The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), the industry leader in advertising research among brand advertisers, agencies, media and research firms, today announced that it has acquired the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM).
CIMM, which explores new methodologies and approaches to audience measurement, will become a subsidiary of ARF focused on measurement innovation.
The group will retain its current name and logo and will be led by Jane Clarke, the CIMM’s current chief executive and managing director. Both organizations’ Boards have approved the deal, which they say will bring efficiencies for members and broader coverage. The two bodies have already worked together extensively, most recently joining with the ANA’s DMA division on an initiative to develop, test and adopt standards for audience data quality and transparency.
The move also signals a broadening of the ARF’s mandate, which has diversified from its original charter of serving advertisers and agencies to serving the entire advertising, media and marketing ecosystem.
CIMM was founded in 2009 by major TV network groups, television content providers, media agencies and advertisers as an industry R&D consortium to promote innovation in audience measurement for television and cross-platform media.
The ARF was founded more than 80 years ago and has 400 members from leading brand advertisers, agencies, research firms, and media-tech companies.
Scott McDonald, president and chief executive of the ARF, said: “The ongoing close work between the ARF and CIMM, the common members each organization holds, and the reality that together, as one unified organization, we can achieve industry goals much faster and more efficiently, made this an obvious decision to make.
CIMM CEO and Managing Director Jane Clarke, who will maintain that role inside the ARF, said one of the advantages of the merger is that CIMM will shift from an LLC, which required members to be owners, to a non-profit, will enable it to broaden its membership to organizations that weren’t in a position to invest in an LLC.
She also noted that by consolidating back-office and overhead functions within the ARF, CIMM will be able to focus more of its resources into developing products and services that facilitate better research and measurement.