By Graham Miller - 26 Jun 2007
London, 26 June 2006, Research International (RI), the consumer market research agency of WPP’s Kantar Group today announced that Paul Edwards, Publicis’ UK Chief Strategy Officer, would be joining the agency as UK Chairman. Edwards will report directly to Mark Cranmer, RI’s Worldwide Chief Executive.
Edward’s role will be to partner with RI UK’s CEO, Julian Bond in directing and shaping the company’s offer to clients.
Commenting on Edward’s appointment, Cranmer said:
“I’m ecstatic to have persuaded Paul to come back to the world of market research and help us with the opportunity we have here at RI. Companies are increasingly putting consumer understanding at the centre of their commercial strategy and no-one listens to consumers as extensively and intently as us. Paul has exceptional experience in research and communications and he brings us the blend of skills we need as we redefine clients’ expectations of a market research agency. In Julian, we have an extraordinary research talent and in Paul we have someone who can bring added power to our client offer. They both have a passion in their bellies for this company. They’ve worked together in the past and they’re raring to go in this new age of opportunity. They’re going to create a formidable partnership at RI UK and it will accelerate the progress of our entire global network”.
Edwards, who has also been planning director at BBH, Lowe and Y&R has also been a previous CEO of The Henley Centre (also part of the Kantar Group) and actually began his agency career at RI.
Edwards commented on his move:
“For me, this challenge was too enticing to pass on. I have enormous affection for the heritage and authority for the RI business in the world of custom market research. Our opportunity is now to translate that power into the potent consumer solutions that clients increasingly need for their markets. I’m delighted to be joining RI at this stage of its evolution and I look forward to working with Julian again”.
Edwards is the latest in a number of senior appointments Cranmer has made since he joined a year ago. These include Nadim Sadek (as Worldwide Commercial and Strategy Director) who joined from qualitative research agency, Sadek Wynberg Millward Brown, Eric Dingman (Operations Director) from Inbev, Mark Wilson (Senior Account Director on Waitrose) from Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy amongst others.
RI UK has 270 employees and is the largest office of the 40 country network.
Julian Bond, UK CEO commented:
“I’ve spent my entire career at this company and am absolutely delighted to be working with Paul again. He was an early inspiration to me when I was starting here and I know his presence is going to be inspirational to our current client service professionals. He brings an exceptional range of contemporary skills to our company. I’m chuffed we’ve managed to persuade him to join and I can’t wait for him to arrive”.
Edwards resigned a month ago and his start date is still unknown although it is anticipated that Publicis will release him by the end of the summer.