Taylor Nelson Sofres
|Type||Wholly owned subsidiary|
|Headquarters||London, England, UK|
|Key people||Richard Ingleton(CEO)|
|Revenue||£1,068 million (2007)|
|Operating income||£102.7 million (2007)|
|Profit||£58.5 million (2007)|
|Owner(s)||Kantar Group (a division of the WPP Group)|
TNS (formerly known as Taylor Nelson Sofres) is a leading market research and market information group. Formerly listed on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index, the firm was acquired by WPP Group in October 2008 for 1.6 billion pounds.
The history of TNS as a market research company began in 1946 with the establishment of National Family Opinion (NFO) in the United States. Since then, various mergers and acquisitions involving large companies from the US, Europe and Asia Pacific eventually became the Taylor Nelson Sofres group.
The 1960s saw the establishment of the six main companies that today form part of TNS. Starting with NFO in the 1940s, Intersearch in the US in 1960; then AGB in the UK in 1962; Sofres in France in 1963; Frank Small Associates (FSA) in Australia in 1964; Taylor Nelson in the UK in 1965. Over the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, these companies grew significantly as individual businesses.
The 1990s and early years of the new millennium saw consolidation in the industry. In 1992, Sofres acquired Secodip. In 1992, Taylor Nelson joined with AGB. In 1997, Sofres combined with FSA. In 1997, Sofres acquired Intersearch and then merged with Taylor Nelson AGB. In 2000, Taylor Nelson Sofres acquired CMR, followed by the NFO WorldGroup in 2003.
The TNS Group continues to grow, mainly by acquiring small research companies to strengthen its position in markets in which it already has a presence. For example, in December 2007, TNS acquired Landis Strategy & Innovation in the United States, a specialist research-based consultancy.
In the same month, TNS announced that it had reached agreement to increase its ownership of LatinPanel Holdings from 33.3% to 100%. TNS was formerly a joint venture partner with the NPD Group and the IBOPE Group in this continuous consumer panel business serving Latin America operating in 15 countries in Latin America, and covering 96% of the region’s GDP, providing local and international clients with access to a household research panel across the packaged groceries, toiletries and cosmetics, fresh foods and textile retail markets.
In early March 2008 TNS announced the merging of its North American operating units TNS Media Intelligence, TNS Media Research with the recently acquired firms Compete and Cymfony to create TNS Media Group.
On 29 April 2008 TNS announced that it was in talks to merge with German market research company GfK. The announcement was followed in May by two conditional offers from WPP to buy TNS for a combination of cash and shares, both of which were rejected by TNS’s board. The hostile WPP bid led to GfK and TNS abandoning their merger plans. GfK sought without success to find backing for a rival offer, leaving WPP’s hostile bid as the only one on the table. On 9 October 2008 WPP declared that its latest bid had been successful and that it was buying TNS for $1.93bn. TNS now sits in WPP’s Kantar Group. Many Kantar subsidiary companies are currently undergoing restructuring and rebranding as a result of the TNS deal. TNS itself will see various units either merged with other Kantar units or spun out into separate Kantar entities.
In 2013, TNS acquired Sinotrust Market Research, a leading market research and consulting company in China.
TNS is structured around specific areas of marketing expertise: Brand & Communication; Innovation & Product Development; Retail & Shopper; Customer Experience; Employee Engagement; Qualitative; Automotive; and Political & Social.
TNS separates its worldwide operations in over eighty countries into a number of regional divisions: North America; Northern Europe; Southern Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; and Africa, Mediterranean and Middle East.
In 2003, when company went from being Taylor Nelson Sofres with several local names, to one unified TNS a new logo was designed. Wolff Olins was the agency behind the 2003 rebrand. Then in early 2012 the old logo was altered further: The odd shape it has used had been straightened out to a square, and the lowercase letters have been exchanged for uppercase ones with more authority. Martin Lambie-Nairn is creative director of TNS and led this re-design in 2012.
Top ten of the market research sector 2006
|Rank||Company||Sales in 2006
|Growth in %|
|2||IMS Health Inc.||1,958.6||8.9|
|3||Taylor Nelson Sofres||1,851.1||2.5|
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- Cold Calling
- "Annual Report 2007" (PDF). Taylor Nelson Sofres. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- TNS - A History Of Success Delivering Market Research & Insight
- "The Law Firm of Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C. Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against TNS Inc.". April 5, 2006. Retrieved Jul 25, 2013.
- Landis market research snapped up by TNS
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- WPP's pursuit of TNS ends in $1.93bn buy