Coke Exec to Chair ARF Post

Stan Sthanunathan, vp of marketing strategy and insights for Coca-Cola has been named to chair the Advertising Research Foundation’s Online Research Quality Council, formed in 2007 to improve the quality of audience research conducted online. The appointment, announced Wednesday (May 27) comes as the ARF prepares to release the results of its study on the quality of online surveys.

Sthanunathan replaces Kim Dedeker, who recently left Procter & Gamble to join Kantar Americas. Dedeker will remain on the governing board. Robert Tomei of IRI, will continue to serve as co-chair.

Conducting research online has grown exponentially along with the number of people frequenting the Internet. While scores of research survey panels exist online, their methodologies and subsequent quality of data vary widely, posing a dilemma for advertisers wishing to sort through the options. The ARF’s Foundations of Quality project, which collected 100,000 responses across 17 of the largest online survey panels, will begin releasing its extensive findings of what methodology factors effected what results, in early June.

“I firmly believe that our work will impact the industry in a big way. The need of the hour is an industry solution. But we do not have the luxury of waiting for a long time to come up with a perfect solution. Let us set our respective agendas aside and work together to resolve this challenge,” said Sthanunathan.

The Foundation of Quality study is a first step towards improving online research quality. “We can move into identifying solutions that the industry can adopt to address the real issues around online research quality,” added Tomei.