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Obituary: GfK MRI Co-founder Alain Tessier

August 30 2018

Alain Tessier, co-founder of Mediamark Research Inc. (now GfK MRI), died on Sunday after a long illness, at the age of 85.

Alain TessierTessier (pictured), who was born in Burlington, Vermont on 14th August 1933, graduated from St. Michael's College in Colchester, VT in 1955, and received a master's in literature from the University of Notre Dame in 1959, after completing his service in the US Army.

His career started in the production department of the Chicago Tribune, continued with a period at the American Research Bureau (later to become Arbitron), and from there he served as the Vice President, Director of Client Services at Target Group Index (TGI), prior to its merger with Simmons. In 1979 he co-founded New York-based media research specialist Magazine Research Inc with TGI founder Timothy Joyce and Philip Wenig, and the firm became known as Mediamark Research Inc in 1981, when it added the measurement of advertised goods and services usage to its survey.

The business subsequently became the US research subsidiary of Mills & Allen International, a London-based financial and media services company and then part of NOP World. Joyce died in 1997 and three years later, Kathleen Love became the President and CEO while Tessier became the Chairman. In 2005 MRI was included in an acquisition of NOP World by GfK, and was renamed GfK MRI.

According to Love, Tessier set a tone of ensuring research integrity and respecting the needs of MRI's various clients in the process. Tessier once advised: 'Care more about the quality and integrity of our study than even the most demanding of our clients do'. In 2004, he was inducted into the Market Research Council Hall of Fame.

Tessier is survived by his second wife, business and marketing strategy consultant Merle Sprinzen Tessier, whom he married in 2010; and by two daughters and seven grandchildren.

All articles 2006-18 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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