Ipsos expands presence in Australia with two acquisitions

The new businesses will significantly expand the Ipsos offering in Australia and New Zealand.

• Shaun Hellyer appointed head of mystery shopping
• 13 new staff members added across the ANZ business

Ipsos has acquired four divisions of GfK Research and Market Pulse International’s mystery shopping staff, clients and shopper panellists.

The acquisitions complement Ipsos’s global strategy in driving deeper specialisation in the services required by clients to understand society, markets, and people.

The new businesses will significantly expand the Ipsos offering in Australia and New Zealand with new resource and expertise in Customer Experience, Mystery Shopping, Health and Public Affairs. A total of 13 new staff will join Ipsos in Australia and New Zealand. These new offerings complement Ipsos’s existing services including Public Affairs, Qualitative Research, Social Intelligence And Analytics and Marketing Strategy Understanding.

Effective October 1, the Paris headquarters of Ipsos acquired four global divisions of the GfK Custom Research Business including Customer Experience, Experience Innovation, Health and Public Affairs.

The global acquisition will involve 26 countries that are in the scope of the agreement with GfK including Australia, as well as China, India, Japan and Singapore in the Asia Pacific region. Almost 1,000 GfK professionals will join Ipsos.

In addition, Ipsos has exchanged contracts with Mystery Shopping business Market Pulse International (MPI) to acquire some of its staff, clients and shopper panellists in Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. Market Pulse International has operated in the Asia Pacific for more than 20 years and has established a market-leading position in Mystery Shopping and Retail Auditing.

Ipsos’s expanded Australian and New Zealand Mystery Shopping offering will be led by former Market Pulse International executive Shaun Hellyer as director, Mystery Shopping Australia and New Zealand. Hellyer has more than 16 years’ experience in research, publishing and company sales and was formerly international account director at Market Pulse International.

The agreement with Ipsos includes MPI’s client service and operations staff and ANZ and Thai operations hub, which will be leveraged to develop Mystery Shopping further in the Asia Pacific region.

Ipsos Australia and New Zealand CEO Simon Wake said: “The GfK and Market Pulse International opportunities will underpin the growth of our business in 2019 and provide a breadth of new expertise. It is exciting news for Ipsos because we are expanding with some very experienced researchers, new client relationships and new expertise. The MPI agreement will also turbo-charge our Mystery Shopping business in Australia and New Zealand,” Wake said.

“The expansion is a key part of our relentless focus on providing the best service to our clients and our ambition to excel in the research specialties of Customer Experience and Mystery Shopping, Innovation and User Experience, Healthcare, and Public Affairs. We plan to make the Ipsos brand synonymous with excellence in providing a better understanding of society, markets and people.”

The GfK Custom Research divisions moving to Ipsos are:

• Customer Experience: This division includes all GfK research services globally, both quantitative and/or qualitative, related to research on understanding and advising on customer satisfaction and loyalty, and Mystery Shopping services.
• Experience Innovation: This division includes all GfK research services related to innovation research, including stage/front-end innovation, concept testing, pack testing, product testing and volumetrics, car clinics, the business known as NORM, focused on virtual reality technology in the areas of shelf, store and product simulation, and user experience research, design and consulting.
• Health: This division includes all GfK research services related to research on behalf of pharmaceutical and bio-tech companies, medical and healthcare technology companies, and companies engaged in consumer healthcare.
• Public Affairs: This division includes all GfK research related to research on understanding societies, public opinion and corporate reputation. The Knowledge Networks panels are part of the Public Affairs division and represent a strategic asset that Ipsos would like to capitalise on.

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