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By Published on .

When David Marans was a child, he kept track of ratings for shows such as "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Newlywed Game" on notebook paper.

Thus began the career of a media research executive.

"This is exactly right for me. It's my hobby. I am very lucky that way," says Mr. Marans, J. Walter Thompson USA's senior partner-director of media research.


It's been a busy year for Mr. Marans, who's been looking for a solution to the recent attacks on the quality of media research.

In the last six months, Mr. Marans has been speaking to research companies and clients about changing research methods. During his June 4 presentation to Association of National Advertisers, Mr. Marans said media have become more complex than ever while the researching methods have remained the same.

Mr. Marans would like to use existing technology to conduct more accurate research using integrated, single-source systems, such as the people meter, instead of fixing the old diaries.

Furthermore, Mr. Marans daringly suggests media buyers should bear the brunt of the cost for new tools since, ultimately, they will be the ones to benefit the most.


He feels this would solve some major problems in the industry. It would provide better research, ease the influence of consultants and create more jobs within ad agencies.

It would also build stronger relationships with advertisers and agencies as "buying partners"-because, as Mr. Marans says, he would like to meet clients halfway in both cost and intellectual effort.

Recently, JWT teamed up with Comedy Central in testing the effectiveness of commercials placed on varied cable networks (AA, Aug. 5).

Mr. Marans is also the chairman of JWT's year-old global media research group, 10 media specialists who work on sending out consistent worldwide messages. They are addressing media weighting, compiling a glossary of names and terms and fostering communication, says Mr. Marans.


The executive began his research career in 1977 at Young & Rubicam, New York, where he earned the title VP-group supervisor before joining JWT. Presently, he serves on American Association of Advertising Agencies' Media Research team, Advertising Research Foundation's Electronic Media Team and Coalition for Advertiser Supported Information and Entertainment.


"David is very bright and knowledgeable," says John Dimling, president-chief operating officer of Nielsen Media Research. "He is articulate, very critical and always speaks his mind .*.*. and not only is he knowledgeable, he's also committed. For the benefit of his clients, he pursues relentlessly."

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