MR News in Asia Q1, 2017

Catch up on what the market industry in Asia has been up to with the latest headlines for Q1, 2017. Have news to share? Send to prnews[at]

New offices / expansion / strategic partnerships

Thomas Reuters Labs opens its first branch in Asia as part of their growing global network, joining locations in Boston, Cape Town, London, Waterloo (Canada) and Zürich. Thomson Reuters Labs – Singapore will collaborate with the government, customers, tech startups and universities to build partnerships and create innovative products and solutions for professional markets throughout the Asia Pacific region. Located in Singapore’s central business district at One Raffles Quay, the Lab opening was officiated by Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer, Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS) and will support Thomson Reuters financial & risk, tax & accounting and legal businesses across Asia Pacific.

Global consultancy Ipsos has separated its business in China from its Asia Pacific operations, and it will be led by Lifeng Liu as Chairman and Chief Executive. According to Ipsos, the change will strengthen connections with clients, while positioning the business to deliver growth strategies in what it describes as one of the most dynamic regions in the world. Liu has held senior roles with the company since 2003, including CEO of Asia Pacific for the past six years, before which he served as CEO, Greater China.

Public sector advisory agency Kantar Public has opened an office in Singapore and appointed Sandra Lim as Executive Director. The new practice in Singapore will focus on research, data and analytics; government communications effectiveness, digital service design and delivery, and behaviour change. Sandra Lim has considerable data and insight advisory experience within both public and private sectors in Singapore and across the region. Sandra joins from MRC where she was General Manager.

Japanese firm Video Research has established a partnership with Nielsen to create a standard and common digital (PC & Mobile) audience measurement service for the Japan market. The partnership will involve both Nielsen and VR making a cross-investment in the respective company’s subsidiary organisations, Video Research Interactive Inc. (“VRI”) and Nielsen Digital Co., Ltd (“Nielsen Digital”).

M & A / transactions

Online specialist Macromill has successfully completed its listing on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Macromill is headquartered in Tokyo, Rotterdam and San Francisco, with 27 offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia, including in Singapore and Mexico. The firm offers a proprietary automatic online research system which instantly collects consumer response on products and services, while offering access to its own Japanese panel, and a brand data bank through which it analyses the correlation between consumers and the brands they buy.

People news

Video research agency Voxpopme has announced the appointment of Jem Wallis as Regional Director of Asia-Pacific (APAC).  Based in Sydney, Jem will focus on delivering Voxpopme’s fast, scalable video insights to companies throughout the region, further strengthening its Australian presence and global expansion. His addition to the team will support the growing appetite for innovative research technologies throughout the APAC region.

Consumer insights agency Toluna has appointed Jay Rampuria as Executive Vice President for Global Business Development. He will lead global business development for Toluna, and parent company, ITWP. In his role, Rampuria will create, accelerate and consolidate key relationships with end clients globally, along with identifying innovative data and technology partnerships to drive further product innovation.

Kantar Millward Brown has appointed Pablo Gómez Martínez as Head of Media for Asia Pacific. He rejoins the firm to take up the Singapore-based role in May. Pablo Gómez Martínez joins from IPG Mediabrands, where he served as Regional Communications Planning Director, APAC Region. In his new role, Martinez will lead the regional teams for brand, marketing and media performance, across digital and non-digital channels. He replaces Mark Henning, who was previously Head of Media and Digital, Africa, Middle East & Asia Pacific (AMAP); and is now Executive Director for Media and Digital for Kantar in Australia.

WPP-owned digital data collection specialist Lightspeed has announced new leadership with the departure of former CEO David Day. Caroline Frankum, previously CEO, Europe Middle East and Africa, is promoted to global CEO while Nick Nyhan becomes Chairman of Lightspeed in addition to his role as chief digital officer at Kantar.

GfK has appointed Peter Feld  as new Chief Executive Officer and Management Board member effective March 15, 2017. Feld most recently served as CEO of WMF Group. Prior to that, he was a member of the Executive Board at Beiersdorf AG. Prior to joining GfK, Peter Feld served as Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of the leading premium cookware and professional coffee machine maker WMF Group until December 2016. He succeeds Matthias Hartmann who in August 2016 agreed with the Supervisory Board of GfK to leave the company.

Celebrating 10 years serving women in the market research industry, Women in Research (WIRe) has appointed former FocusVision exec Michelle Andre as its first Managing Director, responsible for organizational development and oversight, fundraising, marketing, and assisting with long-term planning. As managing director, Andre will work closely with WIRe’s founder, Kristin Luck, as well as WIRe’s global Advisory Board and event teams to ensure that organizational objectives are met.

Data-driven performance marketing agency Merkle has named Zhengda “Z” Shen as president of Merkle Asia Pacific. This critical appointment is the company’s latest push to accelerate its global growth in the APAC region since joining Dentsu Aegis Network in August 2016. Under Shen’s leadership, Merkle has the ambition to staff 1,000 employees in APAC by the end of 2017. As the President of Asia Pacific, Shen will drive Merkle’s growth by focusing on the development of its fully integrated people-based marketing capabilities, acquisitions in the region, and strategic channel partnerships in technology and media. He will also be responsible for acculturation and integration of new APAC acquisitions into Merkle.

Global insights consultancy Kantar TNS has hired Caterpillar\’s former consumer insights exec Stephane Sanchez as Regional Head of Customer Strategies, Asia Pacific. Sanchez will take up the position in March, based out of the Singapore office. In his new role, Sanchez will lead and develop the company’s customer strategies practice across Asia Pacific markets, directing a dedicated team of customer experience experts to help clients unlock the moments that develop customer relationships and deliver effective customer experience strategies.

Research software firm Confirmit has promoted CFO Ken Østreng to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Henning Hansen, who has resigned. Østreng will assume his new role at the beginning of April, ensuring a seamless and smooth period of transition and continued focus on delivering industry leading products, solutions and experiences to Confirmit customers.

Former TNS director Parijat Chakraborty has been appointed Head of Public Affairs business in Ipsos India. He will be based out of the Gurgaon office and will report to Amit Adarkar, CEO for India. Chakraborty joins with 22 years\’ market and social research industry experience. He spent the last ten at TNS, latterly as Executive Director and Business Head, managing P&L for multiple SBUs.

Media and tech platform Xaxis has promoted Arshan Saha as APAC president. Saha will be succeeding Michel de Rijk, who became APAC president of GroupM\’s [m]Platform upon its launch late last year. As the former vice president of South and Southeast Asia and founding member of Xaxis APAC, Saha had helped set up offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and India.

ORC International has hired former Frost & Sullivan\’s Sales Director for Asia, Varna Arun, as Asia-Pacific Commercial Director based in Singapore. She will work with Bhavya Sehgal, appointed last summer to lead the business across the region as Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific. In her previous role, Arun has covered a range of strategic solutions and customer segments. Her experience includes work with hospitals, pharma, medical device and connected health companies in the region.


comScore, through the introduction of data from its recently launched mobile consumer panel, has launched MMX Multi-Platform, along with major upgrades to Mobile Metrix in Indonesia. The introduction of Android mobile panel data expands comScore’s measurement of mobile audiences in Indonesia to enable more robust reporting of visitation, engagement and demographics, including new segments for age and gender. This development follows comScore’s appointment as the Online Audience Measurement Partner in Indonesia by the Indonesian Digital Measurement Consortium (IDMC) and Bekraf.

Using a database of 5 million Facebook users as its first online panel, Nielsen has launched Digital Ad Ratings in Hong Kong. This further expands the solution’s global footprint and sets the industry standard for digital campaign measurement. Digital Ad Ratings, powered by aggregated, anonymous information from the world’s largest third-party demographic databases and Nielsen’s industry-leading calibration sources, provides demographics, unique audience, reach, frequency and gross rating points (GRPs) for a campaign’s total digital audience across computers, tablets and smartphones in a way comparable to TV.

Digital consumer insights agency Toluna has plans to increase its global survey respondent capacity by 20 percent during the second half of 2017 and to continue significant community growth as well as expansion efforts through 2017. The community expansion will provide companies with an even larger pool of community members to brainstorm ideas, uncover new business opportunities and answer questions. This initiative further enhances Toluna’s ability to deliver access to low-incidence, hard-to-reach audiences.

Global panel and survey software firm dataSpring adds Korea to its list of mobile panels with the launch of a new mobile survey app called PanelNow. Available for Android and iOS phones and tablets, the app allows researchers to run surveys in a mobile-optimized platform with features such as in-app survey notification and device-blocking capability; and panelists to answer surveys on their mobile devices at a time and place convenient for them.

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