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UK’s Best Agencies Inseparable

November 7 2006
Two agencies tied for the top award at last night’s ‘Research Excellence and Effectiveness Awards’, hosted by the MRS in London. Judges could not choose between FreshMinds and Flamingo International as Best Research Agency 2006.

The event is an annual ceremony intended to showcase the best of market, social and opinion research. The 2006 awards were held at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel and hosted by Channel 5 and ex-BBC broadcaster Kate Gerbeau, with over 500 industry guests in attendance.

Both Flamingo and FreshMinds were praised for their integrity and core values, with Flamingo recognised for the ‘quality, depth and rigour of its thinking’ while FreshMinds also picked up the award for Research Innovative Employer of the Year. Judges said FreshMinds, which grew its revenue 40% in 2005, ‘demonstrates an exciting approach to research and the ability to deal with a broad range of projects in a highly innovative way’ – they also praised its ability to attract and retain the best talent: ‘FreshMinds has risen to the people challenge in a creative and inclusive way which makes it a worthy award winner.’

Also picking up two awards were Oxford Strategic Marketing & Research International for Vodafone, winning the MRS / AURA Insight Management Effectiveness Award and the Best Research Campaign award for their work in the challenging mobile telecoms market.

Spring Research followed up last year’s Conference Award for Best New Thinking by winning Best New Agency, while Ruth Buchanan, an Insight Manager with Royal Mail Group, won the Research Newcomer of the Year award for her combination of technical ability, enthusiasm and commitment to the industry. Tony Cowling and John Samuels were presented with MRS Gold Medals in recognition of lifetime contributions.

Awards presenter and ex-MRS President Professor Michael Thomas said the industry was enjoying ‘a purple patch; tonight the awards have honoured an exceptional level of quality and commitment. The future is bright with some of the best researchers emerging that we have ever seen.’ MRS Chairman Simon Lidington was similarly impressed with the calibre of winners and finalists: ‘This year’s awards were truly exceptional. With such a fine array of developing talent being celebrated, they represent the vitality and the young entrepreneurial spirit that is invigorating the industry... It will be interesting to see the impact that some of the names mentioned tonight will have on the industry in the future.’

Full information and photos from the Research Excellence and Effectiveness Awards can be found on the MRS website at www.mrs.org.uk/awards/dinner/index.htm .

The full list of winners is as follows:

Awards for Excellence & Effectiveness:

  • MRS Fellowships – Philly Desai, Keith Dugmore, Richard Goosey, Kevin McLean, Clive Nancarrow, Penny Steele and Frances Yelland
  • MRA Gold Medals – Tony Cowling and John Samuels
  • MRS Silver Medal – Andrew Zelin and Roger Stubbs
  • David Winton Award – Ron Johnston and Richard Harris
  • MRS Accredited Masters Prize – Mia Lorenz
  • The Worshipful Company of Marketors Award – Catherine Ashman
  • MRS Applications of Research Award – Gillian George, Mikhail Gerchuk and Juliet Strachan
  • ISBA Award – Jem Fawcus
  • MRS Public Policy/Social Research Effectiveness Award – Opinion Leader
  • MRS/AURA Insight Management Effectiveness Award – Vodafone, Oxford Strategic Marketing and Research International
  • MRS/BIG Business Research Award – Alex Johnston and Peter Totman
  • MRS/ASC Award for Technology Effectiveness – Research Reporter, Insight Marketing Systems
  • AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Research Effectiveness Award – Joint Winners: (a) Liz Owen and (b) Chloe Salmon, Caroline Hayter Whitehill and Rene de Coning.

MRS Conference Papers Awards:

  • Best Paper – Katja Maggio-Muller and Malcolm Evans
  • Best Presented Paper – Daniel Wain
  • Best Newcomer – Marie Laver
  • Best New Thinking – Anjali Puri
  • Special Contribution – Marc Brenner

Research Magazine Awards:

  • Best Agency – Joint Winners: (a) Flamingo International and (b) FreshMinds
  • Best New Agency – Spring Research
  • Best Research Campaign – Research International and Oxford Strategic Marketing for Vodafone
  • Innovative Employer of the Year – FreshMinds
  • Research Newcomer of the Year – Ruth Buchanan.
The MRS web site is at www.mrs.org.uk with more Awards info at www.mrs.org.uk/awards/2006/winners.htm .