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Obituary: Jack Honomichl

December 10 2013

Market research industry legend Jack Honomichl died in Barrington, IL on Sunday at the age of 85, after a long illness.

Jack HonomichlHonomichl studied at Northwestern University and graduate school at the University of Chicago before joining the Chicago Tribune newspaper in 1957, where he became a member of the market research department, running a paper diary panel of respondents under the direction of research pioneer Pierre Martineau.

Following this initial stint in the industry, he spent the next twenty years as a 'panel maven' at firms such as MRCA, Audits & Surveys, and Dun & Bradstreet. Then, at the end of the 1970s, he set up his own firm, Marketing Aid Center, where he consulted with research firms in both the US and abroad.

In 1969, he created first US trade journal for the market research industry, called The Analyst, and for the next eighteen years he wrote for Advertising Age under the byline 'The Research Beat' - he was the publication's only columnist for many years. During this time, his writings not only informed the market research community, but also the broader marketing and advertising sectors, which had previously had little knowledge of MR.

The Honomichl Top 50 US ranking of market research firms followed soon after and is now in its 40th year: the international version, the Honomichl Global Top 25, was added in 1986. Honomichl also wrote a column for AMA's Marketing News for a number of years, and in 1990 he founded the Inside Research newsletter, which is now in its 24th year.

In 2002, he was elected to the Market Research Council's Market Research Hall of Fame, and in 2011 he was honored by The Council of American Survey Research Organizations with its Lifetime Achievement Award, only the second time in CASRO's history that this award has been given.

Jack was married to his late wife Frances for 50 years and is survived by three daughters, a son and eight grandchildren. A memorial/celebration service will be planned next year.

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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