What do consumers think? Ipsos knows. A leading international market research firm, Ipsos helps its clients test and evaluate brands, products, promotions, advertising, marketing, customer satisfaction, and public opinion. The company conducts surveys through telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews, and panels. Founded in 1975, Ipsos has offices in the US, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and conducts research in more than 100 countries. Its Ipsos MORI unit caters to the UK. Through a holding company, top executives Didier Truchot and Jean-Marc Lech have about 40% voting control of the firm. In late 2011, Ipsos made a significant move to expand when it acquired rival Synovate.
Ipsos bought Synovate for £525 million (around $860 million) from European media services provider Aegis Group. The purchase creates one of the largest market research companies in the world, leveling the playing field against market leaders such as Nielsen Holdings and WPP's Kantar Group. Synovate operates in 60 countries and offers a wide array of research services, including brand tracking, pricing research, sales forecasting, as well as custom research.
Through a series of acquisitions and new launches such as the Ipsos Social Research Institute think tank, Ipsos has been building up its global operations. The company has expanded its presence in Asia and Latin America and is eyeing emerging markets as new geographical expansion areas.
Even in a year when it cut its workforce by 4%, Ipsos cornered the market in Chile when it snatched up market research firm Punto de Vista in 2009. Ipsos also bought Market Research Bureau of Ireland (MRBI) that same year from advertising conglomerate WPP, which was required by European Union regulators to divest its ownership of MRBI for competitive reasons. The acquisition complemented its Ipsos MORI business and enhanced Ipsos' operations in the UK.