter Bartram’s 80th birthday and more recently for Liz Nelson’s 90th birthday in January..

If you’re looking for a meaningful gift for someone who ‘has everything’, why not mark the special occasion by donating to AMSR in his or her name. Just let Raz Khan know by emailing

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”OBITUARY” tab_id=”1621902208111-1160f834-cbd8″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7497″ img_size=”460 x 460″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Geoffrey Roughton

We are very saddened at the death of Geoffrey Roughton.

He was a distinguished Founding Gold Patron of AMSR and made an immense contribution to its success, both as a Founder and an untiring volunteer.  He was one of the ‘three wise’ people who conceived the Archive, before its current position as an active and vibrant charity. John Downham, Liz Nelson and Geoffrey laid the foundations of AMSR – they were the ‘grandparents’ of the idea.

Geoffrey’s career in market research began in 1955 with Television Audience Measurement Ltd which started the first metered TV audience measurement service in Europe. He went on to found MAS Research Ltd in 1957 (later absorbed into TNS). He was MAS’s Director in charge of The Londoner, which was the first major survey in Britain (and Europe) to be analysed on a computer and then MAS became the first market research company to have its own computer (an IBM 1130) on its own premises. After selling MAS he joined Alan Hendrickson in Pulse Train Ltd in 1986. He went on to become Chairman and CEO of Pulse Train Ltd in 1998 before being joined by Pat Molloy and going on to merge Pulse Train with Confirmit AS in 2007. His third career was as Chief Executive Officer of X-MR.

Geoffrey believed strongly that we have a debt to the next generation of researchers to make them aware of where they are coming from. He maintained that we make history by what we do; we pass it to future generations by recording it and making those records readily available, not just for researchers, but society as a whole.

Geoffrey was responsible for the scanning system given to AMSR by the former shareholders of Pulse Train Ltd in memory of Alan Hendrickson. The material, which is scanned by volunteers before it goes to the HAT, is the bedrock of our Archive collection.  In addition to his generous support for the Archive, Geoffrey did a tremendous amount of charitable work, especially for the Heart Foundation.

Liz Nelson says:

“I have known Geoffrey since the late 1950s.  I remember him as a remarkably quick and very intelligent person. He was always imaginative and very, very confident about his intellectual powers. He was entrepreneurial and wanted to run his own company from Day 1.  He and his friend, John Robertson, began a company, not called MAS in those days, but one dedicated to survey analysis.

It was a joy to work with him and John when we were planning the Archive and we shared the pleasure of seeing the success of our dream”.

John Downham says:

“Geoffrey was a researcher who managed to combine strong technical ability – he was someone who appeared to be at home in both the academic and the business worlds – with commercial skills.  I always felt that MAS was a company with a strong ethical background which reflected Geoffrey’s own character – for me a very important part of the appeal of the profession in the years following World War II. He was an entertaining companion with a store of business and other anecdotes and I shall miss him.  The research world is a less colourful place without him”.

Adam Phillips says:

“Geoffrey was stimulated by new ideas and applying technology to understand how people behave. I first encountered Geoffrey when Mass Observation used Pulse Train’s software expertise to create a decentralised international telephone survey system for a radical new type of survey. The CTS was designed to provide the Eurobarometer with a continuous opinion tracking system that could measure the impact of unexpected events on European public opinion. Geoffrey was very excited about the idea and committed considerable resources at Pulse Train to help us establish a service which no one believed possible at that time.

At AMSR, his enthusiasm and grasp of the critical elements needed for success, like making the entire Archive available online, was a very important contribution to AMSR’s subsequent success”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 17 – October 2020

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”violet” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Letter from the Editor” tab_id=”1612997994948-657fe29e-bab1″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7291″ img_size=”200×100″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Our strapline, ‘Yesterday’s research is today’s social history’, was illustrated vividly in an item on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme at the end of August.  Edgar Jones, Professor in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry, compared people’s desire to stay at home during the war (many Londoners faced the blitz rather than fleeing to the country), with our current lockdown. Psychological studies of the research carried out at the time are at the National Archive at Kew. These types of comparisons with the past and present illustrate the value of archives. Just as wartime research sheds light on current behaviour, so our market and social research archive illuminates consumers’ behaviour and attitudes in the past and present.

Discussions about ensuring the vast amount of research being conducted during the COVID crisis will be preserved are ongoing. In addition to regular surveys by public and private bodies, organisations like the University of the Third Age have special initiatives.  U3A have a Diary Project showing how the pandemic has affected Third Agers over the months of lockdown, and it will be sharing the content with the Mass Observation Archive. What is essential is that past documentation is not thrown away. For instance, the Central Office of Information’s public announcements which were so important during World War II are housed at HAT, which have the Ogilvy and Crowther (the forerunner of Ogilvy and Mather) Guard Books of these campaigns. However, the reports of the research which guided the work have gone missing, alongside so much other valuable COI material. The Archive has been set up to digitise our heritage and we work continuously to fill the gaps in our collections and hopefully encourage all researchers to join us in this endeavour. So we shall continue to ask people to search through their cupboards and attics for invaluable research documents.

As our Archive grows and extends to various audiences we are continuing to learn how people differ in the way they use archive material. Those of you who see the Research Network Newsletter might remember a quote from an academic friend “One of the more pleasurable aspects of research is coming across wonderful material which may not be relevant (to her research), but which nourishes the soul”. I recently came across a similar view from a medical historian, Mark Honigsbaum, who wrote “Part of the pleasure in writing is searching out different archives”. We shall be reporting on our research among academics in the next issue, but we know that social and cultural historians and business and marketing researchers, particularly postgraduates writing dissertations, are target audiences which we must cherish.

Modern Collections

As part of this concern that valuable research should not be lost, we are planning a new venture to introduce modern collections, making the Archive more relevant to market research agencies and their current concerns and hopefully getting younger people in the industry more involved in its work. The two areas proposed are: COVID Research Collection, a collection of all the research conducted concerning the 2020 COVID pandemic, including qualitative research and quantitative studies of the general population, doctors, healthcare workers, business and the public sector and an Inclusivity and Diversity Collection, collecting historic and current research. The objective of these new collections is to ensure that future historians and students have access to a collection of real research evidence to understand the development of such issues.

We never closed

We have attempted to ‘keep going’ during the lockdown. Unfortunately, we have been unable to scan or receive new material at Ipsos MORI in Harrow, so we have to ask people to hold onto their material pro tem.   (If this is impossible, let us know and we shall make arrangements to store it elsewhere, possibly in my overflowing garage). Ipsos is now using its vans and office space to distribute Covid19 testing kits amongst selected samples around the country, a wonderful example of the adaptability of researchers. However, in spite of the restrictions, we have been able to continue adding material to the Archive, working from home and Colin McDonald writes about this below.

Ruth McNeil writes about the RI collection which has provided fascinating data about Research International’s research and the people who work there. This invaluable material from RI leads us to believe that there is traction in forming special collections of company material.  It would be great if we could build up similar collections of the work of the different research companies which contributed so much to the development of the industry.  The RI Collection includes our very first video. We have now contracted Vimeo to host videos, so this is an exciting new arm for the Archive. Some of you have probably got suitable videos to contribute. These would be reviewed in just the same way as books. We are also looking into research from clients, along with myriad special areas of research interest such as travel, local government, retail, financial, children and so on. Please get in touch if you have any areas in which you are particularly interested and experienced, and if you can help in sourcing relevant material. We are also in the process of transferring the Oral Histories from the Research Network to AMSR.

Across a crowded Zoom

During the lockdown, we have had good Zoom meetings. The Committees have been meeting regularly on Zoom (some people actually preferred this to making long journeys by tube and train). We have also had very enjoyable ‘coffee mornings’, where many of the volunteers have got together to share experiences. We have always recognised that working as a volunteer for AMSR in any capacity (scanning, cataloguing, reviewing, writing, interviewing etc) is, as well as being in itself worthwhile, very much a social activity, bringing researchers together in a shared endeavour. So the Zoom gatherings have been very worthwhile.

We can claim that ‘we’ve never closed’ and we look forward to a time when we can use the storage facilities at Ipsos, work in our ‘engine room’ and get back  ‘normal’ activities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Sir Terence Conran” tab_id=”1612997997872-980b4c52-da3d”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7287″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Vangelder writes

The recent death of Sir Terence Conran brought back memories of my interview with him in the ՛80s.

We had launched Survey in 1982 and the third issue in February 1984 was on the theme ‘Directing Design Decisions’. Sir Terence at the time was Chairman of Habitat and he went on to acquire Heal’s, Mothercare, Now, British Home Stores and Richards. These retail outlets are no longer on the High Street, but at the time these were at the forefront of modern accessible design. In fact a Times leader on 14 September was headed ‘Conran’s Britain, with the sub-head, ‘The designer who died this weekend transformed the way we live and eat’.  “By taking his designs to the high street, he redefined middle-class tastes”.

What has not changed is the importance of his views on research. Research was, in fact, an essential ingredient in all decisions of the Conran Group. Where the task was to revitalise a store, Conran tried to find out about the business before pen was put to paper or before any real opinions were asked. This information provided a base for all types of research, “The approach I am always most interested in and most reliant upon is qualitative work – groups….What research does is usually to confirm our feelings but much more importantly, it helps prioritise the work we do”.

Sir Terence stressed that it was the combination of gut feeling and research that was so important. “uninterpreted research, research that is not interpreted with flair is pretty useless”. He appreciated his researcher saying “I am now interjecting my own opinion, but I draw this conclusion”.

Talking about the retail business, Sir Terence believed that you didn’t ever say ‘That’s it’ and stop. “You go on doing research and tracking”. He also understood the importance of targeting to a particular age group. It was fine if it spilled over to other demographics, but you must never take your eyes off that target market.

Our interview with Sir Terence illustrates the belief of an important client in the value of research to decision-making. For the Conran Group it was a synergy of designers with creative ideas and plans and researchers with professional techniques at their fingertips.

The full interview ‘Research and design: synergy in fashion’ can be found in the Survey Collection, February 1984

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The war against the BBC” tab_id=”1612998000791-be2a939e-6733″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7284″ img_size=”326×499″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]This autumn sees the launch of a new book on the threats facing the BBC, by AMSR Chairman Paddy Barwise and the cultural commentator, consultant, author and broadcaster Peter York. The War against the BBC will be published by Penguin on 26 November. The subtitle, ‘How an Unprecedented Combination of Hostile Forces Is Destroying Britain’s Greatest Cultural Institution…And Why You Should Care’ says what it covers and where it stands.

According to Paddy, “The BBC is our most important cultural institution, our best-value entertainment provider, at the heart of our brilliant creative industries, and our global face, reaching almost half a billion people a week outside the UK. In a world of divisive disinformation, it’s the UK public’s most trusted news source – far more trusted than the newspapers and politicians telling them not to trust it. But it’s facing a toxic combination of difficult technology and consumption trends, huge new US competitors, increasing content and distribution costs, relentless attacks by powerful commercial and political enemies, and deep funding cuts – much deeper than most people have realised. The book aims to bust the myths about its accuracy and impartiality, efficiency and market impact, and funding.

“Despite constant claims about its ‘bloatedness’ and ‘expansionism’, the BBC’s real net public funding has already been cut by 30 per cent since 2010, with imminent further cuts threatened. If its funding had simply kept pace with inflation over the last ten years, its annual income now would be £1.38 billion higher, giving it plenty of resources to address its other challenges.

“We also need a better funding method than the TV licence, which is increasingly anachronistic in today’s world. Advertising is a no-no for many reasons, starting with the damage it would do to other media. We think subscription funding will also be rejected once people look properly at the numbers and other implications. The best model is either a flat universal household levy, as in Germany and now Ireland, or a supplement to Council tax or electricity bills so that bigger, richer households pay more. Of course, all this is hugely political, so expect sparks and shenanigans!”

Paddy’s involvement in broadcasting research goes right back to his early days at LBS with Andrew Ehrenberg, replicating and extending TV audience studies by Aske Research (Andrew, Gerald Goodhardt and Martin Collins). This led to Television and its Audience (Sage 1989) which has never been out of print. Although most of his later work has been on marketing, he recently published a paper in the Journal of Advertising Research, with Steven Bellman and Virginia Beal at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute in Adelaide, pulling together media and psychophysiological research on why people watch so much TV and video.*

As for the book,  Paddy says, “I blame Jane Frost. It was Jane who persuaded Peter and me, as MRS patrons, to hand out the prizes at the Society’s annual awards lunch. As we chatted, we found we had identical views on the ‘war’ against the BBC. The book came out of those conversations”.

* Patrick Barwise, Steven Bellman and Virginia Beal, ‘Why Do People Watch So Much Television and Video? Implications for the Future of Viewing and Advertising’, Journal of Advertising Research, 60, 2 (June 2020), 121- 134.

The War Against the BBC: How an Unprecedented Combination of Hostile Forces Is Destroying Britain’s Greatest Cultural Institution…And Why You Should Care by Patrick Barwise and Peter York will be published by Penguin on 26 November.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Research International Collection” tab_id=”1612998003981-e73dd39c-06d6″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7282″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The Archive now has a special collection of historical documents and other material from Research International. Known for its international spread and qualitative and quantitative proprietary techniques, RI emerged from the in-house market research departments that Unilever had established in many countries in the 1930s and after. From the 1990s they were converted into companies. In 1986 Unilever sold RI to the Ogilvy advertising agency. Ogilvy Group was subsequently acquired by WPP in 1989 and RI was merged with WPP’s other research companies under the brand name Kantar.  RI was a research leader in many areas including branding, customer satisfaction, market measurement and internationally co-ordinated research.

The collection includes material illustrating RI’s innovative methods, especially in brand development and marketing, and comparative studies in international attitudes and behaviour.

Ruth McNeil writes

At the end of May, I was contacted and asked for help in accessing some of the material from those of us who worked at Research International. The Archive has very little material from us and, given the stature of the company over many years, RI represents ‘a big gap’.

Thanks to all those who have already raided their offices and computer archives to see what they still have. This has filled a lot of holes and those running the Archive are delighted to have suddenly had this rush of material from us. For me it has been captivating watching the likes of Stafford Crossman, David Cahn, Peter Hayes, Julian Bond, Rory Morgan and others talking about evolving RI techniques 35 years ago and to be reminded of so many great newsletters that RBL and Research International produced over the years.

There are some things already sent but so much more that could usefully be provided by those of you who are reading this now. The AMSR Contents Committee has decided to dedicate to Research International a whole section of the Archive for itself, due to its importance in the development of research over the years. For a number of decades, RI was the gold standard in research, its international network and innovatory qual and quant techniques a bye-word for excellence.

But it is not only material from RI which is of interest.  Those of you who worked for multiple companies may well have other things you feel have an historic interest.

The main thing is that we all do what we can to supply something; I know, I for one, find this a bit of a nuisance (many of us have ‘moved on’ beyond research at this time), but if we want to be proud of our heritage (SMART, MicroTest, our qual legacy..), let’s give them what we can.

AMSR is concerned that material that has historical value, or could be used for teaching market research, may be lost because it does not appear to be valuable at the moment. If you have doubts about whether any of the material you possess which could contribute to the archive is worth saving or that it may be subject to copyright or confidentiality restrictions, please contact AMSR.

We have begun to help preserve the name of RI and what was achieved formally and informally over so many years but we are sure there is a great deal more we could contribute.

Some examples of RI content now in the Archive are:

  • Brand Energy Lab Users’Manual
  • Report on Communicating with Young Adults 1996
  • Men and Advertising 1990
  • Projective enabling techniques: when to use them, how to apply and interpret
  • Report on Teenagers of the World
  • Return of the product 2005
  • User guide: Brandsight Gallery: core values 2002

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Target Group Index” tab_id=”1612998007574-221af8b0-e594″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6611″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Geoff Wicken writes

The Archive has recently uploaded another major donation from Kantar of historical TGI data, which permits users to track consumer behaviour at five-yearly intervals from 1987 to 2012.

The TGI (Target Group Index) is a continuous survey which has been carried out in Great Britain since 1969. It comprises completed self-completion questionnaires from 25,000 adults aged 15+ per annum. Each respondent provides information on their use or purchase of all major products, brands and services. Exposure to different media is also measured, as well as attitudinal data.

For each of the years 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012 AMSR now includes:

  • A TGI ‘Guide and Straight Counts’ volume which sets out all questions in the study, and gives the incidence reported for all adults.
  • 19 individual sector reports containing detailed information by gender, age group and social grade.

This donation adds to the TGI reports already held in the Archive:

  • Year-by-year category usage trends from 1969 to 1993, with 25 years’ data gathered into seven ‘Trackback’ report volumes.
  • ‘TGI Lifestyle summary volumes’ from 1991 to 2003 containing data on attitudes and opinions, radio and TV programmes, and other topics of interest.

To explore the TGI information within the Archive, click here:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Cataloguing” tab_id=”1612998010788-3fc09996-25ad”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7283″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Colin McDonald writes

In spite of Covid restrictions, we have been able to continue adding material to the Archive, working from home. This is ongoing, but there is a lot more to be done – and there is also a considerable backlog of material that needs to be fully scanned and indexed within our subject indexing system. So we would be very grateful for any volunteers who have a home computer and time to spare, who could join us for cataloguing and indexing work. Also, we would welcome volunteers who have a good quality home scanner-printer linked to their PC, who would like to do some of the backlog scanning if we send the material.

Unfortunately, until we can get back to or ’engine room’ at Ipsos, it cannot be a social activity, but it is a pleasant and soothing activity for a rainy afternoon at home![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Life in Research: a book of anecdotes and stories from the last 50+ years” tab_id=”1612998014172-0cdae57e-e865″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7285″ img_size=”300×350″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Peter Bartram writes

Those interested in the lighter side of UK market research history may be amused to know that this book is now being produced, with the proceeds from its sales being donated to the Archive. Its content is now being finalised for publication early in 2021.

It will consist of about 80 pages, containing 125 personal recollections from the last 50 years, contributed by more than 50 past and present researchers of all kinds. The text is leavened by about 20 cartoons featuring aspects of market research, and rather than dealing with any solidly technical issues, it aims to describe the interpersonal happenings that such a life can provide.

Its scope is broad, covering the memorable activities of clients, suppliers, competitors, executives and interviewers in their working lives and at conferences and seminars, in both the UK and throughout the world.

The book is designed for researchers who lived through those years in research, with reminiscences worth sharing and remembering, and perhaps their friends and families curious to know what they got up to. But it should also be of interest to current practitioners, and those planning or embarking on such a career, to show the situations and happenings which can occur in such a life, which can be more varied and entertaining than many may suppose.

The planned deadline for accepting stories will be 12th October but if, even after that date, you have a story which cries out to be passed on to posterity, we shall try to include it. Just send any such story(ies) to the coordinating author, at Each story should be not more than 150 words in length; names may be obscured to protect the guilty or embarrassed; and all contributors whose stories are selected for inclusion will be acknowledged in the introduction to the main text.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Obituary – Sue Nosworthy” tab_id=”1612998017299-d748d554-15b4″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7081″ img_size=”500×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Sue Nosworthy

Adam Phillips writes

I first met Sue when I was working at BMRB and she was working in what was then called EMRB, the European Market Research Bureau, the international research arm of BMRB.

In 2016, when we were setting up the Archive of Market and Social Research, we decided that we should digitise paper material contributed to the archive, so that people could read it online. Putting the content of the archive online has helped us increase the accessibility of the material by eliminating the need for most people to visit the physical archive at Raveningham in Norfolk. Archival scanning is expensive, because of the different sizes and conditions of the documents. Since we did not have very much money, we decided to set up a team of volunteer scanners. Geoffrey Roughton kindly donated a flatbed scanner, Network Research offered us space in their offices and a number of people responded to our request for volunteer help. However, what we lacked was someone to organise everyone into an efficient production team. I had kept in touch with Sue and knew that, in addition to her other talents, she was an excellent organiser. She was no longer very mobile, because of her illness, but could do the job entirely from home.

Sue agreed to take on the role of team leader. She introduced us to Google Sheets, recruited even more volunteers, organised training, set up a roster and got the whole thing rolling in the space of two months. Since that time the team never stopped producing scanned documents at the rate of 1,500-2,500 impressions per month until Covid-19 and Lockdown closed the office. By then the team had relocated to the Ipsos MORI offices in Harrow because they needed more space for document sorting and a second scanner.

Eventually, Sue became too ill to organise the team herself and handed over to Pam Walker, but her spirit continued to infect and inspire the team. They carried on regular Zoom meetings with her until a few days before she died.

Without Sue’s organisational, skills and inspiration, the Archive of Market and Social Research would not have become the successful and thriving go-to place for people who want to find out what market research has learned in the past. All of us who were involved in setting it up will miss her intelligence, drive, and good humour.

Read also the Research Live obituary about Sue’s career as an international researcher.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 16 – June 2020

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”orange” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”From the Chief Executive: Adam Phillips writes about AMSR and Covid-19″ tab_id=”1601853029944-a7b7fdf0-551b”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7075″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]I am writing this having just finished a Zoom video meeting with 17 of our volunteers who meet up for the ‘virtual coffee morning’ we run on the second Thursday of the month. It was an opportunity for everyone to meet friends they are not seeing at the moment and to talk to people they never meet in the course of their work with AMSR. I think we may decide to continue these virtual coffee mornings after lockdown has ended, since volunteering is essentially a social activity and meeting up via Zoom provides the chance for everyone to enjoy the diversity of experience of their colleagues without having to leave home. Seen together, our volunteers are an impressive and committed group.

Eight weeks ago, none of us had heard of Zoom. It’s now a regular part of everyone’s life working with AMSR, since all meetings are now conducted by video. It is not the same as meeting face-to-face, but it saves a lot of travelling time and it enables us to work more closely with people who do not live in London. When it is safe to travel I am sure that we shall go back to having some meetings face-to face, but Covid-19 will have changed our volunteers’ working and social behaviour for ever, as it will for almost everyone in Britain over the next couple of years.

During lockdown, we have had to stop most sorting and scanning activity. The majority of our volunteers are older and in the higher risk group. It is therefore unlikely that we shall restart these activities for some time yet. However, we are taking the opportunity of this respite to catalogue and index our collections, to make them easier to search. This can be done by people working at home. We are also continuing to search for new material for our Archive and have taken legal advice on how to handle material where contributors to the Archive may not be sure whether they can legally donate it. This includes the option to restrict access to the material or embargo it for a specified time.

If you have some free time while you are still isolated, sheltered, furloughed or just resting, please take the opportunity to visit our portal website at and click on the orange button in the top right corner of the page. Doing this will take you to the entry page of the online Archive. This page contains a link to a useful guide on how to search for specific topics and items in the Archive. Clicking on the orange button in the middle of the page opens the online Archive. The information is listed by collection. You can click your way through the collections looking to see what catches your eye. MORI British Public Opinion, the MRS Newsletter and Survey Magazine are all good places to start.

Thank you for your support for AMSR. Please stay safe.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Judith Wardle on the Joy of Archives” tab_id=”1601853033570-2453df55-ca48″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7076″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Immersed as we all are at the AMSR, in the administration, fund-raising and day-today mundanity of running an archive, it is easy to forget that to our users, our Archive will bring inspiration and excitement. To us it is a collection of documents, to our users it is a treasure trove.  Just as market research is the raw material of decision-making for managers, so archives are the raw material of academics, and especially those with an interest in the past.

I remember my own forays at the National Archives into the minutes of obscure government meetings during the inter-war years. My research into why sex education was not implemented was throwing up inconsistent and disparate reasons. Imagine the flush of excitement I felt on spotting a hand-written comment in the margin which proved to be one of the key insights making sense of that puzzle. I remember recounting the joys of that discovery to my professor and her eyes gleaming in agreement. Yes, the joy of delving in archives … the excitement … the anticipation.

Some of the words used to describe archives might surprise you. Lisa Jardine titled a series of essays, the Temptation in the Archives, and they are described often as ‘alluring’ – these are collections which inspire exhilaration and passion, not feelings we expect to find in the dry halls of academia.  So let’s remember, as we work on building up and supporting the AMSR, the inspiration archived objects and documents can bring; they lie at the heart of why historians are historians. They make their hearts sing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Notes from a Hoarder” tab_id=”1601853036496-21c4e651-6b1b”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7077″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Graham Mytton writes

I am a hoarder and cannot bear to chuck out stuff because I always think that doing so erases history, however unimportant it may appear to be.  My mother, who died 9 years ago, left loads of boxes of stuff. She had dementia and kept writing notes to herself. There are 1,000s of these bits of paper and they have to be thrown away, even though I feel that it is somehow consigning her to the bin at the same time. I will keep a few, especially those that are funny and have happy memories. But it all takes time. But also looking through everything is essential because if you do not, you may throw away something valuable. In the midst of my mother’s papers were some pages of a Bible that traced some Mytton ancestry back to c1780, as well as a story book written by the Granny I never knew who died about 10 years before I was born.

In my own case I have school reports from when I was 4 onwards.  One that I treasure says this: “Mytton can do anything with a chair, except sit on it.” Another says, over and over, very boringly, “satisfactory progress is being made”. I would far prefer to be remembered as a performer on chairs than to merely make ‘satisfactory progress’!

I also have my essays from university as well as early attempts at field research in remote parts of Tanzania. One diary written exactly 52 years ago reports my visit to a village in an especially remote place, reachable only on foot in a journey of more than 80 miles, or by boat on a lake. I was there during the weeks when the House of Commons in Westminster had been discussing the Labour Government’s attempts to restrict the immigration to the UK of East Africans of Asian origin. I noted that the quality of discussion and level of knowledge in the village chief’s house would not have disgraced a university staff common room. The villagers were mostly illiterate. But they were all radio listeners.

One thing I regret throwing away were my notes on and copies of essays done by my students when I was a political science tutor at the University of Dar es Salaam. One of my students then is the current President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni. All I can remember is that he always got an A. And that he was a bit scary at times.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Clients and the Archive” tab_id=”1601853038821-11c74761-9734″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6338″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Macfarlane writes

Until now the Archive has focussed mainly on the supply side of the industry.

But if market research is one of the key contributors to the development of the modern economy, and the agency side pioneered the techniques and developed the business processes, how significant also was the contribution of clients who created the demand for market and customer data, and in many cases championed entirely new areas of research.

Think of BT which drove the growth of telephone research with their support of their Telcare centres; of IBM driving the way forward for centralised international telephone research; of Rank Xerox with international B2B market measurement. And, of course, of Unilever and P&G, supporting and encouraging the development of new qualitative and quantitative methodologies. And the media industry creating the JICs to undertake large scale high quality media measurement. And TfL with their innovative use of mystery shopping methods. I’m sure that many of you can name more than I. They were very heady days!

So it makes sense to bring clients into the Archive to celebrate the contribution that they made to the modern economy through the novel idea of actually talking to customers!

Many of these key clients have archives of their own – so we have started to make contact with the keepers of these archives – to propose that we can help build their market research collection (and digitise it), to demonstrate their organisation’s clear contribution to the consumer economy. And then we can either host their collection or link to it – whatever they prefer.

We shall be continuing this work after the current lockdown, so please look out for requests to contribute your reports and stories of these key clients – and if you think you can help with contacts to archivists in these companies, please do contact us. Getting client involvement is a key factor in the further development of the Archive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Lockdown” tab_id=”1601853040695-ee871f91-5b3f”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7089″ img_size=”300×330″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Phyllis Vangelder looks at lockdown

As I write this, I don’t know whether we are still in lockdown (or even suffering from what has been called ‘lockhome syndrome’ (where we are becoming used to being at home and anxious about going out), on alert, or even back at work. We are living in strange times and are all finding ways to cope – reading, exercising, writing, Zooming, Netflix, phoning and, of course, sorting out our ‘stuff’.

We have differentiated in a previous article about the populace being divided into ‘hoarders’ and ‘chuckers’ (see the website).  To the latter we can only say ‘please don’t’. If you find any material relating to market or social research, please retain it for the Archive. We can always ‘chuck’ it out for you if it is not suitable. Unfortunately, we can’t receive it at the moment, because our ‘engine room’ at Ipsos in Harrow is closed, but we will arrange delivery as soon as the crisis is over.

To the hoarders we reiterate – the Archive wants your data. We ask you again to raid your attics, cupboards, lofts and garages for any research material that can be donated to AMSR.

If you are ‘confined to barracks’, this is an ideal time to sort out your stuff.  As a hoarder myself, I fully understand the mindset. However, there are ways round the dilemma which can suit everyone. If you still want to retain hard copies of unique work you have done, let us catalogue and digitise it for you, so it is in the Archive. Hard copies of any papers can be returned to you if you so wish. Once the data is in the Archive, your contribution to the profession is remembered in perpetuity.


During the lockdown, we have all gone into a ‘lateral thinking’ mode. We suggested in our recent article on ‘Hoarders and Chuckers’ that even if you unearth relevant material for the Archive, we can wait for the actual reports and papers until our ‘engine room’ at Ipsos MORI in Harrow is once again available for scanning.

However, we have now realised that some scanning – of short reports and papers – could be done by the contributors themselves, before they are sent to the Archive. Alternatively, Colin McDonald, our cataloguing/scanner guru, has offered to scan some material at home.


Another job for those isolated at home, is to join the groups of researchers who are indexing some of the Archive Collections, amalgamating our own index with input from academic sources.  Those who are already immersed in it are finding it extremely interesting. They are also getting nostalgic kicks as they remember the exciting research that has been conducted over the years, helping decision-makers in companies and government. Training will be available for those joining the team.

Please contact one of the Phyllis’s using the email address if you have unearthed any relevant material and want to talk about it. Get in touch with Colin McDonald at the same address if you are interested in indexing or scanning documents.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”OBITUARIES” tab_id=”1601853042699-d37e5ff1-d6b7″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”7081″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Gerald Goodhardt

Gerald Goodhardt died on 7 May 2020 aged 90 from coronavirus

Phyllis Vangelder writes

I was very saddened by the death of Gerald Goodhardt. I knew him well, not only working closely with him when he was a powerful influence in The Market Research Society, but also as a family friend.

He was one of many Chairmen of the Publications Committee I worked with and it was a relationship of trust, respect and affection. In 1973 he became Chairman of the MRS and made an immense contribution both to the Society generally and to the industry. The Market Research Society awarded him its Gold Medal for outstanding work in the field not once, but twice, the only person to have been so honoured.

Gerald’s towering intellect allowed him to win scholarships to both Marylebone Grammar School and Downing College, Cambridge which would otherwise have been beyond the reach of his parents, whose business life was based on tailoring and dry cleaning.

Following a degree in mathematics, and a graduate diploma in statistics, he was tasked, during his national service with devising a test which would weed out those with an intelligence level too low to allow them to serve and would simultaneously detect those who were deliberately trying to fail.

His early market research career was spent first with Attwoods Statistics, followed by the Research Department of the advertising agency, Young and Rubicam.

In 1965 Gerald joined Andrew Ehrenberg in his market research consultancy, Aske Research, which had many blue-chip clients e.g. Mars, Cadbury-Schweppes, Shell, Esso, Unilever and the IBA.  When Andrew left in 1970 to become Professor of Marketing at the London Business School, Martin Collins joined Gerald at Aske. But Gerald, also moved to academia, with a Readership at Thames Polytechnic. He became Sir John E Cohen Professor of Consumer Studies at the City University, raising the level of its MBA programme to an international standard. He had an immense influence on his students during his period in academia and many of them went on to illustrious careers of their own.

To Gerald, statistics was the management of uncertainty and throughout his life he was always questioning and learning.

Gerald and Andrew’s joint work in formulating the Laws of Marketing and modelling consumer and audience behaviour was seminal.  In 2016, a Dutch marketing expert – Wiemar Snijders – wrote an article comparing the work he and Andrew Ehrenberg had done with the work of Isaac Newton.  Whilst Newton described the natural laws by which the physical world operates, Ehrenberg and Goodhardt explained how the world of brands and business work, with similar accuracy.  According to Snijders, their work has similar significance.

The University of South Australia established an entire school of Marketing Science based on the work done by them. In 2015 they awarded an Honorary Doctorate to Gerald and established an annual Goodhardt Fellowship, which will now be an appropriate memorial to him. In his acceptance address on this occasion he expressed his belief that you do not learn in order to work; you work in order to learn.

He was a strong supporter of the AMSR, not only as a donor, but by contributing his papers and books to the Archive.  Many of Gerald’s papers are to be found in the Ehrenberg Collection, a special collection of papers and offprints relating to the classic work of Andrew, Gerald and their colleagues.

Because of the Virus, Gerald’s funeral was held via Zoom. Friends, relatives and colleagues from Israel, Australia and the US, as well as those in this country, were able to see the very moving service from St John’s Wood Synagogue. Rabbi Ian Goodhardt, Gerald’s son, spoke of his father’s goodness. “At the centre of my father was a core of goodness.  And even though it was wrapped within many layers, from the beginning to the end of his life, his goodness kept shining through”.  His work for the Market Research Benevolent Association epitomises this. He was very concerned that some members of the Society had died prematurely leaving young families, as well as about the plight of some interviewers, many of whom were widows who had fallen on hard times. In the ’70s he was the prime mover in the establishment of the Market Research Benevolent Association, founded to take care of researchers at every level.  He was a Founding Trustee and first President of the MRBA and he believed this to be the proudest achievement of his career. He continued to support the work of the MRBA and indeed of many other charities throughout his lifetime. He would have been pleased to know that the MRBA is able to help researchers in this current crisis.

At another Zoom meeting after his death, a distinguished Rabbi spoke of the difference between power and influence. If you share power, you have less of it: if you have influence, it increases as you share it. Gerald’s influence on all those who knew him – colleagues, students, friends and family– is not diminished by his passing.

Listen to Gerald’s interview with Lawrence Bailey as part of the Oral History Project.


Mona Rumble

Mona Rumble, the originator of Market Research Abstracts died in March 2020 aged 94

This is an extract from the address Phyllis Vangelder gave at her funeral.

Mona and I first met when I joined Greenlys Advertising as Research Information Officer and Mona was Head of the Research Department. She had an illustrious career, starting in the prestigious research department of Hedleys (later Procter and Gamble).

We were good friends and colleagues at the time, but we became really close when I joined the Market Research Society. In those days the Society was run by volunteers, rather than the small secretariat.   I was interviewed by the complete Publications Committee, chaired by Andrew McIntosh (later Lord McIntosh). Mona was on the Committee (I think the only woman). I thought it would be a scary interview, but after a few banal questions (e.g. Is your husband in market research?) Andrew said “Ah well, Mona knows you”. So I think it was Mona who was responsible for my being appointed Publications Officer and Editor of the Society’s journals and newsletters.

She had already introduced the concept of abstracts of papers  and articles about market and social research and a few had been published, but over the years, we developed Market Research Abstracts together, Mona as Honorary Editor and myself as Abstractor and Executive Editor. We used to meet up either in Totteridge or Harrow, have lunch, gossip and then get down to the task of editing over 200 abstracts each time. If it was good weather we would work very happily in the garden. We became not only colleagues but close friends. I have such happy memories of working with Mona. She was warm, wise and witty and, of course, highly intelligent and it was a privilege and joy to be with her.

The Archive Collection of Market Research Abstracts, 1963-1997, is a fitting tribute to Mona and her work for The Market Research Society.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 15 – March 2020

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”purple” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Liz Nelson steps down as Chairman of the Board of Trustees” tab_id=”1590940330819-cdb8f0b2-0710″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6614″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are very sorry that due to ill-health Liz Nelson, has retired from her role as Chairman of AMSR’s Board of Trustees. Professor Patrick Barwise, who became Vice-Chairman in 1989, will succeed her.

Patrick (Paddy) Barwise is Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at London Business School. He joined the School in 1976 after an early career at IBM and has published widely on management, marketing and media.

Liz Nelson, John Downham and Geoffrey Roughton, were the Founding triumvirate who met in November 2014, to form an organisation that would rescue valuable historical material relating to market and social research. Liz has been untiring in her work for the Archive, and her knowledge and energy have contributed greatly to its success.

AMSR warmly welcomes Paddy as Chairman of the Board. We are also delighted that Liz will continue to be actively involved in the Archive, contributing her wisdom and enthusiasm to a cause she holds very dear.

Liz said “I am so proud to have been a Founder Member of the Archive. It is very gratifying that it has achieved so much in the few years of its life.

I am delighted that Paddy Barwise is taking over as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He shares the values of the Archive and has already given us tremendous support and opened up the world of academia, which we now realise, will be the main users of our data in the future”.

Paddy said: “I am proud and delighted to have been elected and I look forward to working with all the other trustees and volunteers. I think the Archive is going to be an important resource for many people, probably in unexpected as well as expected ways”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Friends Event” tab_id=”1590940332853-691af096-a4e8″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6687″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

AMSR held its third prestigious Event at the IPA on 4 February, with a record attendance of 75 people. Once again, we were able to highlight how much has been achieved since it was founded. In addition to the presentations by distinguished speakers, Sir John Curtice and our President, Professor Denise Lievesley, attendees were able to see online demonstrations of the Archive and search the ever-growing material now available. 

Paddy Barwise, newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees, welcomed the many supporters and friends in the audience, emphasising that without their help the Archive could not have become what has been demonstrated that evening.

Professor Patrick Barwise

Photo: Paddy Barwise

Paddy thanked Liz Nelson, the outgoing Chairman, for the amazing work she has done in helping to establish the Archive.

Denise Lievesley

Paddy Barwise went on to introduce, Professor Denise Lievesley. She became AMSR’s President last year and this was the first time she had the chance to meet AMSR’s many friends and supporters. She is the Principal of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. She has had a very distinguished career, inter alia, as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Public Policy at King’s College London, Chief Executive of the English Health and Social Care Information Centre, Director of Statistics at UNESCO, where she founded the Institute for Statistics, and Director of the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex.

“We are honoured to have her with us tonight”.

Denise Lievesley acted as host to the proceedings. Before introducing the speakers, she expressed her excitement about the Archive.  As Head of the UK Data Archive for Economic and Social Research based at the University of Essex, she had tried to get market research data into that Archive, with limited success. It was more successful in getting data from government departments and academic institutions, than from private organisations. It was sad and worrying that there was not access to the really rich and original sources of data relating to market research.

She referred to an Annual Lecture series at her College, which this year is on the topic of ‘Commons’. This involves sharing resources, working together and using voluntary expertise. She concluded. “AMSR is a classic example of ‘Commons’ and I would encourage you to give any support you can, whether financial, time, helping to promote the Archive or encouraging people to deposit their data”.


Denise Lievesley introduced Adam Phillips, CEO of AMSR, who presented a review of what AMSR has done this year and  plans for the future.

He reminded those who came to the event last year that AMSR’s long- term aim is to become the ‘go-to place’ for people wanting to find out about what the Market and Social Research industry has learned in the UK and around the world. Where AMSR does not have the information, it will become a hub to guide enquirers to other places where they may be able to find what they want.

In particular, the Archive is aiming to build a collection of qualitative and quantitative ad hoc and panel survey results which reflect the changing habits and attitudes of the UK population over time.


The primary focus over the last four years has been on identifying and rescuing important paper material produced by the industry since the 1950s, that has not been collected elsewhere. It is regrettable that so much has been thrown away by the organisations that produced and commissioned it. Nevertheless, the Archive is still being offered interesting material and not all of it is from the UK. We have recently been talking to the Australian Market Research Society about maintaining their archive and also to ESOMAR about how we might be able to cooperate with them.

At present AMSR stores everything it has been given in paper form at the History of Advertising Trust. This is in Raveningham, near Lowestoft: not the easiest place to get to, but a lot cheaper than London! 

Online archive home page

Most of what AMSR holds is available online. It now contains over 5,000 documents and over 70,000 pages in the online archive. The website has been improved, to make it more attractive and accessible. The website portal includes guidance about how to search the online Archive. In the near future, this written guidance will be augmented by an instructional video for those who prefer not to read.


AMSR has continued to produce a quarterly newsletter and, for the last year, we have been publishing regular ‘stories from the Archive’ at the rate of about two a month. These stories are being promoted through social media and AMSR now has over 150 followers on Twitter. Adam Phillips asked, “If any of you are Twitter users, we would very much like you to follow us, if you are not already doing so, and to re-tweet our tweets to your followers”.  A show of hands revealed that a surprising number of the audience is on Twitter, so there is every hope that the number of followers will increase.

In the coming year AMSR will be increasing its publicity activity, since there is sufficient material in the Archive for it to be useful to a wide range of users. AMSR will now need to become more proactive and find a way to encourage more people to release material which they possess, particularly if they are unsure whether that they can give permission for it to be made public. This constraint applies to large amounts of qualitative research where the primary objective may have been to research a product which is no longer of interest, but the information collected about people’s attitudes and behaviour at that time has real historical value.

New material

Contents Committee members will be approaching those who have not already been in contact, to see if they have anything that could be worth preserving. AMSR is prepared to take responsibility for checking on ownership of publication rights. It is offering to embargo information for 10 or more years, if the material will be of interest to historians and it is no longer clear who can give permission for publication. “If concerns about ownership and publication of interesting material that you hold have stopped any of you here tonight from offering your research, please talk to Phyllis Macfarlane, Chairman of the Contents Committee, and we shall try to find a way to preserve it”.

Since AMSR’s inception four years ago, it has focused almost entirely on collecting material. It is now in a position to start moving towards developing the Archive’s use for education and journalism. 


In order better to understand the needs of users of AMSR, St Mary’s University in Twickenham generously carried out research among university librarians last spring. AMSR is now working with them on a much bigger piece of work aimed at understanding how it can provide material that will be useful for teaching students.

A list of history and sociology academics at leading universities who are working in subject areas where the Archive has relevant material has been assembled. AMSR has been talking and demonstrating the Archive to some of them. The objective is to get a few of them to use AMSR in their research. “We hope to be able start collecting evidence of the use of the Archive by their students towards the end of this year. Unfortunately, the academic world moves very slowly”.

Coding to help searching

Talking with academics has helped develop a coding framework using headings relevant to academic historians, sociologists and journalists. This coding will make it easier for people with no experience of market research to find relevant material more easily. He thanked Colin McDonald and Christine Eborall for developing this code list and for coding the first six collections in the last three months.

Many research agencies and companies have thrown away their libraries in the process of moving to paperless offices. One of the few libraries that still remains is the MORI library. This contains over 30,000 reports, with an emphasis on the public sector. We are looking for significant finance to preserve this library and will be approaching the National Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant later this year. We think this library is a National Asset.


It costs around £35,000 a year to run AMSR.  The share of expenditure is roughly two thirds for storage of paper records, the online archive and website, a quarter for collecting material, publicity and fundraising and a sixth for administration. The financial cost of running AMSR bears no relationship to the real cost. If it were to pay commercial rates for the 50+ unpaid volunteers who do the curating, scanning, publicity, fundraising and online presentation of the material in the Archive, the running cost would be over £200,000. “At present the money provided by our generous supporters just matches our outgoings, but there is no surplus. We believe that to provide a sustainable future for the Archive, we need to be able to answer questions from users and the industry in addition to providing links to other archives in our website portal. We have to integrate with the community of archivists and to do this, we shall need to pay a part-time archivist to lead a team of volunteers. Allowing for the Archive to continue expanding, we expect that our running costs in two years’ time will rise to £55,000”.

AMSR has set up a fundraising group with the objective of increasing its income over the next two years to meet this level of expenditure. Currently the mix of income is 60% from individual donations, 36% from commercial organisations and 4% from grant-giving organisations.

Our vision

AMSR believes that there is significant demand for the service that it will be able to provide. “I hope”, Adam concluded, “that you will continue to support us with financial donations and as volunteers”


Sir John Curtice, the distinguished political scientist and well-known media ‘guru’ of political polling, was the guest speaker. Sir John is currently Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Social Research.

Photo: Sir John Curtice

He gave a fascinating presentation on ‘Using Archives to learn from the past, using the EU as a case study’. His paper illustrated not only the value of AMSR, but of archives more broadly.

2016 was, of course, the second EU referendum: the first was during the Harold Wilson government in 1975. John Curtice has delved into our Archive and the UK Data Archive, using history to understand the present, to cast light on why the results were different.

He reminded the audience of what had happened in 2016 and the assumptions drawn; people voted according to age: younger people were more likely to vote remain; people’s behaviour varied by education: Remainers tended to have tertiary education; immigration was an important issue. The referendum showed the divisions between social liberals who were comfortable living in a diverse society and social conservatives, who represented a degree of conformity.

In 1973 the UK entered the EU without a Referendum. The Referendum was called by the Labour Government under Harold Wilson, which had been elected in 1974. The Labour Party’s stance was that it wanted to renegotiate the Tory Terms of Agreement. This was largely a financial issue: the UK was at risk of having to pay a higher contribution than its GDP might justify. Harold Wilson renegotiated the terms, came back with a Deal, called a referendum in 1975 and the result was a 2-1 victory for staying in the EU.

John Curtice summarised the questions we should ask about Referenda:

  • What are the circumstances giving rise to the referendum?
  • What is the question wording?
  • What is the role of endorsement?
  • What are the patterns of voting?

The circumstances

In 2016 David Cameron decided to call a Referendum. He was worried about UKIP and the divisions within his party on Europe. In the 1970s the Conservatives were the Remain party. The similarities were that in 2016 there were internal divisions in the Conservative Party; in 1975 there were internal divisions in the Labour Party. 2016 was a case of history repeating itself.

Question wording

Wording of course is always a subject of dispute in a referendum.  In 2016 the Electoral Commission tested the intelligibility and neutrality of the questions. In our Archives John Curtice found an NOP study conducted by the Daily Mail in January 1975 which tested seven different ways of asking the question. NOP’s definition of neutral was in fact no question, just boxes labelled ‘in’ or ‘out’.


In experimental work, you can see the impact of biased questions. A question asking people’s intentions after a statement of government endorsement. (‘How would you vote if the government says it should be ‘yes’?) indicated the potential volatility of public opinion. A Gallup Poll in August 1974, which asked how people would vote if the Government said ‘yes’ showed a dramatic shift.

In 2016, David Cameron’s opinion did not affect the result, compared with that of Harold Wilson.

Patterns of voting

Comparing the evidence of 1975 and 2016, in 1975 there were no significant differences in the age groups. Social class rather than education was of importance in 1975. Education was not so important in 1975, though there were fewer graduates in the ’70s. The social base differed: there was a much clearer link to social background, using standard social class breakdowns.

The agenda in the two referenda differed. A MORI survey in May 1975, found in the AMSR archive, asked what would be the principal disadvantages of staying in the Common Market.  Prices, particularly food prices and the impact of the Common Agricultural Policy were the main concerns. This was a social economic argument: those with a working class background were more concerned about food prices.

Regarding immigration, which was the main issue of concern in 2016, such was the unimportance of this in 1975, that there was no question about immigration in the British Election Studies of that period. The issues of identity and culture in 2016 were difficult to shift. The yes/no vote broken down by perception of migrants are in the British Election Studies ’74 and ’79 which are available from the UK Data Archive, but they show nothing like the differences concerning immigration found in 2016.

John Curtice’s fascinating comparisons demonstrated that both referenda were motivated by party divisions. Both raised questions about society and the issues of concern at the time. He believes that the concern with immigration, which was the leading issue in the 2016 election, was much more difficult to change (it remained largely constant throughout the campaign), compared with concerns about the economic consequences of being a member of the EEC, which was the most important issue in 1975.  He concluded that there are lessons to be learnt from history which archival material can provide help in understanding.

Survey methodology

Denise Lievesley followed with an insightful account of the value of archives.

Sir John Curtice had illustrated the power of the wonderful narratives you can gain from the Archive and how important it is to look at changing methodologies. As a survey methodologist, Denise Lievesley stressed the use of historical information to look at changing methodology over time. What is of interest is what is not collected, as well as what is collected (as John Curtice demonstrated in relation to the issue of migration), indicating the priorities of society at the time.

Denise Lievesley discussed why a data archive is really important and the changing world of academia in this regard.  As the first Director of the UK Data Archive, she was instrumental in getting the ESRC to develop its data policy: if you received money from the ESRC to collect primary data, you had to offer this data to the Data Archive.  “The Data Archive did not have to take it.  We did not want some of the datasets because, in our judgement, they were unlikely to be used in the future. And it takes resources to collect. Acquisitions policy is a really important issue”. The scientific principle is that research findings, together with the data, should be available for others to refute, to confirm, to clarify or to extend the results. That is part of public accountability. The Declaration of Professional Ethics of The International Statistics Institute states that the principle of all scientific work is that it should be open to scrutiny, to assessment and possible validation by fellow scientists. The principle of scientific openness extends to a responsibility to funders and to society to use data resources efficiently. Data should be used – so much is under-exploited. Denise Lievesley cited her former boss and hero, the late Sir Roger Jowell, who used to talk about “the amount of data that was untouched by human minds”. Data is underused, even by academics. She said that “we are all worried about response burden and collecting too much data”. Those were the reasons at that time that she was arguing for the importance of data archives. And this still applies. She stressed that we want to encourage responsible data collection: deliberate replication, but not duplication and ignorance of previous research. There is a growing awareness that our failure to exploit the full potential of data has meant costs to society.

Sharing data

The Times Higher Education has talked about the shift towards an open access movement. It has been policy to share publications for many years. Now we are addressing the tougher questions of sharing data.

Denise Lievesley was due to go to The Netherlands where she is a member of a panel convened to assess funding for a research bid for a major social science data archive that the Dutch want to set up. It will incorporate a lot of data from private organisations, as well as data from government organisations and academia. The Times Higher Education has said that what is needed is a radical change in mindset about the value of academic contributions to research in order to get an equally radical opening up of the scientific method.  It argued that as we get better computational ability to crunch large datasets, significant insights can come out of having access to that data – perhaps information that was never even thought of by the people who collected it.

There are a lot of problems in sharing data in the academic sector. There are difficulties in the area of incentives.  There are other issues: in addition to funding, there is huge competition.  How do you encourage sharing in an environment when competition is extraordinarily fraught?


Denise Lievesley stressed the importance of data for teaching purposes especially in respect of methodology and data analyses. Too many of our young people spend a lot of time collecting really poor quality data and never get time to analyse it. Today’s ethos is they have to do their own primary data collection instead of getting them to analyse secondary data and their own data. Denise Lievesley recalled that while she was at the UK Data Archive, a number of datasets were deposited for teaching purposes. In one case a wonderful subset from the University of Surrey using the General Housing Survey was analysed to address a series of policy questions. “It was used more than the General Household Survey itself. In fact, it was the most used dataset in the Data Archives. This rich information must have influenced the statistical and social science skills of so many students”. She stressed the importance of working with academics to create good teaching datasets.

Reproducibility is an issue particularly in relation to medical research. Recently there have been a number of papers published in reputable journals, where people have gone back to attempt to reproduce research which has been done previously, and failed to do so or have only managed to do so in a small number of cases. There have been discussions as to why this should be so. Publication bias is one reason: only positive results tend to get published. This is an argument for having access to ‘grey’ material – unpublished material and raw datasets not just published material. Increasingly, in large datasets, the statistical paradigm falls to pieces.  Statistical significance no longer holds up. In huge datasets everything is deemed significant. People pick and choose and often choose what falls in with their prejudices. We have a crisis in a lot of research, and it is particularly being discussed in relation to medical research. It will be a cause for discussion in the social sciences community. She concluded, “I hope the AMSR will be able to inform these areas of debate”.

Discussion from the floor

There was limited time for questions, but the discussion from the floor was an indication of the interest and involvement of the audience in the work of AMSR.

Peter Mouncey, who has recently retired as Editor of the International Journal of Market Research, commented that while some Journals discourage replication studies, the IJMR encourages this.

Philip Talmage asked if there was any possibility of disaggregated data being incorporated into the Archive. Phyllis Macfarlane, Chairman of the Contents Committee, responded that one would like to think so. Sir John Curtice remarked that he would encourage the Archive to go down this road: there is certainly a gap. Adam Phillips, CEO AMSR, pointed out that the problem is the scale of data we should have to hold. At the moment we are very selective about raw data. He suggested some datasets could be curated, or re-deposited when they have been analysed. Denise Lievesley agreed that this should be encouraged.

Professor Merlin Stone is concerned about getting students to use datasets. He noted that methodological articles tend to receive a high volume of citation. The challenge is to write articles on methodology and secondary research and get them published.

Denise Lievesley referred to the Royal Statistical Society’s excellent critique of the Teaching Excellence Framework. “It points out that it says nothing about teaching quality! However, one of the successes we have had in respect of the Research Excellence Framework, is that a well-documented dataset which is used by other people, counts in the same way as a publication”.

Informal drinks

The drinks party after the formal addresses was an opportunity for old friends to gather and gossip. There were further demonstrations of the Archive, and people enjoyed seeing former colleagues and welcomed the opportunity to catch up with the achievements of AMSR. There were also several promises of attic and garage raids to rescue valuable reports and papers.

The Archive welcomes volunteers who wish to be involved in its myriad activities and is particularly seeking financial donations so that future plans can be secured. Please contact and, of course, visit the web site at[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”BBC material” tab_id=”1590940334670-142769d0-98dc”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6808″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR has recently acquired some very rich material documenting research conducted for the BBC. Peter Menneer, who was Head of BBC Research, 1978-1992, and Graham Mytton, who was Head of Audience Research for the BBC World Service1982-1998, have donated unique reports and papers, both from their own collections and the BBC Archives.

Graham has written an overview of his contribution. Some ‘tasters’ from Peter’s collection are below.

  • Towards TV qualitative research: the BBC’s viewpoint. March 1981.
  • The Random Assigned Day (RAD). An innovative technique for measurement of broadcast audiences amongst high status populations, by Peter Menneer, Didier Mormessi and Jeremy Nye.
  • Pensioners: their TV viewing and radio listening. March 1989.
  • TV and radio in the lives of ethnic minorities.  November 1988.
  • Broadcasting research audiences and issues.  1991.
  • Towards gobal guidelines for television audience measurement. A series on international TV and radio audience measurement. Edited Peter Menneer 1993-1999.
  • The infrequent listener. Peter Menneer October 1995
  • Trends in TV audiences. Prepared for BBC Television by Peter Menneer. July 1996
  • The Radiometer. Towards a new audience currency.  Peter Menneer. December 2000.

The relevant section heading in the BBC World Service section in the archive can be found here: – click the blue ‘Browse’ button to access the full list of 384 documents.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Why I kept the BBC Research Archives” tab_id=”1590940336670-b20e4841-14a6″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6805″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]By Graham Mytton 

When I left the BBC World Service in 1998 after 16 years in charge of its audience research department, it was at a time when changes in the internal funding system threatened the loss of many documents, files and even radio and TV programmes throughout the BBC. Departments were being made to pay for the storage of their own archives. This could be historic material but in most cases it was recent documents, reports and normal every day office files. Stories in the media about books, tapes, files, sheet music and gramophone records being found in skips outside BBC building were sometimes true albeit exaggerated.

The BBC has a well-run Written Archive Centre at Caversham, Reading, which keeps an extensive collection of BBC material going back to the very start in 1922. But they do not keep everything. Also, in the period between everything-on-paper and almost-everything-digitised, (roughly between 1995 and 2000) quite a lot of material was not archived. It fell down the cracks before a rigorous system was again in place to ensure that important material was not lost.

Why did I keep this audience research material that dates from around 1985 to 1998? It is because I have had an ambition, not yet entirely fulfilled, to write the story of audience research at the BBC World Service. I have written and published some of my research already –  work that was generously funded by the Open University. Robert Silvey, the first director of audience research at the BBC, in his book Who is Listening? wrote that he would not be writing about audience research for the BBC outside the UK but would leave that to someone else who might know more about it. Well, none of my three predecessors in audience research at External Services, renamed World Service in 1988, Asher Lee, Katherine Digby Worsely and Bernard Bumpus, did so although they did keep good records for which I am grateful and their thoughts, plans, arguments and pleas for more funding (and even sometimes their pleas not to be shut down altogether) are well documented.

The documents I have given to the AMSR are mainly but not exclusively, from my period, 1982 to 1998. The period has several important features and events:

  • Management changes under John Tusa (1986 – 1992) led the World Service towards being much more focused on planning and strategy, using evidence from market and audience research.
  • The general and widespread changes in management culture in publicly funded institutions.
  • Rapid and unexpected deregulation of virtually the whole world’s broadcasting systems from c 1990
  • The beginnings of the digital revolution in the early 1990s
  • The massive expansion of global market research in the way of available and competent agencies and the possibility of fieldwork in countries and areas of countries previously closed to any kind of market research.
  • A move from a limited number of measurement surveys in less than a dozen countries a year to a wide-ranging annual programme of 50 or more. And a budget expansion to match this.
  • More cooperation with other international broadcasters, with the BBC in the lead position.
  • A far greater emphasis and reliance on qualitative research among listeners, actual and potential.
  • A general move away from research to defend and protect services we already had, towards research for future strategy.

I shall be adding BBC material as I dig it out. I am also going to add my own research archives. These date from 1967 when I did my first media survey as a post-graduate student in Tanzania, through my period in Zambia doing audience research for the national broadcaster there and finally to the post-BBC period when I have been training people to do media research and running media and development research projects in all continents. I am also including several market research and media research books, four of which I authored or co-authored.

My first ever piece of research was in Tanzania in 1967. Its purpose was to measure media access and use in scattered parts of Tanzania using face-to-face paper and pencil questionnaires. The data were eventually put on punched cards and analysed on a large main frame computer. The whole process took many months. There were really only two media then to measure – radio and the printed press. 53 years later, what will be probably my last ever project, has just been completed (February 2020) in Sudan. It also sought to measure media access and use, and it used face-to-face interviews. The differences over those five decades can be summed up in two headings. Data capture: today everything, after verification and fieldwork checks, goes directly to a computer database.  Media diversity: in addition to radio and the printed press, and of course television (there was a tiny amount in Tanzania in 1967) there are now online media, including social media, blogs, the rest of the internet and mobile telephony, email, SMS and so on, and satellite services providing TV and several other media.  My 1967 questionnaire was two sides of foolscap. The Sudan one was rather longer at more than 40 A4 pages.


Who’s Listening: The Story of BBC Audience Research, Robert Silvey. George Allen & Unwin, 1974.

The BBC and its cultural, social and political framework’ in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television: Special Issue: BBC World Service, 1932 – 2007: Cultural Exchange and Public Diplomacy, Vol 28, No 4, October 2008, pp.569-581

‘Audience research at the BBC World Service 1932-2010’, Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies,Volume 8, Number 1, May 2011.

‘Audience Research at the BBC External Services during the Cold War’,  Graham Mytton,  Journal of Cold War History, Special Edition Volume 11, Number 1, February 2011, pp 49-67.

Graham Mytton was Head of Audience Research at the BBC World Service 1982-1998. Material given to the Market Research Archive is mainly from his BBC audience research period. Also included is some material from both Tanzania and Zambia and also from the period since the BBC when he has continued both to train people in all kinds of media and market research and has run several media research projects.  His most recent have been in Syria, Sudan and Sierra Leone. He has also led media research project, mostly measurement surveys, in Gibraltar, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, East Timor, Nigeria and South Sudan.  He has trained people in audience research methods in countries on all inhabited continents.

Graham published a training manual on audience research in 1993. It has been translated into several other languages.  It is now in its third revised English edition – Media audience research: a guide for professionals, Sage 2016. He also wrote a book drawing on his research in Tanzania and Zambia as well as his experience elsewhere in Africa, Mass communication in Africa, Edward Arnold, 1983. He edited a book on audience research in the BBC World Service Global audience research for worldwide broadcasting, John Libbey 1993. All his books are now in the Archive of Market and Social Research.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Journal of the Market Research Society” tab_id=”1590940338861-a466b7aa-f93e”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6801″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Peter Mouncey who was Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Market Research 2005-2019, wrote a final blog when he retired. We reproduce some of the points he made, together with an account by John Downham of the history of the Journal. 

Digital MRS Journal (scanned) archive  

Until now, the only digitally available access to IJMR content is for post-1991 issues, via Sage Publishing (current publisher of IJMR), WARC ( database) or for academics, the EBSCO database of publications. Access to earlier issues has been limited to print copies, or limited coverage on EBSCO. However, MRS and Sage Publishing have now granted permission to the Archive of Market and Social Research (AMSR) to digitise pre-1991 issues, facilitating access to an archive of journals stretching back to 1959, covering a period of major innovation and rapid development within the market (and social) research sector.

The purpose of this article is to provide readers with an introduction to this section of the AMSR, describing why MRS decided to launch a Journal, how it has evolved over time plus references to a selection of content to demonstrate the range of topics covered over the first 31 years of publication.

Why did the MRS launch a Journal?

The then MRS Council took the decision in 1958 to publish a journal, with at least three issues a year. The rationale behind this decision was described by John Downham, MRS Chairman in 1958, in an article published in IJMR (Volume 50, Number 1) to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the journal. Extracts from this article are reproduced below:

John Downham


After 50 years there will be few members of the present-day MRS who can recall the background to its launch.  

What was the research world like into which it was born?

When the Society was set up in 1946 the 23 founding members represented virtually the entire UK profession, and monthly luncheon meetings were, mostly, sufficient to keep them in touch with research developments in this country. At the time there were no regular UK publications dealing specifically with market research – the industry was still small and resources very limited. There were a number of UK textbooks dealing with statistics and sampling theory, but none dealing in any depth with survey research other than Redmayne and Weeks’ ‘Market research’, published in 1931. No research textbooks of significance were to be published post-war in this country until John Madge’s ‘The tools of social science in 1953, followed by Claus Moser’s ‘Survey methods in social investigation’ in 1958.

In the US there was of course a rapidly growing number of such textbooks and also various regular research publications – for example, the ‘International Journal of Opinion’ and ‘Attitude Research and ‘Public Opinion Quarterly’. Business publications such as the ‘Harvard Business Review’ and the ‘Journal of Marketing’ also contained articles on research topics. UK researchers – especially those working on opinion polling – from time to time published articles in the US journals but, on the whole, the American research world at that time took little interest in what was happening this side of the Atlantic.  

The main UK periodicals to contain articles about market research were those dealing primarily with advertising, media and general marketing issues, but such articles were mostly occasional and usually non-technical. The single most important source of published material on survey research methodology during the years immediately following the war was probably the Government Social Survey. Under Louis Moss this produced a series of high-quality technical papers on random sampling, fieldwork and other research subjects. The Market Research Society itself set up a Publications Committee in 1952, but a plan for this to produce a research textbook was dropped, partly ‘for lack of suitable material’. The Society did however publish a few monographs during the 1950s: on ‘Readership research’ in 1954, ‘Statistical sources for market research’ in 1957, and the papers resulting from its first two Annual Conferences in 1957 and 1958, on ‘Business forecasting’ and ‘Attitude scaling’.

The ’50s

During the 1950s there were growing opportunities for presenting papers at MRS meetings, and also on platforms at educational events such as the Winter Courses (from 1951) and Summer Schools (from 1955), but relatively few such papers enjoyed general circulation. In the early 1950s more important publication channels for such work were in fact the journals of the Royal Statistical Society – primarily for sampling and other statistical papers – and the Association of Incorporated Statisticians. The latter published a number of survey research papers and in 1955 a small volume, ‘Modern sample survey methods’, based on a weekend school it had run. (Somewhat unexpectedly, the field of publications on market research was later widened by the introduction of commercial television in 1955; in particular one of the major TV contractors, Granada, commissioned a series of booklets on a variety of market research subjects ranging far wider than media research).  

As far as major public platforms for speakers on research were concerned, the first MRS Annual Conference was not held until 1957. Before then many UK researchers found that the annual ESOMAR Congresses, which began in 1947, provided one of the most useful forums for presenting papers based on UK research developments, which could then be given more general publicity. For the most part, however, UK researchers had few channels in this country or publishing technical papers in printed form to a wider audience.  

Meanwhile the membership of the MRS was growing exponentially throughout this period: from fewer than 100 in 1950 to over 700 by 1960. UK market research turnover, and the number of research companies, likewise escalated. However, although in 1959 the Society acquired a full-time secretary, based in the offices of a research agency, it did not have a permanent Secretariat with its own offices until 1961. Before that the Society depended almost entirely on voluntary help from its members and support from their companies. Despite the growing needs of the profession, this limited the range of new activities, such as a regular publication, which the MRS could consider undertaking before the later 1950s.  

The second half of the decade was a time of rapid change in the UK research environment. Hand tabulation and punch-cards were beginning to give way to computers. Motivation research started to move in on the more traditional methods of measuring attitudes and understanding behaviour – initially by drawing heavily on the principles of psychoanalysis but quickly adopting a more controlled and experimental approach, exemplified for example in Harry Henry’s classic 1958 book ‘Motivation research: its practice and uses’. More sophisticated approaches to segmentation, the development of modelling techniques, new forms of continuous and panel research, changes in distribution channels – these and other developments were turning market research into a much more complex (and to some extent fragmented) business with differing specialisations and interests. It had become increasingly difficult for researchers generally to keep in touch with what was happening in the different sectors of their profession.  

From the mid-1950s there was therefore considerable discussion about the ways in which the MRS now needed to evolve, and in 1958 the Council determined that the Society’s activities must be firmly focused on professional development and training, the encouragement of technical progress and the dissemination of technical knowledge. Plans were introduced for an examinations structure to underpin membership of the profession, and there was a greatly increased emphasis on the need to improve technical standards generally. 

Against this background it was clear that the UK industry required some regularly published professional journal of its own to help service these changing needs. Until then the only moderately regular publications had been relatively simple newsletters. The available resources – both human and financial – to support such a venture were, however, still restricted. In 1959–60 the Society’s total income was just over £2500, the annual subscriptions being only three guineas (£3.15) for Full Members and two guineas (£2.10) for Associates. (These were raised to five and three guineas respectively in 1960 in order to help finance the new Secretariat.) After two years of discussion, what it was hoped would become the MRS’s flagship journal was therefore launched in the summer of 1959 with a target of just three issues per year, under a title that reflected a perhaps somewhat toe-in-the-water approach: ‘Commentary’. A slim publication of 40 pages, printed in a very economical format, it was initially planned to contain short summaries of talks and papers previously given elsewhere, and two or so meatier original technical papers on research topics. It was provided free to members and priced at 7/6d (less than 40p) to non-members.

A very modest start for what has grown over 50 years into what is today the far more substantial, wide-ranging and professionally produced ‘International Journal of Market Research’.

Two other leading professional bodies in the field of marketing also launched key journals around the same time that continue to compete with the MRS Journal to this day. The American Marketing Association (AMA) launched the Journal of Marketing Research at the start of 1964, and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) launched the Journal of Advertising Research at the start of 1960.

The MRS published the Journal until publishing was transferred to NTC from January 1986. NTC later became WARC, which continued publication until Sage Publications was appointed in late 2017. 

The MRS Journal has had several titles in its life to date. It was launched as Commentary with the sub-title Journal of the Market Research Society’ in the summer of 1959. For 1968, these titles were reversed. From 1969-1974 (January) it was titled Journal of the Market Research Society, J.M.R.S, after which the initials became JMRS. From January 1987 (Vol. it became JMRS, with the sub-title Journal of the Market Research Society until it became the International Journal of Market Research’ (IJMR), from issue 42/1, Winter 1999/2000.


John Downham wrote the introduction to the first issue. Further early Editorials were written by John Davis, Peter Breedon, George Wigglesworth and Bert De Vos, with Andrew McIntosh serving as Editor from Spring 1964 until April 1967. Stephan Buck and Ian Haldane followed on as joint editors from Andrew McIntosh, Ian Haldane being replaced by Peter Bartram for one issue (Volume 16/1, January 1974). James Rothman then joined Stephan Buck, a partnership that lasted for 30 years until the spring of 2004 when Stephan Buck retired and was replaced by Martin Callingham until the end of 2004, when I took over as Editor-in-Chief (from issue Vol. 47 Issue 1, January 2005). Stephan Buck and James Rothman’s role was retitled as Honorary Editors in October 1978 (Vol. 20/4), with Phyllis Vangelder appointed Executive Editor (retitled Managing Editor or Consultant Editor over time). Michael Warren replaced Phyllis Vangelder as Executive Editor from Vol.42/1 to Vol. 43/4.


I have tried to identify special issues, key themes and seminal papers. Whilst many of the authors who submitted content to the journal were thought leaders of their day, either as practitioners or academics, I have also singled out the many contributions over that period from one key author.

Early issues included an eclectic mix of content: papers (2-4 per issue); summaries of market research industry conferences/meetings/keynote speeches and MRS meetings on methodological topics; ad hoc notes (or ‘Communications’); summary of content for recent issues of other journals in relevant fields (before the MRS launched a regular abstracts publication); book reviews; Miscellany (short papers/opinion pieces) and letters. As such, the earlier issues provide more of a snapshot of the market research sector, rather than simply a selection of methodological papers. The journal rapidly evolved into a more formal publication with an increasing focus on papers, with the average of three per issue rising to 5/6. Unsolicited submissions averaged around 30 per year between 1980-2000 (the total for 2019 will be approaching 300). Occasional themed special issues began to appear and selected papers from the annual MRS Conference started to be included, the latter being a feature until the late 1990s. An analysis of submissions for 1980-1990 shows that the largest proportion were ‘UK non-academic’ (43%), followed by ‘USA academic’ (27%) and ‘UK academic’ (18%). The split between academic and non-academic was around 50:50, submissions from the UK averaging around 60%. The overall acceptance rate over this period for unsolicited submissions was 41%.

A few early papers are already within the WARC/Sage databases, as two special issues of JMRS were published in October 1996 (Vol. 38/4) and January 1997 (Vol. 39/1) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the MRS, each one containing fourteen papers from either the Journal, or the main annual MRS Conference, originally published pre-1990, that were considered to provide a seminal contribution to the body of knowledge in the field of market research (‘Milestones in Market Research’). Each paper was preceded by an introduction written by the original author. I have selected some of these in the past as my quarterly IJMR Landmark Papers, republished on the MRS website with an introductory blog ( Other Classic/Landmark Papers can also be found there from IJMR issues published between 1991-early 2000s.

Peter Mouncey’s full blog can be found on . It includes invaluable  lists of  24 special issues  and a selection of  important papers under the headings of ‘Technology and market research’; ‘Miscellaneous papers of historic interest’; ‘Applying methods from other fields’; ‘Media and advertising research’; ‘Key developments in/reviews of methodology’ and ‘Political opinion polling’.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Oxford Humanities Fair” tab_id=”1590940340819-98b3d192-2c13″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6806″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR had a stall at the Oxford Humanities Research Fair for postgraduates, organised by Isobel Holowaty, Bodleian History Librarian, on 27 January 2020.

Phyllis Vangelder and Judith Wardle attended the Fair. They were able to speak to several faculty members of the history department as well as post-graduate students.

Phyllis writes “Our table was well-positioned and we had quite good footfall.  We had plenty of interest from passers-by stopping for chats, asking questions and collecting leaflets, cards and case-histories. It was also worthwhile in the sense that our fellow exhibitors were from the world of archives and we were very pleased to have a presence among them.

We talked to people with varied research interests and collected several email addresses and contacts”.

It is an important aspect of our strategy to reach out to the academic sector and familiarise its members with our free-access archive, so that faculty members, undergraduates and postgraduates will use it regularly as a go-to information source. We hope to extend our relationship with the Bodleian to other university libraries, particularly those relating to social and cultural history and sociology as well as business and marketing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”New Founder Patrons” tab_id=”1590940342961-fa1e12c4-5d1a”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6802″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]John Downham and Liz Nelson have become Founder Patrons of AMSR.

John Downham and Liz Nelson are both members of the triumvirate who decided to create an archive of market and social research. They join a very select group of prestigious Founder Patrons, comprising Geoffrey Roughton and Sir Robert Worcester. They are both recipients of the MRS Gold Medal for their exceptional service to the profession and we have been immensely privileged to have benefited from their vision and experience,

John joined the British Market Research Bureau in 1948 as its first Research Officer responsible for consumer surveys and eventually became Managing Director in 1960. In 1963 he was headhunted by Unilever, where he worked for 23 years developing the company’s research facilities internationally and promoting the effective use of research by marketing departments.

He has published numerous papers on market research and marketing, including co-editing the first three editions of the Consumer Market Research Handbook. Whilst Chairman of the MRS, he was responsible for the launch of the Journal of the Market Research Society.

Liz founded and chaired TNS from 1965 until 1992. Throughout her career, she has held several prominent public positions, including Director of the Princess Alexandra Trust for Carers, Chairman of the Marketing Group of Great Britain, Chairman of the South West London National Health Service Trust, and Vice-Chairman of the Open University. In 1997 Liz was awarded an OBE for services to ecolabelling.

She has a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women Who Make a Difference International Women’s Forum in 2011. Last year the MRS launched the Liz Nelson Award for Social Impact for a project which makes a positive impact on society and demonstrates the power of research outside the commercial sphere.

Both Liz and John have made a tremendous contribution to the Archive, giving us so much guidance and leadership. We are fortunate that they still continue to serve on our committees and advisory panels. We benefit from their wisdom and of course, enjoy their company.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 14 – October 2019

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”chino” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Editorial” tab_id=”1583707749807-6beecde9-0393″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6337″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Phyllis Vangelder muses on the progress of the Archive

Have you noticed the current fashion to have daily quotations at some London underground stations? Following a lunch meeting centred on the Archive, I recently passed through Hammersmith and saw a quotation from Greek literature:  “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in”.

This seems a very fitting analogy for the Archive.  A group of people who believe passionately in preserving the knowledge and learning accumulated in the industry over many decades, are building a treasure trove and laying down a heritage for generations to come.

Most of the people who are on committees, reviewing material, trying to get funding, cataloguing, scanning, indexing and talking to potential users are retirees (though by no means all), and they realise that long after they are no longer involved, the Archive will continue to grow, and be used by researchers, academics, opinion formers – all those in fact with curiosity and an interest in social change.


As some of the following articles show, over the past year we have acquired some very important material:  The Andrew Ehrenberg Collection which South Bank University have kindly donated to us; the CRAM collection, containing Peter Cooper’s books and reports which Simon Patterson has put together and for which he has arranged digitisation, and TGI reports acquired through the efforts of Geoff Wicken.  Moreover, we are now digitising all the early issues of Commentary and the Journal of the Market Research Society.  All issues of JMRS up to 1990 are now online.

We are building a useful collection of opinion poll reports and findings from past years, from the likes of NOP, MORI (courtesy of Sir Robert Worcester), Harris and others. Now we have just added to it a donation from David Cowling of several compilations he has made, with assistance from Nick Moon, of opinion poll results going back over several years, in some cases as far back as the 1970s. These compilations bring together what different polls said about matters of serious public interest at the time: 9/11, the Iraq war, nuclear weapons, the coalition government, the environment, the economy, attitudes to crime and several others – and, of course, Europe. Showing how public opinion on these issues changed over the years, these summaries will, we think, be very helpful to social historians.

These items alone are rich components of a valuable Archive, but we now have 4,491 items in the in our catalogue,  4,012 of which have been scanned. There are 743 books, which we do not scan in full, but record essential details such as title, author, and contents for easy retrieval through HAT or libraries.

We are planting unique sources of information to help in understanding the past, the present and the future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”New Trustees” tab_id=”1583707751269-4551f5bb-24f7″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6351″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are delighted to welcome two new members of the Board of Trustees: Phyllis Macfarlane is the new Chairman of the Contents Committee, succeeding Bryan Bates who ran the Committee so successfully, until ill health forced him to retire; Sue Robson is now Chairman of the Marketing Committee in succession to Adam Phillips, who remains our irreplaceable Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Photo: Phyllis Macfarlane

A Fellow of the MRS, Phyllis is a life-long quantitative researcher, specialising in International B2B market measurement.  She started at MIL/INDAL as an Assistant Statistician, culminating as MD of GfK NOP.

Since stepping down fromp MD of GfK in the UK, she has focussed firstly on Training – becoming GfK’s Global Training officer for a while – and then managed a large educational project in Africa for the GfK Verein (GfK’s Not-for-Profit arm).

All this has segued into an interest in the Development/Aid Sector generally and, realising that many NGO’s would be more effective if only they would do more research, she now works together with ESOMAR Foundation (as Treasurer) and Paragon Partnerships (the Global Market Research Industry’s partnership to support the achievement of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals) on training in MR and promoting the value of research to NGOs.

She is currently Chairman of the MRS, and supports various small charities on a personal basis with MR advice.

Photo: Sue Robson

Also a Fellow of the MRS, Sue is a highly experienced qualitative researcher.  She joined BMRB as a trainee research executive, going on to work at MBL and ending up as Managing Director. She set up The Qualitative Consultancy in 1981 and ran it successfully for 20 years.

Since  ‘retiring’ she has worked unceasingly in a voluntary capacity, as Chairman of the Governors of Notting Hill and Ealing High School,  Chairman and member of Somerville London Group, a networking and fundraising committee for London Alumni of Somerville College, Oxford and not least, Trustee and Committee member of the MRBA until September 2018.

Sue’s expertise and experience will be invaluable in helping AMSR to market its offering.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The CRAM/Peter Cooper Archive Collection” tab_id=”1583707752726-fe3ad834-5f37″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6342″ img_size=”300×400″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Simon Patterson has worked unceasingly to ensure that Peter Cooper’s writings are in the AMSR Archive. He writes here about the CRAM Archive, a unique collection of papers and reports amassed by Cooper Research & Marketing, primarily in the qualitative sector. 

The CRAM/Peter Cooper Archive Collection contains commercial market research reports, the vast majority of which are qualitative, plus papers written by Peter Cooper and his colleagues. It also contains papers from Peter Cooper’s academic days at the University of Manchester in the early 1960s. This includes a study conducted by Peter Cooper and Alan Branthwaite amongst 6,000 children from 12 countries entitled ‘War and Peace’, which used Psychodrawings as its main data source. Online so far we have CRAM Reports from 1970-1972. 1972-1978 (CRAM reports) have been received and will be made available online soon.

Early days

Peter Cooper (1936-2010) was co-founder of Cooper Research & Marketing, later CRAM International, with his wife Jackie French.

Peter studied Clinical Psychology at the University of Manchester where he became a lecturer in the early 1960s. These were transformational times for social sciences and increasingly academic theory was being put into practice. Peter was at the forefront of this movement and, guided by his intellectual rigour as a psychologist, Peter became progressively involved in conducting commercial motivational research. By 1968 Cooper Research & Marketing (CRAM) had opened in Manchester and a new force in understanding the consumer mind was unleashed. These were the early years of qualitative research and the discipline had a new guru.

Understanding the consumer

From its initial inception, CRAM was experimenting with novel, evidence-based ways to understand the consumer. Extended creativity groups (ECGs) were used. Psycho drawings, model-making and in-depth interviews enabled the team of skilled practitioners that Peter surrounded himself with to understand why consumers respond to brands as they do. In due course, social media and the internet would be used to tap into what the consumer was doing and why.

Where traditional market research told you what was happening, Peter and his team were also able to tell you why. Their methods could also predict what to expect. The world of advertising, marketing and branding was changed irrevocably and all the major corporations selling to consumers wanted to know more.

By 1970 Manchester was too small to contain CRAM. A London HQ was established, settling in to 53 St Martin’s Lane, where it remained until Peter’s sudden and untimely death in 2010.

By the mid-1980s, reflecting the increasingly international nature of the work it conducted, the company changed its name to CRAM International.

The CRAM/Peter Cooper Archive Collection is a unique treasure trove of commercial research reports and academic papers that spans the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. With its focus on the consumer, the archive is an extraordinary insight into our contemporary world and its recent past. The Archive has been preserved by Peter’s children, Diana, Helen and Jonathan and myself.

The scanning of the Archive has been supported by AMSR, ESOMAR,  Dr Alan Branthwaite and family, the Cooper family, and QRi Consulting.

Management of the CRAM/Peter Cooper Archive Collection is by QRi Consulting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Ken Baker looks at the Ehrenberg Collection” tab_id=”1583707754196-28053af7-5b0c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6344″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]About a year ago, 20 boxes of Ehrenberg oeuvres arrived at Phyllis Vangelder’s house to be stored in her ‘empty’ garage. (There was insufficient room at the offices of Ipsos MORI, where our ‘engine’ room is situated).  During the year Phyllis and I have worked our way through about 15 boxes (a visit by burglars to Phyllis’ garage gave a sense of urgency to the task, though they did not in fact show any interest in Andrew’s work).  The Pareto rule applied: 80% of the material was of little interest, 20% is a rich and valuable addition to the Archive. We have had to put aside Andrew’s tirades at those who disagreed with or disregarded his theories, at the myriad of editors and publishers who did not appreciate his work and the very detailed letters and notes about seminars, workshops, meetings and costs as well as quite rude and dismissive notes to an eclectic group of correspondents. However, a gem which we haven’t discarded (although we are still wondering how to classify it) is a letter from the late Alistair Cooke (remember ‘Letter from America’) about his viewing preferences.

What we have in the Archive are iconic papers on models and creative, insightful views on marketing and consumer behaviour drawn from Andrew’s experience at Aske Research, which he ran with Gerald Goodhardt and Martin Collins (all three  were to become Professors of Marketing or Consumer Behaviour), The London Business School and South Bank University. They includes not only the innovative work Andrew did personally, but also in collaboration with brilliant colleagues like Gerald Goodhardt, Martin Collins, Paddy Barwise, Michael Bird, John Bound and many others. And, of course, we have the seminal books such as Data Reduction: Repeat Buying: facts, theory and applications and The television audience: patterns of viewing, which Andrew wrote with Gerald Goodhardt and Martin Collins.


More specifically, Andrew and his colleagues paid close attention to two main areas of research: branding and advertising/marketing activity. We now have a plethora of papers on the subject of branding. Particular topics of interest include:

  • Brand image and its relationship to brand usage
  • Changes of attitudes on brand behaviour
  • Brand loyalty and market share
  • Does brand segmentation exist?
  • Private label
  • Double jeopardy (small brands tend to have below average repeat purchase)
  • Dirichlet model: Predictive sales within fmcg markets.

Advertising and marketing 

In terms of advertising/market papers, we have documents covering

  • Measuring consumer price sensitivities
  • Pack size rates of buying
  • Direct versus mass marketing
  • Analyses of advertising effect
  • How we watch TV.

Such investigations led to an initiative by Andrew ‘Justifying our advertising budgets ((JOAB)’.

At the South Bank University, Andrew was an early supporter of work on diversity and we have references to ethnic viewing habits.

About four more boxes remain. 2020 should see the complete Ehrenberg Archive online on the AMSR website, a unique collection of research material from an iconic researcher.

Dipping into the range of topics 

The following papers give some idea of the range of topics covered by Andrew and his fellow luminaries:

  • ‘The liking and viewing of regular TV programmes’. Patrick Barwise and ASC Ehrenberg
  • ‘Decision models and descriptive models in marketing’. ASC Ehrenberg and Gerald Goodhardt
  • ‘The Dirichlet – a comprehensive model of buyer behaviour’. ASC Ehrenberg and Gerald Goodhardt
  • ‘Double Jeopardy revisited’. ASC Ehrenberg, Gerald Goodhardt and TP Barwise
  • ‘Models of buyer behaviour’. ASC Ehrenberg and Gerald Goodhardt
  • ‘Viewers’ willingness to pay’ ASC Ehrenberg and Pam Mills
  • ‘The problem of numeracy’ ASC Ehrenberg
  • ‘Lawlike relationships’ ASC Ehrenberg

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The TGI” tab_id=”1583707755562-67fbb9bb-c2e1″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6345″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Geoff Wicken, who has worked so hard in making TGI accessible to Archive users, writes

Photo: Geoff Wicken

AMSR is very pleased to announce an important addition to the Archive.  Kantar, who own and operate the TGI (Target Group Index) have made a major donation of data from the period 1987 to 2012.

TGI is a continuous survey which has been carried out in Great Britain since 1969. The survey comprises completed self-completion questionnaires from 25,000 adults aged 15-plus per annum. All respondents provide information on their use of all major products, brands and services. Exposure to different media is measured, as well as attitudinal and demographic data.

The data extract from TGI 1987, which runs to over 200 pages, is now uploaded on the Archive website. Five further data sets extracted at 5-yearly intervals up to 2012 will follow. The next to be loaded will be 2012, so users will be able to see what has changed over 25 years. The intervening years will then follow as the extraction and formation into PDF documents proceeds.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Judie Lannon” tab_id=”1583707756987-37ee35f0-46cb”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6346″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are very saddened by the death of Judie Lannon.

She made a tremendous contribution to AMSR, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees, the Marketing Committee and crucially the PR Team. Her immense experience as Director of Research and Planning at JWT, where she played a key part in the development of advertising planning  and subsequently her 17 years as Editor of Market Leader meant her advice was invaluable, to say nothing of her large group of contacts in advertising and qualitative research.

We shall miss her so much, for her charm, wit and wisdom.  Many of us were able to attend the beautiful funeral ceremony at the impressive St Lukes Church in Chelsea on 3 September. Judie’s step-grandson Bluey Durrant gave a very moving eulogy, engaging with all of us who knew her, in describing her wisdom and love of life and people.

Jeremy Bullmore wrote a fitting obituary of Judie in Campaign. Do read it and remember Judie with joy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Journal of the Market Research Society” tab_id=”1583707758405-4702837e-6c41″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6355″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]As we reported in the Editorial, we have been able to borrow early issues from the MRS to enable us to have a full coverage of the Journal online. However, we should like to retain a full set of hard copies in the Archive. We are missing the following copies and would be very grateful if anyone has them and would be willing to donate them to AMSR.

  • Summer and autumn 1959 (issues 1 and 2)
  • Spring 1962 (issue 7)
  • Spring 1963 (issue 10)
  • Winter 1963-64 (issue 12)
  • Special supplement on Media Research March 1964

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Stories from the Archive” tab_id=”1583707759899-b6f96e25-985e”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6354″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The Archive is building up stories which can relate to actual items in the collections. Recent ones to coincide with the return to school include pieces on smacking children, and parents’ choice of schools.

A MORI survey from 2007 among 1,822 parents of children aged under 18 indicated that expressions of parental anger are permissible without interference from the law: 59% agreed that “the law should allow parents to smack their children”, and only 18% agreed “there should be a complete ban on parents hitting their children, even a smack as a punishment”.

These data, held in the AMSR files, were reinforced by a 2012 survey by Angus Reid which showed the balance of opinion has not shifted over time: 63% of Britons still voiced opposition to the idea of banning parents from smacking their children.

In 2005, a MORI ‘Teachers’ Omnibus Survey’ conducted among 477 secondary school teachers in England and Wales for the Sutton Trust found that only 31% agreed that “school choice is a reality for most parents”; only 31% agreed that “school choice has improved school standards”, and only 41% agreed “the current system of admissions to secondary schools operates fairly”.

See the AMSR website for the complete stories: [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Quotes” tab_id=”1583707761366-a7c56bd2-98b1″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6358″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]“Every responsible person in the industry will want to support this … as companies have a responsibility for doing the right thing in preserving our knowledge and craft …” (Vanella Jackson, CEO, Hall and Partners Group Ltd)

“I certainly think the archive is a very worthwhile endeavour.  Indeed, it led me to reflect that that it was perhaps surprising that such an archive had not already been established at one of our universities.” (John Connaughton, CEO, Illuminas London) 

“There’s a benefit in capturing history… I would hope that people in any industry would be interested in how it developed and how it’s changed”. (Ben Skelton, Group CEO,  Quadrangle).

“The Archive is definitely worth doing, and I am sure it would have a huge number of back-stories about how the industry came about and evolved over the years.  The social research is particularly interesting”. (Sue Homeyard, Group Operations Director, Future Thinking).

“Very glad to be a part of this. It is hugely important”. (Simon Chadwick, Former global CEO of NOP World)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 13 – June 2019

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”violet” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Where are we now?” tab_id=”1570390646651-c10b5292-81ec”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5674″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Supported by teams of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, the Archive continues to develop and hone its positioning. At the time of writing almost 4,000 documents have been reviewed, catalogued and scanned and sent to the History of Advertising Trust for storage in archival conditions.

The Archive has several functions.  It is the guardian of the industry’s heritage, preserving the learning and creative insight that has made it so influential in decision-making. It also enables the data we are amassing to be widely and freely available to academics, journalists and the general public as well as to business and government. Additionally it is to be a hub of knowledge in the social and market research sectors, building up links with analogous organisations.

Academic use

As researchers, we are conducting research! Our main initial target for use of the Archive has been identified as academia, specifically historians looking at the social and cultural history of the UK since the 1940s. A team headed by Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing, London Business School and Vice-Chairman of the AMSR Trustee Board, is talking to high level academics, initially at Oxford and Cambridge, to understand their research information needs, and is liaising with the User Experience Committee.

Robin Birn and Judith Wardle are working with Professor Merlin Stone at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, to examine the behaviour and needs of university librarians and business and marketing faculties and students.

We are also delighted that the geodemographics academic sector is recognising the value of our Archive. Alexander Singleton, Professor of Geographic Information Science in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool, has written to colleagues drawing their attention to our geodemographics and census material, collected so assiduously by Barry Leventhal.  Professor Singleton writes:

“I am not sure if you have ever seen (the site) I have just discovered it; it is a really excellent resource if you are interested in the history of geodemographics”.

The recently-formed User Experience Committee is looking at the optimisation of the Archive search program.  The aim is to make the search user-friendly and accordingly the notes on how to get the best out of the Archive have been revised and a subject index is being developed in advance of updating our metadata. If you have any comments about searching for data, please contact:


While we appreciate that not all people working in market research agencies will be the prime users of the Archive, their support is invaluable in recognising its role in increasing the status and awareness of the market and social research sector.

“Other professions have their own archives and regard them as essential to their standing in the world. The contribution of the research industry in searching out material to donate and providing funding is essential to the success of the Archive.”

We realise that the Archive is not sufficiently well-known within and beyond the market and social research sectors and we require professional help for PR and publicity. We are therefore looking for a part-time Publicity Manager. The advertisement for this post is below.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Our thanks to John Downham” tab_id=”1570390647649-32371948-88c9″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6155″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Liz Nelson, Chairman of the Trustee Board, writes:

John Downham, one of the founders of the Archive and its first treasurer, has retired as a Trustee of the Archive.  He will continue, however, to serve on the Finance and Governance Committees.  Thus, his wisdom and guidance remain with the AMSR.

John was an early member of the Market Research Society which he joined in 1952. In 1963 he moved from BMRB to Unilever where he served for 23 years, reporting directly to the Main Board as the Senior Manager in Unilever’s central Marketing Division with responsibility for the effective use of market research by Unilever worldwide.

The AMSR Board would like to thank John for all the vision and support he has provided and look forward to his continued membership of the Finance and Governance Committees.  Thank you, John.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”From Good to Great Qualitative Thinking?” tab_id=”1570390648590-a8d0c387-3cde”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6162″ img_size=”300×400″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Lyn McGregor, Chairman of the AQR, writes

As a young and inexperienced researcher I was delighted when I discovered Wendy Gordon’s book Goodthinking. She has been one of my idols ever since. However, since then the world has changed, as Wendy herself recognised in her later book Mindframes.  Over the years we have developed new lenses to look through, and new ways to understand people, culture and brands. New knowledge from Behavioural Science is but one way that qualitative thinking has changed over recent years. Digital technology has resulted in new behaviours and new research approaches. Perhaps we should see this as a move from ‘Goodthinking to Great Thinking’?

A changing world demands a constant process of renewal. As we embrace new thinking, we should also celebrate core qualitative skills, reinventing our approaches to provide fresh relevance for the future. Developing brand strategy will continue to require intelligent people, who can make sense of a broad range of inputs, and use their empathy to guide those who seek to grow brands.  This is what I mean by great qualitative thinking.

Qualitative documents provide a rich understanding of brand stories across the years and often reveal the ways that people have evolved across different cultures.  As an example, I have had the pleasure to work on research and strategy for the Dove brand across the world since the development of the Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 to the current day.  Women across the world experience different cultural pressures, not to mention the impact of social media on their self confidence.  However, I take some comfort from the number of brands now copying Dove and using ‘real women’ in advertising, rather than the skinny models of the past! This is a clear example of cultural change resulting from brand activity.

The AMSR seeks to create an archive as a resource for anyone interested in understanding the development of society. Qualitative insight helps brands to understand how people are thinking and behaving in the present, and in the hands of the skilled practitioner, often indicates the direction of travel for the culture in the future. This is why we are asking people to donate documents that tell brand stories across the years, and highlight the important role that has been played by great qualitative thinking in understanding our changing culture.

Please contact: if you have any material you can donate.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Then and Now” tab_id=”1570390649530-87f7d16e-aa8c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6157″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Among the most relevant uses of the material in the Archive is that of being able to identify longer-term changes in our national life, by comparing current with historical data.

Geoff Wicken and Peter Bartram are writing regular ‘blogs’ highlighting some of the material that is in the Archive and relating it to current concerns and behaviour. They can be found in the ‘Case Studies’ section on the AMSR website.

Geoff trawls Target Group Index (TGI) for data ranging inter alia from football, eating habits, television and telephones to the impact of sitcoms on behaviour.

Peter looks particularly at Harris Polls 1969-1972. His very eclectic blogs cover subjects as diverse as personal banking, British reservations about Europe, foreign holidays and cheques.

Here are some of the highlights of the archival material:

From the Target Group Index:

  • The Middle-Aged Man in Lycra (MAMIL). TGI shows that the species didn’t exist a generation ago. Furthermore, 50-64 year-old men are much more active nowadays than they used to be. Overall 51% engage in at least one activity, compared with 41% in 1989.
  • The impact of a TV sitcom on consumer behaviour. Examining trends can sometimes show influences from unexpected quarters.  Take the case of ‘The Good Life’, which ran from 1975 to 1978 and had an impact on consumer behaviour. While few followed Tom and Barbara Good in opting out of the rat-race completely in favour of a life of self-sufficiency, there was a major uplift in the numbers of people growing vegetables in their own gardens. This activity almost doubled between 1973 (26% of adults) and 1978 (47%).  After the programme ceased its run, it was a further 10 years before vegetable-growing fell back to its previous level.
  • Tea and teabags. As recently as 1970 over 90% of housewives were using packet tea-leaves. Penetration of the new fangled teabags had just reached 30%. Teabags overhauled the market in 1977.

From the Harris Poll:

  • In the late 1960s and early 1970s, 72% of British adults had never been abroad; by 2014, according to YouGov, this has now fallen to 8% and according to ABTA, as many as 53% have taken a foreign holiday in the last year.
  • The Harris Poll found in 1970-71 that 62% were against British entry to the Common Market.

From the Gallup Poll 1938

  • A question posed in November 1938 asked “Do you think a woman should be barred from any form of employment simply because she is married?” 63% answered ‘no’ and 28% answered ‘yes’.
  • Only 15% claimed to own their home outright, 9% were in the process of buying it and 76% were in lodgings or rented accommodation (now 65% of homes are occupied by the owner whether outright or on a mortgage).
  • 83% of men and 39% of women said they smoked. (Now, according to the Office for National Statistics the figures are 17% for men and 13% for women).

These are extracts from blogs and reports included in the Archive. They shed light on how people’s behaviour and opinions have changed (or not) over the past decades. For full reports and fascinating blogs on trends in behaviour and habits see under ‘Case Studies’ on the AMSR website.

Then and Now in Survey

Did you know the MRS was founded in 1946? In 1986, a special issue of its magazine Survey looked at ‘Then and Now’. Four market research companies replicated surveys that were undertaken soon after World War II.  Gallup looked at changes in opinions and attitudes over the 40 years; The British Market Research Bureau looked again at the contents of the British wardrobe, Research Services repeated surveys on films and confectionery and Mass-Observation again asked housewives questions about the way they spend their day. This issue of Survey, as others, is now preserved in the Archive and available on the website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Recent Additions to the Archive” tab_id=”1570390650655-2ed5169d-7913″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6158″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We continue to be excited by some of the rare and interesting material that is being collected for the Archive:

Britain Speaks Out 1937-87. A social history as seen through the Gallup Data. Robert Wybrow, 1987.

Its chapters cover:

  • 1937-45 The Formative Years
  • 1945-51 Labour’s First Term
  • 1951- 57 The Road to Suez
  • 1957- 64 The Macmillan Administration
  • 1964-70  The Wilson Era
  • 1970-74 The Success and Failure of Mr Heath
  • 1974-79 Labour Returns
  • 1979-87 New Conservative Philosophy

The Sophisticated Poll Watchers’ Guide. George Gallup. Princeton Opinion Press, 1970

A Guide to Public Opinion Polls, Techniques and ‘Poll of Polls’. BBC Broadcasting Research February 1987.

What Britain Thinks. The News Chronicle. A comment on the series of surveys conducted by British Public Opinion published by the News Chronicle, going back to 1938.

Trends in Food Consumption 1996. Taylor Nelson AGB Lifestyle Focus. Part of a series on household food consumption since the mid-80s from the Family Food Panel

Religion in Britain and Northern Ireland. A Survey of Popular Attitudes. Independent TV Authority, 1970

Passenger Travel Market in London Underground and local bus services plus information relating to mainline rail services and private transport.  Market Report, October1966. London Transport Marketing

Summaries of European Court of Justice Cases and Judgements on Commercial Communications’ by Lionel Stanbrook of the Advertising Association, 1999. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Publicity Manager wanted!” tab_id=”1570390651719-d3c5d69f-ebfd”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6161″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Part-time role.

£500 per month

To deliver communication plans to reach key audience groups across research, academic and social history sectors, and relevant media, on behalf of AMSR.

Experience of implementing PR plans with excellent written and verbal communications skills across traditional and digital media.

For a job description and more info contact:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 12 – February 2019

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”chino” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”IPA Event showcases AMSR” tab_id=”1560295219338-1efccb61-9def”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”6004″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]A prestigious event held at the IPA in Belgrave Square on 29 January highlighted the success story of the Archive and its achievements since its inception. In addition to the speeches, attendees were able to see live online demonstrations of the Archive website and search the ever-growing material now available.

Click here for the full coverage of the event.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Archive user interface” tab_id=”1560295223444-31a6b8b3-3cab”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5674″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]An Archive user interface team has been set up. We are very aware that some searches are highly complex and our aim is to make the search experience as straight forward as possible.

If you have any comments about using the Archive, please contact:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Some recent additions to the Archive” tab_id=”1560295228401-3db82d06-a9d4″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5580″ img_size=”300×400″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We continue to be excited by some of the rare and interesting material that is being collected for the Archive:

Report of an investigation on Pear’s Soap Consumer UK by J Walter Thomson 1925

Clothes Rationing Survey. An Interim Report prepared by Mass-Observation for the Advertising Service Guild. In Change No.1 Bulletin of the Advertising Service Guild, August 1941

Pollution and the oil industry and oil users. Taylor Nelson Survey 1973

The structure of entrapment: Dilemmas standing in the way of women managers and strategies to resolve these. An article by Charles Hampden-Turner in The Deeper News, a global business network publication, January 1994

Women: setting new priorities. Whirlpool Foundation Study. A study of Western European women’s views on work, family and society. Survey conducted by MORI, January 1996[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Barry Leventhal writes about 40 years of Geodemographics” tab_id=”1560295231307-efc195f2-3843″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5082″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]March 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the MRS conference presentation that brought geodemographics to the attention of a wide audience of market researchers.  This presentation introduced a new way of analysing and targeting consumers in any market.  So great was the interest in the new approach, that many regard this event as the commercial launch of geodems in the UK.

The 1979 conference paper – lodged in the Archive’s Geodemographics section – accurately prophesied many of the applications of geodems over subsequent decades.

It demonstrated the usefulness to marketers and advertisers of an area classification that had originally been developed in the public sector. A number of classification studies were conducted in the public domain during the 1970s, starting with regional projects and moving onto a national project in 1977.  Papers documenting some of these studies may be found in the Census and Geodemographics collections of the Archive, including those listed below.

The national classification was rapidly acquired by CACI and named ‘Acorn’.  An early Seminar on how to use Acorn took place in 1980 and may be found in the Archive – see
‘Acorn in action: Basic concepts, new services’ in the Geodemographics collection.  Reading the papers from the Seminar, it is fascinating to see that the principles of using geodems have not changed in 40 years – the only differences today are the speed at which results are now delivered and the latest applications, such as targeting online ads, which were undreamt of in 1980!

References – early area classification studies in the Archive:

Batey, P. and Butler, D.  Multivariate Analysis of the 1966 Census, 1972

Bermingham, J., Baker, K. and McDonald, C.  The utility to market research of the classification of residential neighbourhoods, MRS Conference, 1979.

Webber RJ. Liverpool social area study, 1971 Data. Centre for Environmental Studies; London, 1975.

Webber RJ. OPCS/CES Classification of Wards and Parishes in Great Britain,1977.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Give as you Live” tab_id=”1560295234169-d7d98393-e395″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5953″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR is now registered for ‘Give as you live’, an online fundraising platform for charities. The idea is that the charity can raise money through its supporters’ regular online shopping with no extra cost. In exchange for sending traffic to partners’ website to make purchases, they pay a commission, of which 50% is passed to charity.

The site has over 4,100 stores, including Amazon, and they cover shopping travel, utilities etc. You can view the stores at The donation rate depends on the store and can range from 1%-10% of the supporter’s shopping spend.

Supporting AMSR in this way does require an extra step in your online shopping activities. You have to visit the shop/business via the Give as you Live website for your shopping to be tracked and you have to register at Give as you Live and select AMSR as the charity you support. You then search for the store from which you want to shop (e.g. Amazon, M&S etc) If you click ‘Shop & Raise, it will take you to the site where you shop as normal. So next time you are shopping online, please remember AMSR.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 11 – October 2018

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”sandy-brown” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Ben Page and Jeremy Bullmore are new Patrons of the AMSR” tab_id=”1652881203229-158200f3-57c3″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5797″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are delighted that Ben Page and Jeremy Bullmore have agreed to be Patrons of the AMSR

Ben Page is Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI. He joined MORI in 1987 after graduating from Oxford University in 1986 and was one of the leaders of its first management buyout in 2000. A frequent writer and speaker on trends, leadership and performance management, he has directed thousands of surveys examining consumer trends and citizen behaviour.

He has been an immense support to the Archive, donating an ‘engine room’ in Ipsos MORI’s modern offices in Harrow, where the volunteers can sort, catalogue and scan the enormous amount of material AMSR is amassing. As well as enabling Committee members to hold meetings in convivial surroundings, Ben has given them access to his PR team, allowing them to benefit from professional advice and support.

Ben Page says: “In a fast moving world, it is all too easy to lose sight of important data from the relatively recent past that can help illuminate present trends, as well as the history of the research industry. The AMSR helps the industry, academics and journalists with both.”

Jeremy Bullmore CBE is a Member of the WPP Advisory Board. He began his career as a copywriter with J. Walter Thompson London, becoming Creative Director and finally Chairman. He was a non-executive director of both the Guardian Media Group and WPP and was also a long-time columnist for the Guardian, Campaign, Management Today and Market Leader.  He is a past President of The Market Research Society.

Jeremy Bullmore says, “It’s a matter of surprise, if not of shame, that no such archive already existed. For the intelligent historian, educator, journalist or politician, needing to know, in sensitive detail, how we’ve lived our lives for the last 70 years or so, AMSR contains an utterly priceless bounty of evidence”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Sponsors’ and supporters’ event in January 2019″ tab_id=”1652881205763-fbd37693-7fa5″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5674″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We will be holding an early evening event for sponsors and supporters at the IPA on Tuesday 29 January next year. The key speaker will be Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK and a regular columnist in The Spectator.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”How to get the best from the Archive” tab_id=”1652881208232-6c4c3afc-15f6″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5784″ img_size=”300×140″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Have you visited the website lately? It has been completely redesigned and relaunched and we hope you will become familiar with it, check out its fresh content and use it to access information and source material. A guide on ways of searching, navigating and downloading material in the digital Archive, to help users find most easily what they are looking for, is in preparation and will be uploaded to the landing page shortly.

The Archive is growing fast. Among the latest additions are:

  • A comprehensive collection of books and papers belonging to Andrew Ehrenberg from the South Bank University, with detailed data about the NPD theory.
  • Readership Research.  A personal memoir written for the 9th Worldwide Readership Symposium in Florence 1999. This memoir from Harry Henry takes us back to the beginnings of Readership Research in Britain, describing its early development. The concept of ‘recent readership’ which is discussed in the publication, appeared in print for the first in 1947. Harry Henry himself was the author of the term ‘replicated readership’.
  • Papers left by David Collins include a number of qualitative studies from the 1960s and 70s undertaken by The Psychological Research Group, mainly in the transport and hotel industries. One of these sought to capture the feelings of business executives to Concorde and their likelihood of using it, before its first scheduled flight; advantages were set against potential costs, and national pride at this exciting new technology was explored.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Give as you Live” tab_id=”1652881210789-ea1b14d1-3868″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5816″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR is now registered for ‘Give as you live’, an online fundraising platform for charities. The idea is that the charity can raise money through its supporters’ regular online and offline shopping with no extra cost. In exchange for sending traffic to partners’ website to make purchases, they pay a commission, of which 50% is passed to charity.

The site has over 4,100 stores, including Amazon, and they cover shopping travel, utilities etc. You can view the stores at The commission rate depends on the store and can range from 1%-10% of the supporter’s shopping spend.

You can register for online shopping by going to and select Archive of Market and Social Research, using its full name.

Supporting AMSR in this way does require an extra step in your online shopping activities. You have to visit the shop/business via the Give as you Live website for your shopping to be tracked and you have to register at Give as you Live and select AMSR as the charity you support. You then search for the store from which you want to shop e.g. Amazon, M&S etc) If you click ‘Shop & Raise, it will take you to the site where you shop as normal. So next time you are shopping online, please remember AMSR. You can also order a storecard or download a barcode that can be used when you are buying in-store, as opposed to online.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Market Research Abstracts” tab_id=”1652881213284-0377e4b8-944a”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5674″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Market Research Abstracts were launched in the late 1960s by the then Publications Committee of The Market Research Society to ensure that members of the Society were aware of the numerous articles and papers that were published about market and social research, both in UK publications and analogous overseas journals. The Abstracts were compiled twice a year by Phyllis Vangelder and covered articles and papers, each some 100-200 words, in the following areas: survey techniques; statistics, modelling and forecasting; attitude and behaviour research; psychographics; personality and social psychology; communications; advertising and media research; applications of research; industrial market research; market research and  general applications; and new product development.

The Abstracts were derived from the following UK journals and conference proceedings:

Admap; British Journal of Psychology; British Journal of Social Psychology; British Journal of Sociology; Human Relations; International Journal of Advertising; International Journal of Public Opinion Research; Journal of Industrial Economics; Journal of the Market Research Society; Journal of the Operational Society; Journal of the royal Statistical Society; Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics; Proceedings of the Market Research Society Conference; Statistical News.

In addition 16 important journals from the US, Canada and New Zealand, as well as ESOMAR’s Market and Research Today, were regularly used as sources for the Abstracts.

AMSR has an almost* complete collection from the late 1960s, ending with Volume 68, July-December 1997. There were two volumes each year and the scanned collection provides a fascinating overview of learning and commentary during the formative years of the industry.

*We are missing the following volumes and would be very grateful to receive copies of these: 1, 8, 12, 18, 30, 43, 44 and 58.  Please contact either Bryan Bates ( or Phyllis Vangelder ([/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Papers by Liz Nelson and Sir Robert Worcester from the WAPOR Conference” tab_id=”1652881215680-4c3573b9-2955″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5817″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Liz Nelson, Chairman of AMSR Board of Trustees, and Sir Robert Worcester, Founder Patron, presented important papers at the WAPOR Conference in Marrakesh last June. We highlight some of the salient points in their papers. Their powerful messages to an international audience of social and opinion researchers stressed the importance of trust and the relevance of archival collections.

Liz Nelson’s paper ‘Harness the past and present to help predict the future’ was particularly apposite.  She pointed out that WAPOR’s choice of change as the subject for this year’s Annual Conference allowed her to write about the need many researchers have for longitudinal data and archives of attitude and behavioural data.

Social and market researchers’ expertise in predicting change in behaviour and/or attitudes has been very mixed. She argued that predictions could be improved by taking a longer, historical view, and by proving to decision-makers and researchers that it is essential to harness the past and present to improve predictions.

Commercial researchers often have neither time nor inclination to refer to past data. Furthermore, to make matters worse, in the digital age, companies are increasingly destroying their historical data.

Her paper stressed the value of using historical data; to help those who are without archives to set one up; and to encourage owners of historical data to publicise that data and to overcome researchers’ desire or inclination to ‘reinvent the wheel’.

Social change

Exploring Social Change became a major issue in the 1960s: The Monitor by Yankelovich in the States; the International Institute of Social Change, (RISC) followed in the ’70s ; then Eurobarometer and many others.  The professional organisation in the UK, the Market Research Society, celebrated its 70th anniversary last year.   There was, however, no national archive of either social or market research in the UK.

Liz traced the development of the Archive and Liz traced the development of the Archive and used data from Ipsos MORI sexual harassment surveys to show that was not a new issue. Indeed, sexual harassment is a very old one, clouded in the past by prevailing social norms – norms that are now changing dramatically.

Liz also used Archival data to show where prediction has proved correct and very powerful.  There is strong evidence that predictions about generational differences in attitudes and behaviour would lead to huge differences in how to communicate to and how to market to them.  And those predictions have been successfully incorporated into corporate, political party and public service organisation thinking. She cited the successful understanding of differences in millennials (today’s 20s to 35s) and among baby boomers (today’s 55s to 70s).  Past data predicted the present and will predict the future with these generational differences.

Perhaps two of the biggest changes we have seen in recent years relate to decreasing trust in establishments and to increasing dependence on new technology.


All institutions – political parties, governments, local councils, charities, NHS, can build trust by meeting new expectations,  of security above all, but also transparency, dependability, and fulfilment.  She cited a recent optimistic Delphi Report to illustrate the ability of technology to increase public trust: ‘Technology can provide security and protection’.

If technology can make it possible for brands to be open and vulnerable, by sharing more information with customers, surely the same applies to public organisations and government institutions

Whether we are citizens or chief executives, we regularly feel out of control, unable to keep up, or vulnerable to fake news. But we need data; we need to preserve materials from the past to help us become better at predicting the direction and nature of change. And technology can increase trust.  And above all, researchers should realise that successful predictions from trend data must be publicised, must be acknowledged by business and marketing teachers and by all decision makers,

Liz Nelson concluded by stating what she has learned from the Archive. No change over time is as important to decision makers as significant change; researchers need reminders of the past data; populism entails a diminution of trust in established systems – advertisers have the savvy to keep levels of trust high; and crucially, if your office is moving, don’t allow anyone to destroy old records.

As brands become open and allow themselves to be vulnerable by sharing more information, public bodies, media and governments should learn the strength of  transparency,    Over time data collected 10, 20, 30, 60s years can become more valuable. Free access to past data is vital along with preserving present data for the future.

Her concluding anecdote pointed to the human value of archival collections. Recently there was a most wonderful find in the Bodleian Library. The earliest-known book dust wrapper was found in its Bodleian collections. Dating from 1829, it protected a finely-bound gift book entitled Friendship’s Offering.

Click here to download a copy of Liz Nelson’s paper.

Who trusts the pollsters?

The paper by Sir Robert Worcester, co-presented with Roger Mortimore and Mark Gill, underlined the issue of trust, focusing particularly on polls.

In examining how much the public trusts pollsters, they questioned whether trust in pollsters was linked to trust in other groups, and examined the evidence of declining trust, presenting data after poor election predictions and interrogating the nature of distrust.

They tested the following hypotheses:

  • Pollsters are less trusted than they used to be
  • Pollsters are less trusted relative to other professions than they used to be
  • Pollster are less trusted when ‘failed’ election predictions are fresh in the memory
  • Distrust in pollsters is associated with political leanings
  • Distrust in pollsters is associated with readership of particular newspapers (perhaps with an anti-polling editorial slant).

Detailed findings from survey data showed that pollsters are still more widely trusted than distrusted in Britain.  Trust is highest among the groups who are the most knowledgeable or take an interest in politics.

There is currently slightly more distrust of pollsters than usual in Great Britain, but this is not a weakening of existing trust, more an increase of distrust among those who had no opinion. The results indicated that newspaper coverage is probably not an important direct cause and suggest that any political aspect is probably populist vs establishment rather than right vs left.

Click here to download a copy of Sir Robert Worcester, Roger Mortimore and Mark Gill’s paper.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 10 – June 2018

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”violet” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Denise Lievesley is our President” tab_id=”1652881140616-4f503d94-233f”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5760″ img_size=”300×400″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are delighted and very proud that Professor Denise Lievesley CBE has accepted the Trustees’ invitation to be the first President of the Archive of Market and Social Research.

Denise Lievesley took up her role as Principal of Green Templeton College in October 2015. Before going to Oxford, she was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Public Policy and Professor of Social Statistics at King’s College, London.

Formerly she has been Chief Executive of the English Health and Social Care Information Centre, Director of Statistics at UNESCO and Director of the UK Data Archive. While Director of the Data Archive, she was also Professor of Research Methods at the University of Essex. Denise has served as President of the Royal Statistical Society, President of the International Statistical Institute and the International Association for Official Statistics.

She was for many years a member of the MRS’ Technical and Development Committee, responsible for convening and chairing a very important MRS Seminar on Response.

Her research interests relate broadly to the quality and trust in official data, and the use of professionally-collected data for research purposes.

Professor Lievesley’s appointment is a perfect fit, enabling us to have her experience and expertise to support us: her election will undoubtedly bring increased status to AMSR’s standing in the academic and business worlds. We hope too that this will be a synergy, and that Green Templeton College will benefit from the Archive’s collection of social research and history, and data collection methodology, particularly since our Archive will be a portal to other academic and commercial archives.

We hope to include an interview with Professor Lievesley in our next Newsletter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Newly-designed website” tab_id=”1652881143011-0e353193-a585″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5784″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Paul Edwards writes:

We have just introduced a new design for our AMSR website Thanks to the efforts of Kirsty Fuller and Joly Zou working with web designers Onepoint, you will see an exciting new face for the archive.

The new design is fresher, more visual and easier to navigate.  It has an enhanced case study section which provides a showcase for the rich material within the archive.  The front page highlights recently added articles or newly acquired material and so is worth more frequent visits.

There are still details of how to donate, volunteer or sponsor.  And of course, you can still click straight through to the archive itself from any page of the website.

Do take a look and let us know what you think.  Most importantly share the website with your network so the archive can grow more quickly. If you have any problems or comments please send them to The website address is www.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Colin McDonald gives us a glimpse of some of the materials we are amassing” tab_id=”1652881145428-3dae6700-5277″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5765″ img_size=”300×400″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Colin McDonald oversees the cataloguing of the Archive

We are especially pleased to have on file a copy of the Hulton Readership Survey of 1949 – the very first English readership survey, with commentary by Jim Hobson and Harry Henry and designed by Mark Abrams. This copy was presented to us by Ron Carpenter, who years ago rescued it from a skip at a time when the Mirror Group were moving offices. It is an impressive document, mega folio size, and a challenge to photograph, but thanks to the help of MORI’s photography department we have managed it, and it can be read in full on the website.

We have now received over 600 books: these include the libraries of Paul Harris and Martin Collins, who both sadly passed away during 2017, and many contributions from other donors. They contain a very large collection of statistical and methodological books relevant to research, going back to the 1950s.

The Market Research Abstracts were published twice a year from 1963 to 1997 and contain abstracts of papers from a wide range of journals and other sources relevant to research. The Abstracts can be viewed in full on the Archive’s website.

British Public Opinion was published by MORI (Market and Opinion Research International), the company founded by Sir Robert Worcester, from 1979 to 2003. These highly detailed journals contain a mass of information from polls and surveys giving a fascinating insight into the political topics of the time. We are grateful to Sir Robert Worcester for making these journals available to the Archive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Additional scanner” tab_id=”1652881147974-00a427f2-d7d6″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5766″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are immensely grateful to Geoffrey Roughton who oversees the Pulse Train Legacy, for the gift of an additional scanner.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The AMSR Quiz at the 2018 MRS Conference” tab_id=”1652881150343-d773f011-a4c2″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5768″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Peter Bartram writes:

At this year’s MRS Conference the MRS kindly provided a place for the AMSR to display its wares and tell passers-by about its development and current scope.  In addition to a large banner, a laptop providing access to the AMSR website, and various pieces of promotional literature, considerable interest was shown in a simple one-page quiz devised by Geoff Wicken, which contained five research-related questions. The winner was to be offered a bottle of champagne and £100, both donated by a leading AMSR supporter, Kirsty Fuller.

The quiz was completed by 41 conference delegates and, with nobody answering all questions correctly, an interesting picture emerged of their historical misperceptions. Faye Banks of Lloyds Banking Group made only one error, and was revealed to all delegates as the winner by an announcement during the final full session of the conference.

All questions were based on material to be found in the AMSR archive, and looking at the results from the 41:

  • People were asked to say whether they thought overall satisfaction with the NHS, at 63% in 2016, is higher or lower than it was 20 years ago, as measured by the annual British Social Attitudes Survey. Most incorrectly assumed there has been a decline in satisfaction with the NHS, and only 27% guessed that in 1998 it was at exactly the same 63% level as in 2016.
  • It was not very surprising that few could recall the 1983 general election predictions and results which were contained in the MORI British Public Opinion Report at the time. We asked which party’s support was inflated by the (relatively new) telephone polling method. Most seemed to assume a slightly up-market sampling method would inflate the reported Tory support. In fact, it was support for the Liberal/ SDP Alliance which these polls over-inflated, and only 37% correctly recognised this.
  • Early TGI Reports now in the archive reveal that in the 1960s as many as 47% of adults were ‘doing the pools’ and this had decreased to 28% by 1992, their further decline no doubt hastened by the birth of the National Lottery. People were asked in the quiz to say whether the pools still exist or if so, the current percentage using them. Only 39% correctly guessed that 3% use the pools nowadays, and as many as 54% thought they no longer exist.
  • Finally, in the MRS Newsletters of 1983, it was proudly announced that an MRS Member, George Vassilliou, had become Prime Minister of a Mediterranean country. Of the three options offered in the quiz, 27% said it was Greece, 34% that it was Malta, and only 39% correctly recalled it was Cyprus. George had run the successful Middle East Marketing Research Bureau (MEMRB) and older MRS Members were less likely to forget this, having met or seen him at various MRS and ESOMAR Conferences at around that time.

Altogether, this little exercise in collective memories and facts has illustrated the variety of information contained within the AMSR, and has shown that it can correct many misperceptions of the marketing and social realities of life in the UK. Any current researcher keen to show knowledge of developing markets and social environments will do well to use it, the better to inform their future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”AMSR Structure” tab_id=”1652881152820-e96d8727-a47f”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5767″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR now has a firm structure, as required by the Charities Commission.


Trustee Board

Chairman: Dr  Liz Nelson OBE
Secretary:  Ian Brace
Peter Bartram
Bryan Bates
John Downham
Jane Frost
Raz Khan
Judie Lannon
Simon Patterson
Adam Phillips
Phyllis Vangelder 

Executive Committee

Chairman:  Adam Phillips
Vice Chairman: Peter Bartram
Treasurer:  Raz Khan
Ian Brace
Bryan Bates
Phyllis Vangelder

Administrator: Gill Wareing

Other busy committees cover Marketing, Contents, Governance and Finance.

We wish to ensure that every sector of market and social research is included in the Archive. We have teams of Special Advisors covering Social Research, Qualitative Research and other specialist areas. Please get in touch with Bryan Bates, Chairman of the Contents Committee if you can help us in searching for relevant material in specific sectors e.g. central and local government research, children’s research, retail, travel, finance, motoring etc.

AMSR is supported by an extremely efficient and hardworking volunteer team of cataloguers and scanners headed by Sue Nosworthy, Pam Walker and John Kelly. They are always in need of additional help, so if you have a few hours a month to spend in very convivial company, please contact one of the above. You will be made very welcome in the ‘engine room’ kindly donated by Ipsos MORI in Harrow. (It is very easily accessible, just opposite Harrow-on-the Hill Station on the Metropolitan  line and the central Harrow Bus Station).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 9 – January 2018

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What’s in this issue:

Over the last few months, we have received a gratifying number of additions to the Archive and the mammoth task of reviewing, scanning, cataloguing and putting their data on our online system is in full swing.

In addition to summary reports, which are already in the Archive, we are getting all historic records of TGI. We have also received, inter alia, more precious books from the Paul Harris Collection and material from the late Martin Collins.

We have been offered the MORI Archive and have begun reviewing and scanning this – a huge task as they have some 32,000 files stored at their warehouse in Northampton. As a pilot project, we are reviewing 47 boxes. Bryan Bates, Chairman of the Contents Committee, has written an article about the mammoth but interesting task.

We also have an article from Barry Leventhal who has worked unstintedly on reviewing and sorting Census and Geodemographics material.

Raz Khan brings us up-to date with news on the online Archive. It is still in a Beta state, but we hope you will experiment with it and let us have feedback about its use.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The online archive” tab_id=”1652880924443-53fb4ff6-f16c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5066″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Raz Khan writes:

It’s very interesting how important nomenclature can be, especially when you move into an area outside of your personal expertise. When we first started looking for a system to house our archive, our searches kept presenting us with document management systems, which are aimed at companies who digitise all their paperwork, and happen to be extremely expensive.

It was only when we stumbled across library management in an alternative search that we discovered a whole new world, and of course, like any discovery, it seemed so obvious in retrospect. There are many individuals and organisations holding small specialist archives who want to make them available to the wider world via the internet. After some investigation of the field we settled on a product called ContentDM from OCLC, the Online Computer Library Centre. It offers an excellent starting point for our archive and is very competitively priced.

The online archive complements our physical archive of materials held at The History of Advertising Trust (HAT) in Norfolk. Interested people can visit HAT to see the original documents and enjoy the feel and smell of old (and not so old) paper. However the online archive can help users understand what we have and identify documents of interest. In many cases we have the complete documents scanned but for copyrighted items such as books and some journals we are only permitted to scan the cover and contents pages. In such cases the originals can be studied at HAT.

Thanks to our brilliant team of scanners we now have a large number of documents online. These include MORI’s British Public Opinion, a fascinating record of political polling, and the key MRS publications: Survey, The MRS Newsletter and Research Magazine.

The documents are scanned for text as part of the publication process so you can search the archive and it will present items that contain your search. While it might seem frivolous you can search for yourself and see the articles you may have had published, the job changes you made and the adverts in which you were mentioned. It can provide a fascinating timeline.

However the archive will more likely be of benefit to those looking to investigate the development of techniques (read Barry Leventhal’s article on the Geodemographics section to see how this now widely accepted technique was quite controversial at the time) or those who want to understand how the industry developed. I doubt anyone in the 1950s anticipated the global players that now exist, or the broader footprint that insight now encompasses.

So please feel free to look at our online archive and see how far it has come; it will continue to grow as we collect material in the months and years to come. And of course please send us your feedback to help us improve what we’re offering.

The archive can be seen at

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Bryan Bates, Chairman of the Contents Committee writes:

While a significant number of leading research suppliers have already destroyed their own back history, there are still many which hold copies of research studies going back a number of years. One of the objects of the AMSR is to retrieve documents like these, store them safely for future generations and make them accessible for study now by anyone with an interest in the development of research since the mid-1950s or even earlier.

Many such projects were conducted on a one-off basis, but some have been repeated or set up to run on a continuous basis. In most cases these reports are languishing in cellars and store cupboards to which few people have access. Indeed, it is often the case that the companies owning these documents may not even themselves know exactly what they hold.

One such data owner which has now donated a great deal of information to our Archive is Ipsos MORI. We have been granted access to the MORI data store which covers a vast range of research studies and we have permission to reproduce a selection of these and make them available on our website. There are some 32,000 items for us to consider and it will take quite some time for us to sift through all of them to select those which seem likely to be of general interest. We have made a start on reproducing them, and before long we shall be adding the ones we have selected to our website. Archive users will thus be able to access many reports which until now have been locked away from view.

MORI is not the only company co-operating with us in this way and we shall be adding selected data from many other organisations in the future. So, anyone willing to contribute data in this way is encouraged to contact us so that we can discuss the options.

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Barry Leventhal writes:

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the MRS conference presentation that brought geodemographics to the attention of a wide audience of market researchers.  Therefore it is appropriate that the Archive includes a section for materials documenting geodemographic developments, products and solutions which should be of great interest to many current researchers.

A number of early papers are on their way into the Archive – this update identifies some of those from the early days, going back to projects from the 1970s that underpinned the development of area classifications.

In the UK, much of this work was being carried out in the 1970s by Richard Webber, while at the Centre for Environmental Studies (CES).  Webber’s projects progressed from regional studies to national studies and from large area to small area classifications.

For example, an early regional project was the Liverpool Social Area Study (1975) which is being included in the Archive.

A couple of years later, this was followed by the first national classifications, which were joint projects between the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) and CES.

A series of national classifications were produced at different levels of geography, and the Archive will include example results for the segmentation of wards and parishes, based on 40 variables from the 1971 Census.  These clusters were then amalgamated to form seven ‘families’ – the Archive document demonstrates their performance and maps their occurrence in different parts of the country.

This classification was the forerunner of ACORN; its utility to market research was examined by Ken Baker, John Bermingham and Colin McDonald in their 1979 MRS Conference paper. They identified the enormous potential of the technique as a market research tool, and so this moment is generally regarded as the launch of the geodemographics industry.

However, the classification did not go unchallenged – in 1980, Stan Openshaw and colleagues published a critique of the national classifications, pointing out that the results were highly dependent upon the methods used and decisions taken during the classification process.

Richard Webber very swiftly wrote a response to this critique; both the critique and the response are being included in the Archive.

The new classification was acquired by CACI and rebranded ACORN – the Archive will include CACI reports and documentation from the early 80s.

The mid-80s was a period of great activity in the industry amongst the commercial companies which exploited the new technique.  The academics responded with their own classification in 1985, launching SuperProfiles – their paper, to be found in the Archive, describes it as ‘A poor man’s ACORN’.

And so the geodemographics industry, which will be 40 years old next year, was born – key steps in its conception will be found in the Archive.

References to papers in the Archive:

Webber RJ. Liverpool social area study, 1971 Data. Centre for Environmental Studies; London: 1975. PRAG Technical Paper 14.

Webber RJ. OPCS/CES Classification of Wards and Parishes in Great Britain, 1977.

Webber RJ. Parliamentary constituencies : a socio-economic classification.

Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, 1978.

Occasional paper – Office of Population Censuses and Surveys ; 13.

Openshaw S, Cullingford D, Gillard A. A critique of the national classifications of OPCS/PRAG. Town Planning Review. 1980;51 (4):421.

Webber RJ. A response to the critique of the national classifications of OPCS/PRAG. The Town Planning Review. 1980;51 (4):440–50.

Charlton ME, Openshaw S, Wymer C. Some new classifications of census enumeration districts in Britain: A poor man’s ACORN. Journal of Economic and Social Measurement. 1985;13:69–96.

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Robin Birn writes:

Positioning AMSR

Progress has been made with the research the Executive Committee requested to understand the best ways to position AMSR and help implement its development strategy.  The research has been carried out with commercial and social research companies, research commissioners, academics working in marketing and research, media users of research findings and charities that support social research or might support a research archive.

The research has confirmed that the concept of an archive such as the AMSR is thought to be what the market research industry should have.  Research companies acknowledge that the content could be useful for their executives in their companies for proposal and report writing, helping to demonstrate their command of relevant techniques and markets.

But the research has also found that academics are the most enthusiastic: they talk about it as their ‘raw material’, which currently cannot be accessed via libraries and online subscription services.  Academics expect the Archive to be helpful for suggesting themes for PhD theses, project work and even to develop new educational programmes as demand increases for Business Courses, apart from inspiring their own books and papers.

Further research will be carried out as the AMSR Executive Committee develops and refines its strategy and more audiences are evaluated as opportunities for the Archive – new findings will be reported in future Newsletters.

Some of the things Senior Lecturers at Southampton and Birkbeck Universities said:

“It’s the idea of the social history of Britain sitting in one place, not just of opinions themselves but also the art and craft of understanding opinion, particularly in the light of the current focus on opinion polls”.

“The idea of an archive is a good one, given that that a meaningful record of the industry is almost completely absent from the business archives. Also, as the industry has been such a touchpoint for so many key aspects of social and commercial life in the UK I would imagine that there are some interesting stories to tell”.

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Geoff Wicken is producing fascinating data from TGI which highlight attitudes about current concerns. Long-term trend analysis ot TGI data, including the data held by AMSR, lets us see how consumer behaviour has evolved and how it will continue to do so.

Sexual Harassment

Inappropriate behaviour in some high-profile environments is headline news today, but it has long been a matter of concern.  25 years ago in 1992, the vast majority of the public had a clear view about what constituted sexual harassment. There was little disagreement about what was problematic, even though in those days, it was tolerated.  Close to 90% of both female and male workers considered both sexual innuendos and inappropriate physical contact to be sexual harassment.

The survey was conducted by MORI in September 1992 for the General Municpal Boilermakers’ Union (GMB) as part of its campaign to raise the level of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace.


Generational differences are sometimes considered one of the fault lines in Britain today. The the predicament of Millennials is much discussed as a societal and political challenge.

Examination of research data from TGI confirms that the position of today’s 20-34 year-olds is indeed worse in important ways than that of their equivalents of 30 years ago.  Furthermore it allows us to understand the scale of the challenge in informed and comparative terms.

Today just 36% of Millennials (defined as being aged 20-34) own their own home – be it outright or with a mortgage.  In 1987 fully 64% of 20-34s did.  Increases in the costs of purchasing property have had the very significant effect that 55% are renting their homes compared with 33% of 20-34s in 1987.


More details of these surveys are on our website,

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As more and more people from the industry become involved with AMSR, we realise a community is growing: we are taking immense pleasure in renewing our friendships with previous colleagues. We have a wonderful team of scanners and cataloguers, spearheaded by Sue Nosworthy. But we will always welcome those wish to join the volunteer teams. On the Contents Committee we should particularly like to hear from specialists in specific product or service areas who would like to collect and review material on, for instance, travel, product testing, motoring, finance. Contact: Bryan Bates (; Phyllis Vangelder (, or Sue Nosworthy (

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Here are some of the good things people are already saying about the AMSR:

“The birth of AMSR should be greeted not just with polite enthusiasm, but with something approaching joy. It will inform, delight, inspire and illumine all those who are intelligent enough to use it”. (Jeremy Bullmore, non-Executive Director WPP and Past President of The Market Research Society)

“By showing what has gone before, an archive can help us avoid wasting time on reinventing techniques that have been used before. It allows us to build on our predecessors’ experience – to see what worked, and equally importantly, what didn’t!

Also, by holding data on many markets over time, we can see how those markets developed – which brands survived, and which didn’t – and importantly why.” (Dame Dianne Thompson, former CEO of Camelot Group and past President of the MRS)

“I’m sure there must be a business opportunity for brand agencies or consultants or researchers to routinely explore the AMSR archive on behalf of their clients – unless, of course, the clients are smart enough to do it themselves ….” (Paul Feldwick, leading author and consultant on brands, advertising and corporate strategy)

An archive of market research offers us, in principle, insights into all aspects of human life – what people ate, what they wore, the way they talked, the ways they amused themselves, travelled, communicated, lived, loved and died”. (Paul Feldwick)

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Newsletter 8 – October 2017

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The archive is ready to go live

After two years of unstinting effort by its many supporters, the Archive is at last becoming a solid reality, with an impressive range of research material accessible to all. Over recent months, this has been made possible by a flow of volunteers, reviewing, scanning and cataloguing the wealth of material coming into the dedicated room so generously provided by Ipsos MORI at their offices in Harrow.

 The AMSR Core Collection

By the end of October we expect to have the basic ‘crown jewels’ of market and social research material safely housed with the History of Advertising Trust (HAT) under controlled conditions, and visible on the internet. This includes:

  • almost complete sets of the Newsletter and Research Magazine (there are still some missing, see below),
  • complete sets of Commentary, the Journal of The Market Research Society, and Market Research Development Fund publications,
  • Survey Magazine, the Interviewer Newssheet and a complete set of the Market Research Abstracts.
    In addition, we have invaluable collections such as:

from Marie Alexander, mostly on social survey methods,
from Paul Harris, on statistics (see Ken Baker’s article below),
from Gerald Goodhardt, covering the seminal work he and Andrew Ehrenberg conducted at Aske Research and the South Bank University.
in the qualitative sector we are promised the Mary and John Goodyear Collection and Peter Cooper’s vast amount of CRAM material.

Target Group Index material

We also hold the ‘25th Anniversary of TGI’ trend reports that were published in 1993, which include top-line year-by-year category data from 1969 to 1993. Links to complete TGI data are being explored. Meanwhile Geoff Wicken whets our appetite below with data from a 2017 TGI survey on football watching behaviour.

The Abstracts

The Abstracts cover every article and paper dating back from the ’60s on the following: survey techniques; statistics, models and forecasting; attitude and behaviour research; psychographics, personality and social psychology; communications, advertising and media research; applications of research; industrial market research; market research and general applications and new product development.

Continuous Media Audience Surveys

We are building links to industry continuous measurement surveys including:

  • TGI; BARB (previously JICTAR); RAJAR. (Radio Joint Audience Research), BBC Audience Research; BARB (previously JICTAR);
  • JICNARS (Joint Industry Committee for National Readership Surveys) is now defunct, but PAMCo (Publishers Audience Measurement Company) took over from the NRS in January 2016 and will start publishing data as AMP in 2018. We shall thereby have links to the all-important NRS back data.

Geodemographic and Census Data

We have now signed a contract with Content DM, whereby all our data will be online and searchable. Where possible, we will scan it before it goes to HAT. With the help of Barry Leventhal we are amassing a great deal of geodemographic and census material, much of which is already digitised, and this will be searchable on the system.


In the case of books we are scanning the title and contents pages before they go to HAT and already have hundreds of books on social and market research. They include classics such as Stanley Payne’s The art of asking questions first published in 1951 by Princeton University Press and Why do buses come in threes? The hidden mathematics of everyday life by Bob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham, with its intriguing chapters on e.g. ‘How many people watch Coronation Street? From potato crisps to snooker balls, from card tricks to insurance, from code-breaking to bus-waiting everything on this book reminds us of the importance of mathematics. It is indicative of the full range of the Archive, which covers the whole gamut of life collected and interpreted by professional researchers.

Who is it for?

This preliminary listing is just like dipping a toe in the water to illustrate the richness of material that is becoming available in this unique archive, which will be available to everyone including research practitioners, academic staff and students, journalists, and even the general public.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Volunteers” tab_id=”1652879832910-bea42a65-7e21″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5236″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

The archive could not happen without our army of dedicated volunteers. We are immensely grateful to Sue Nosworthy who organises the wonderful teams of people who go regularly to Harrow to scan the vast amount material stacked in boxes and on marked shelves: Pam Walker; Christine Eborall; Sheila Robinson; Paddy Costigan; Mike Fernie, Kay Garmeson; and Ed Newton.

Led by Bryan Bates, the experienced Content Review Team consisting of Ken Baker, Peter Bartram, Colin McDonald, Jim Rothman and Phyllis Vangelder, has the often difficult task of deciding what goes into the Archive and what does not. Everyone does some cataloguing (always referring to Colin McDonald who has masterminded our system of coding the diverse material).  Felicity Fitzgerald is also helping with cataloguing, and increasingly many of the scanners are doing this too.

More Volunteers Still Needed

We would welcome more volunteers with open arms. AMSR now has daily access to the room at Ipsos MORI during office hours and people are welcome to come regularly or at ad hoc intervals. After a brief training session, the work is straightforward, and they usually work in teams of two or three and break for convivial lunches at a nearby pub or coffee house. The work is not intellectually demanding, but it is satisfying and fun to work with like-minded colleagues on such a worthwhile project. If you would like to join in this, please do contact us via our website.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Ken Baker looks at The Harris Collection” tab_id=”1652879835222-a4345903-f75c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5586″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]The Archive has been delighted to receive some 100 learned tomes and a large collection of seminal papers and journals from that wonderful teacher of statistical matters in research, Paul Harris. These are of undying value to anyone concerned to know how MR Statistics should be taught or learned. The size of the collection has put most of his fellow ‘stattos’ to shame, but not to worry too much, — not all of Paul’s exhibits have thumb marks on them!

Contained within the collection is that excellent introductory volume of thoughts on sampling and statistics by Hague and Harris. It is essential reading for all researchers new to, or only lightly acquainted with, the range of sampling techniques, distributions and appropriate significance tests available to the researcher. I am sure readers will be overjoyed to find that this volume is also available in Russian and Swedish, such is the ‘global’ impact of this work. The Collection spans virtually the whole range of tools available for the analysis of data, covering experimental design, a variety of multivariate analysis techniques, an evaluation of various methods of attitude scaling, and papers on individual research sectors e.g. readership research.

All this and Turing too

Perhaps the hidden jewel in the collection is a paper written in the late ’40s by one L. Fox entitled ‘Practical methods for solutions to linear equations’. This somewhat daunting title relates to matrix algebra, the underlying maths behind factor and principal component analysis often used to make sense of and summarise attitude batteries. To our delight we found the paper referred to the work of a certain gentleman named Alan Turing. To help him understand the Turing methodology, Paul attached some handwritten notes in which he is trying to solve some complex mathematical problem using Turing method. Needless to say, nobody has tried to check Paul’s calculations, but we assume Paul cracked the problem – he usually did, bless him.

Thank you so much Paul.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The Marketing Society awards Judie Lannon an Honorary Fellowship” tab_id=”1652879837596-5d71b69e-ec81″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5590″ img_size=”300×150″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]One of our AMSR trustees has recently been honoured by the Marketing Society. Judie Lannon, the founding editor of Market Leader, is now an Honorary Fellow of the Marketing Society. This is announced in Issue 4 of the journal October 2017. We are very grateful that, when she was interviewed for the Journal, she gave our archive a plug. “I’m a trustee of the Archive of Market and Social Research and we’re trying to archive all this wonderful research from the past, from consumer studies to opinion polls, and qualitative research from Peter Cooper’s archive. This ground-breaking work needs to be saved and people will find it has utility”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”A TGI ‘nugget’ on football behaviour” tab_id=”1652879839886-39120e55-9ae6″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5592″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Geoff Wicken writes:

Since 1992, football watchers have now become a better reflection of society

25 years on from the establishment of the Premier League and Sky Sports’ live coverage, we’ve seen huge changes to the game at the elite level in particular, driven by revenues flowing in from TV rights.  The sport’s authorities will be happy that interest in the game has grown over this time, and both TV viewers and match-goers have become more representative of the population at large.  More women are following the sport, and older adults are more engaged.  But in parallel with this modernisation some things seem to have disappeared – does anyone still do the football pools?

Numbers watching on TV

The TGI research survey for 2017 reports 19.4 million adults (defined as aged 15 and over) as saying they watch football on TV, up from 14.6 million in 1992.  That may not be a surprise given the volume of football broadcast, but 60% of this growth has comes from women, the number of whom expressing their interest has almost doubled to 6.6 million.  While that doesn’t make for an even gender split, the female audience is now a third of the total rather than a quarter.

Armchair Viewing Profiles

The ageing of the population is also seen in the TV football audience: over 45s now represent 55% of viewers, up from 46% in 1992.   But the converse is the decline in viewing by 15-24 year-olds.  They’re now only 12% of viewers, compared to 19% back in 1992.  A combination of factors that didn’t exist back then is probably at play here: social media didn’t exist, and gaming was in its infancy.  Some are substituting the virtual for the real thing: 15-24s are the biggest players of ‘FIFA’.

Attendance at Matches

Similar demographic shifts have occurred among those going to games: there are more women, more over 45s and fewer 15-24s.  In all, 5.8 million say they have paid to watch a football match during the last 12 months – slightly up from 5.6 million in 1992.  All this increase has come from more women attending: back then, 900,000 reported doing so and now it’s 1.1 million.  That’s still a small proportion – not even 20% of the total – but it is at least a move in a healthy direction.

15-24s are still most likely to have the attendance habit, but from being 30% of match-goers 25 years ago they are now only 19%.  The big growth has been among over 45s, who now make up 44% of paying customers, compared to 28% in 1992.  They may be better able to afford admission prices than younger fans, and probably find stadiums more welcoming nowadays.  Of course, many of today’s over 45s were in their twenties or thirties in 1992 and may have stuck with the game over the years.

Social Grade Profile

Within football grounds, more adults from the AB social grades than DEs are found now.  Some of this change is due to the direction in which the overall population has moved.  ABs now make up 27% of the population and 32% of match-goers; in 1992 they were 18% of both.  For them, just as for the over 45s, greater affluence and a better match experience is a winning combination.

Football Flutters

The football pools are a much smaller part of the football world than they once were.  In the late 1960s, TGI reported 19 million people as ‘doing the pools’: that was 47% of the adult population.  This had fallen to 13 million or 28% by 1992, and now stands at just 1.6 million or 3%.  The National Lottery has largely replaced it as a weekly flutter of course, and almost 6 million now bet specifically on football.  Watford’s half-back from the 1930s, Arthur Woodward, benefitted from a pools’ win in later life and was able to live comfortably from the proceeds.  Such stories are now associated with the EuroMillions.

All in all, the increased interest levels among women and the greater engagement of older adults are positive indicators for football as a sport.  Conversely lower social groups have been drifting away, and the football authorities might do well to think about ways of maintaining the interest of younger adults.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Missing newsletters and Research Magazines – can you help?” tab_id=”1652879842207-06474c5b-2fa0″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5594″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are still missing the following early issues of the Newsletter and its successor publication, the Research Magazine.  Please check you cupboards and attics!

1966 April, May
1967 May, June, July, August, October, November, December
1968 January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1969 January, May, June, July, September, November, December
1971 July
1972 September
1974 July, August, December
1976 April
1977 April
1991 May, September, October, November, December
1992 June, October
1993 December
1995 February, July, September, October, December
1996 February, May, August, December
1997 July, September

If you have any of these issues, please do contact …

Phyllis Vangelder (

or Peter Bartram ([/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”AMSR management team” tab_id=”1652879844523-3b6dee5d-8065″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5596″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Because AMSR is a charity, it is run on strictly structured lines with Adam Phillips as Chairman of the Executive, Liz Nelson as Chairman of the Trustee Board, Ian Brace as Secretary and Raz Khan as Treasurer (and IT guru). There are Committees for Marketing, Finance, Governance and Content and we now have a part-time Administrator Gill Wareing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Notably quotable” tab_id=”1652879846938-384df7aa-6bce”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5330″ img_size=”300×240″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Why academics are so enthusiastic about the archive:

“I can take almost any data set and turn it into a story”

Extract from one of Judith Wardle’s interviews with academics about the archive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 7 – June 2017

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”purple” spacing=”2″ active_section=”56″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Sir Robert Worcester and Geoffrey Roughton to be Founding Gold Patrons” tab_id=”1525446379084-109805c6-1443″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5618″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR has identified various supporter categories and Patrons are very special individuals or organisations who have made outstanding contributions to AMSR, either financially or in other practical ways. We are very proud that Sir Robert Worcester and Geoffrey Roughton have agreed to become our first Founding Gold Patrons.

To any audience of market and social researchers, Bob Worcester needs no introduction. He is also a well-known public figure in British public opinion research and political circles.  He is renowned as an authoritative media commentator, especially about voting intentions in British and American elections.

He founded MORI, then a joint venture of ORC (Opinion Research Corporation) in 1969, becoming the joint owner four years later. Following the sale of MORI to the French research company Ipsos in October 2005, he became Chairman of Ipsos Public Affairs Research Advisory Board and an International Director of the Ipsos Group. Subsequently, in 2007 he became Senior Advisor to Ipsos MORI.

Sir Robert was appointed KBE in 2005 in recognition of ‘outstanding services rendered to political, social and economic research and for contribution to government policy and programmes’.

He has made an outstanding contribution to academic and public life. He was Chancellor of the University of Kent 2007-2014, is an Emeritus Governor of the LSE and Visiting Professor in the Government Department and is also Visiting Professor in the Institute of Contemporary British History at King’s College London and Honorary Professor in the Department of Political and International Studies at Warwick University. Sir Robert is an Honorary Fellow of the LSE and King’s College London and holds six honorary degrees and the Distinguished Graduate Award of the University of Kansas.

He became a Patron of The Market Research Society in 2012.

Among his many public offices he is Deputy Chairman and Trustee of the Magna Carta Trust and chaired the Magna Carta 2015 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee.

He is closely involved in the county of Kent. He and his wife Margaret live at the 13th century Allington Castle on the River Medway in Kent, and he is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Kent.

We are very grateful for the support Sir Robert has given to the Archive, not only financially, but by donating a complete set of British Public Opinion and other valuable archive material. we look forward to his continuing involvement in the work of the Archive.

Geoffrey Roughton was one of the ‘three wise’ people who conceived the Archive, before its current position as an active and vibrant charity. John Downham, Liz Nelson and Geoffrey laid the foundations of AMSR – they were the ‘grandparents’ of the idea  and we are delighted that Geoffrey now becomes comes one of our distinguished Founding Gold Patrons.

Geoffrey’s career in market research began in 1955 with Television Audience Measurement Ltd which started the first metered TV audience measurement service in Europe. He went on to found MAS Research Ltd in 957 (later absorbed into TNS). He was MAS’s Director in charge of The Londoner, which was the first major survey in Britain (and Europe) to be analysed on a computer and then MAS became the first market research company to have its own computer (an IBM 1130) on its own premises. After selling MAS he joined Alan Hendrickson in Pulse Train Ltd in 1986. He went on to become Chairman and CEO of Pulse Train Ltd in 1998 before being joined by Pat Molloy and going on to merge Pulse Train with Confirmit AS in 2007. He is now embarking on a third career as Chief Executive Officer of X-MR.

Geoffrey believes strongly that we have a debt to the next generation of researchers to make them aware of where they are coming from. He says, “We make history by what we do; we pass it to future generations by recording it and making those records readily available…not just for researchers, but society as a whole”.

In addition to his generous financial contribution to the Archive, Geoffrey is responsible for the scanning system given to AMSR by the former shareholders of Pulse Train Ltd in memory of Alan Hendrickson. The material, now being scanned by volunteers before it goes to the HAT, is the bedrock of our Archive collection.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Putting our archive online” tab_id=”1525446379378-3679ba94-1c4c”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4710″ img_size=”300×150″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]AMSR has been looking for a system to store its content online so that it can be assessed by interested parties. It has now contracted to go with ContentDM provide by OCLC (The Online Computer Library Centre) which is a US ‘not-for-profit organisation ‘dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing information costs’. The basic principle of the system is to organise our archive into collections. As we have already begun to do this, by having specialist teams within content e.g. geodemographics, qualitative etc. This should not be a problem. Colin McDonald is leading the planning of metadata tags for each collection.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Your opinion counts!” tab_id=”1525446379654-e9f32f5f-e4c0″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5624″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

We are very keen for you to provide us with your opinions on the progress, content and usefulness of the archive.  Your opportunity to do this lies in the short questionnaire quickly accessed via this link:  (which incidentally is mobile and tablet compatible).

Researchers are notoriously reluctant to respond to such invitations, but we need your guidance so please take a look and let’s hear from you. (Note: Unless you wish otherwise, your responses will not be traceable to you individually).

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”New gold sponsor” tab_id=”1525446379922-d994c412-ab49″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4188″ img_size=”300×150″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We are delighted to announce that Critical Mix is a New Gold Sponsor. This company specialises in online survey research, and it is much appreciated that its Managing Director, Colin Turner-Kerr, has arranged for the company to give its time and skills to organising our questionnaire and facilitating the analysis of its results.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”On the move to Harrow” tab_id=”1525446380274-bdfa5bf7-95fa”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5626″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]We will always be profoundly grateful to Network Research, and particularly Ginny Monk and her Office Manager Brian Suckling, for the space and support they have given to the Archive throughout its crucial formative months. However, now that we have recruited more volunteers for the digitising and cataloguing tasks, and have collected more books, journals, and other research materials, extra space is undoubtedly needed.

It is therefore much appreciated that Ipsos MORI have now offered us a much larger room on the 7th floor of their Operations Centre in Harrow. At 10ft x 15ft, it is twice the size of our existing room at Network Research and we can have access on five days a week at any time during the working hours of 9-5.

The Ipsos MORI office relaxation area

The Ipsos MORI office relaxation area

The move to these Ipsos MORI offices will take place during June. They are within 400 yards of Harrow-on-the-Hill bus and tube stations, the latter providing an easy journey via the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines from central London.

We are very grateful to Ben Page, Shaun Fisher and Robert O’Neill at Ipsos MORI for making this new space available to the Archive.  But as it finally becomes a fully-stocked and accessible reality, we will always remember and recognise Ginny, Brian and Network Research as being among the first of those who helped to make the Archive happen.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Notably quotable” tab_id=”1525446381242-56953c9e-1460″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5330″ img_size=”300×240″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]“I think that it the idea of an archive is a good one, given that a meaningful record of the industry is almost completely absent from the business archives. Also, as the industry has been such a touchpoint for so many key aspects of social and commercial life in the UK I would imagine that there are some interesting stories to tell.”

– Extract from interviews with academics conducted by Judith Wardle

“If I hadn’t been a market researcher I would never have written a line”

– Peter Wallis (aka Peter York)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Newsletter 6 – March 2017

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”chino” spacing=”2″ active_section=”55″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Jeremy Bullmore, Past President, MRS, welcomes the Archive” tab_id=”1526245019000-093e0846-dab8″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5632″ img_size=”300×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Even without the recent disinterment of two fifty-year-old reports, I’d have been greatly in favour of an archive of market and social research.  But because of those two reports, I’m an ardent evangelist.

Many years ago, perhaps in part because past chairman Dr John Treasure had been one of HAT’s founding fathers, J Walter Thompson London committed boxes of its internal memos, research reports and actual advertisements to the custody of the History of Advertising Trust.

At the end of last year, in celebration of HAT’s fortieth birthday, JWT staged an exhibition of some of those archived articles.  Among them were a 1963 report on research done by JWT about Nescafé and another from the same period about credit cards.

In 1963, there were no UK credit cards, and this research suggests why. A clear majority of people disapproved of the whole idea of credit cards.  Though the sample was small, women disapproved more than men and by social class, AB’s (theoretically the group most likely to welcome them) disapproved more than C’s.  In 1963, on that evidence alone, a future for credit cards looked bleak.  Barclays customers disapproved of credit cards more than the customers of other banks.

The Barclaycard was launched in 1966.  Today, it has over 10 million UK customers.

Also in 1963, there was almost universal resistance to the idea of drinking coffee for breakfast.  Coffee was thought of as an upper class, elitist drink.  Ground coffee had great social status, which in part precluded it from being an everyday drink.  Instant coffee was the object of some scorn, being seen as the poor substitute for the real thing which was too exclusive.  Its reputation was not helped by the existence of Camp Coffee, which older readers may remember.  It came in a bottle whose label showed a Gordon Highlander in full uniform and a Sikh soldier sitting down together outside a tent.  Inside the bottle was a brown liquid which consisted of water, sugar, 4% caffeine-free coffee essence, and 26% chicory essence.  You can still find it today.

There were, of course, no coffee bars.

All these thoughts, memories and reflections have been triggered by a few deeply ordinary pages of typescript which, by the grace of God, had been entrusted to the care of HAT.  They contain not just hard data, mapping a couple of markets of just over 50 years ago, valuable though that is.  At least as importantly, they evoke a feeling for those times, informing not just professors of marketing but social historians and novelists and agency planners and creative people.  They shed light on the general:  just how we can be misled by early research into thinking that the new will never become acceptable; and also on the particular: the transformation of this country’s attitude to coffee (and therefore to tea) has been one of recent history’s more significant cultural shifts.

Those ordinary pages of typescript prompted one further thought.  There’s an odd perception that archives appeal only to the more mature amongst us.  And I suppose it’s true that the older we get, the more likely we are to appreciate how valuable an understanding of the past can be in grappling with the problems of the present.  But of course, the older we are, the more likely we are to be able to remember Camp Coffee for ourselves.  It follows that the younger people are, the further away they are from those rich and rewarding past events – both the great events and the revealingly trivial.  And the greater the distance that separates them personally from the past, the greater the value to them of a comprehensive, easily accessible archive.

The birth of AMSR should be greeted not just with polite enthusiasm.  It should be greeted with something approaching joy.  It will inform, delight, inspire and illumine all those who are intelligent enough to use it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”The past as prologue to the future” tab_id=”1526245019332-46ca426f-d8f3″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5636″ img_size=”300×220″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]An event for supporters of the AMSR:

The AMSR held a prestigious event for supporters of the AMSR to showcase the Archive on 23 February at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) in Belgrave Square. Despite the best efforts of storm Doris there was an excellent turnout of supporters and volunteers.

Dame Dianne Thompson, President of the MRS and former CEO of Camelot, opened the event by thanking all those companies and individuals that have supported the Archive financially, and those who have donated research materials, as well as talking about Camelot’s use of research.

Dame Dianne was followed by Paul Feldwick, author of The Anatomy of Humbug: How to Think Differently About Advertising. He talked about the relevance of an archive of market and social research not only as a source of historical information about the way our society has changed over the last 70 years, but also as a very relevant source of people working today in marketing and communication about what we have learned, and why the past contains lessons for the future, in spite of a pervasive belief that the rules have changed and what happened in the past is irrelevant. Lessons from the past can only be learned if the records have not been suppressed or destroyed.

Full texts of their talks can be read here:

Dame Diane Thompson: Research at Camelot

Paul Feldwick: This is not Year Zero – how we should think about the past

Ian Brace, the Archive’s Secretary thanked the sponsors who have supported the Archive in the past year. He explained the strategy for the Archive and the different target groups it is intended to serve. Paper records will be held securely at the History of Advertising Trust and the plan is to scan as much of the material as possible and make it available over the internet. Financially, it is secure for the next 2 years, but there will be a need for ongoing financial support to maintain it in the future.

Adam Phillips closed the event by thanking the speakers and the audience for their support. He encouraged them to consider whether they, or their colleagues, would be able to help the Archive locate relevant material. A number of libraries of relevant material have been lost in the recent past, including a unique store of policy research and social history held by the Central Office of Information which seems to have been dispersed when the COI was disbanded. He asked people who thought they might know where suitable material could be found, or who were willing to help in others ways, to contact Gill Wareing at .[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Founder sponsors” tab_id=”1526245019626-ab008861-a30e”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5358″ img_size=”200×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Thanks to the generous support of a wide range of individuals and companies the AMSR has reached its fund-raising target for the year 2016-17. This has allowed us to deposit our first batch of content with the History of Advertising Trust who will be managing the Archive.

We would like to thank the following founder sponsors who have generously supported the AMSR in its first year of operation. Without them none of this would be possible:

Founder Platinum Sponsors

John and Mary Goodyear


Founder Gold Sponsors

Chime Insight & Engagement Group


Bryan Bates

Tony Cowling

John Downham

Paul Harris

Liz Nelson

Geoffrey Roughton

Sir Robert Worcester

Founder Silver Sponsors

Cobalt Sky

John Barter

Peter Bartram

Kirsty Fuller

Judie Lannon

Phyllis Macfarlane

Peter Mouncey

Adam Phillips

Cris Tarrant

Founder Friends

Marie Alexander
Frank Macey
Phil Barnard
Colin McDonald
Peter Barton
Peter Menneer
Ruth Betts
Dawn Mitchell
Robin Birn
Don Osborne
Sue and Bill Blyth
Ian Brace
Malcolm Rigg
Martin Callingham
Peter Southgate
Sir Ivor Crewe
Jake Steadman
Rodney Dick
Humphrey Taylor
Felicity Fitzgerald
Phyllis Vangelder
Mervyn Flack
Janet Weitz
Jane Frost
Alistair Whitmore
Gerald Goodhart
Frank Winter
Geoff Gosling
Graham Woodham
Peter Goudge[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Volunteers” tab_id=”1526245019952-e1e97552-23d9″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5358″ img_size=”200×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Sue Nosworthy, whom many of you will remember as UK ESOMAR Representative for many years, is now running the AMSR Volunteer teams. She has a record of those who have already volunteered and will welcome anyone who would like to help.

Volunteers are needed in four main categories:

  • Digital scanning: to join our scanning team, digitising material received at the offices of Network Research near Aldgate. This may entail half a day every two weeks on either Tuesdays or Thursdays.
  • Collecting Archive material: having already collected a lot of core industry journals, newsletters etc, we now need to start finding and collecting more material. For this purpose we are putting together a team to contact individual researchers, research companies, client companies and other research sources to find out what research materials they hold and what they are prepared to donate to the Archive
  • Promoting the Archive: since the Archive will only be successful if it is used,, a separate team will identify potential academic, commercial and media users, finding out what would most interest them and making the value and relevance of the Archive more widely known.
  • Communication with supporters: fundraising will continue at a much lower level than hitherto and will now focus mostly on maintaining relations with existing investors rather than cold selling. So a team to organise this is required, keeping them informed and making sure that they continue with their funding.

Please contact Sue telling her in which area you would like to take part:; tel: 07540 134625.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Detectives required” tab_id=”1526245020310-1b54ba9c-f9c3″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5638″ img_size=”300×300″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Does anyone know the whereabouts of Simon Copland, Brian Copland’s son? They had a very valuable collection of books, reports and other data on poster and outdoor research which Phyllis Vangelder catalogued many years ago.  Does this collection still exist and if so, where?

Has anyone got any MRDF or RDF reports they are willing to donate?

The following early issues of Commentary are missing. Has anyone got them?

1, 2, 7, 10, 12

Please let Phyllis know: tel: 020 8904 2019; email:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Acknowledgements” tab_id=”1526245020614-aed6adb1-5cba”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5358″ img_size=”200×200″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]As always we have to thank all those who continuously support our work. In particular:

Ginny Monk who lets us have space at Network Research

We are most grateful for the gift of a scanner and associated equipment from the former shareholders of Pulse Train Ltd, in memory of Alan Einer Hendrickson (1936 – 1999) whose innovative ideas were central to the development of computers for market research analysis from 1965 onwards; he was an inspirational entrepreneur. A special thank you is also due to Geoffrey Roughton, who has been so generous and skilful in setting up the scanning device at Network Research.

Thank you also to Raz Khan, who is providing a half-way house for materials at Cobalt Sky.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Earlier newsletters will be added to the website in due course. Please check back regularly to catch our latest bulletins, or better still, subscribe to our newsletter at the top of this page – and be among the first to get the latest AMSR news.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][/vc_section]