ARF Acquires Marketing Science Institute

In yet another roll up of marketing trade associations, the Advertising Research Foundation this morning announced it is merging the Marketing Science Institute into the ARF.

The move comes two years after the ARF acquired the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), and follows a series of other trade organization consolidations, especially by the Association of National Advertisers, which in recent years has acquired a variety of marketing trade groups, including the DMA (Data & Marketing Association, formerly the Direct Marketing Association).

The ARF, which itself was founded in 1936 by the ANA and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, who recognized the need for an independent research authority in the advertising industry, has since become more representative of research and media company suppliers, many of whom are on its board of directors and trustees.

The Marketing Science Institute, a non-profit founded in 1961 to bring together the marketing industry’s top pros and scholars to serve as an “unbiased platform for scientific research,” will become a division of the ARF, but will retain a separate advisory board of trustees.



The ARF said the division will be headed by an “academic executive director” and a “managing director,” who will be named in the future.

Wharton Professor of Marketing Barbara Kahn currently serves as its executive director.

“This acquisition enables the ARF to accelerate our work into advancing full funnel advertising and marketing practices,” ARF CEO Scott McDonald said in a statement.

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