Harris Interactive

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This article is about the pre-acquisition marketing research firm. For the current company, see The Harris Poll. For the American college football poll, see Harris Interactive College Football Poll.
Harris Interactive, Inc.
Industry Market research
  • 1956 (1956) (Louis Harris & Associates)
  • 1975 (1975) (Gordon S. Black Corporation)
Founded 1997 (1997)
Founder Gordon S. Black
Defunct February 3, 2014 (2014-02-03)
Headquarters Rochester, New York
Key people
Howard Shecter
Al Angrisani
(President and CEO)[1]
Revenue Decrease US$ 165 million (2011)[2]
Decrease (US$ 7 million) (2011)[2]
Decrease (US$ 8 million) (2011)[2]
Total assets Decrease US$ 72 million (2011)[2]
Total equity Decrease US$ 11 million (2011)[2]
Number of employees
733 (full-time), 187 (part-time) (2011)[2]
Website www.harrisinteractive.com

Harris Interactive, headquartered in Rochester, New York,[3] was a market research firm, known for The Harris Poll. Harris worked in a wide range of industries, across countries and territories through North America, Europe, and Asia. The company was a member of several research organizations, including the US National Council of Public Polls, the British Polling Council, the Council of American Survey Research Organizations, the US Council for Marketing and Opinion Research, and the UK Market Research Society.

In November 2013, Nielsen Holdings agreed to purchase Harris Interactive for $116.6 million.[4] The purchase was completed on February 3, 2014.[5] The Harris Poll continues to run and current releases by The Harris Poll can be found on their new website.[6]


Former headquarters in Brighton, Monroe County, New York

Harris Interactive was founded by Dr. Gordon S. Black in 1975, then a professor of political science at the University of Rochester in New York. The company was originally named the Gordon S. Black Corporation. In 1996, it acquired Louis Harris & Associates (founded in 1956) from the Gannett Corporation. In 1997, the merged company renamed itself Harris Black International Ltd.[7]

Growth of online polling[edit]

In 1997, the Internet was relatively new to the non-technical public. Harris Black International Ltd began exploring its use in the fall of that year.[7] In December 1999, it went public and re-branded itself as Harris Interactive, a name that hinted at the increasing role of interactive surveys on the Internet.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Sale of Business[edit]

The Gordon S. Black Corporation was founded in 1975 as a New York corporation. It formed and became part of the Delaware corporation now known as Harris Interactive in 1997. During these years, the company’s acquisitions have included:

  • February 1996 — all of the stock of Louis Harris and Associates, Inc., headquartered in New York.[7]
  • February 2001 — the custom research division of Yankelovich Partners, Inc., headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut.[8]
  • August 2001 — all of the capital stock of Market Research Solutions Limited, a privately owned UK company headquartered in Oxford, England.[7]
  • September 2001 — all of the capital stock of M&A Create Limited, a privately owned company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.[7]
  • November 2001 — all of the capital stock of Total Research Corporation, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey.[7]
  • March 2004 — all of the capital stock of Novatris, S.A. ("Novatris"), a share corporation organized and existing under the laws of France.[7]
  • September 2004 — all of the capital stock of Wirthlin Worldwide, Inc. a privately held California corporation headquartered in Reston, Virginia.[9]
  • April 2007 — all of the capital stock of MediaTransfer AG Netresearch & Consulting, a privately held German stock corporation headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.[10]
  • August 2007 — all of the capital stock of Decima Research Inc. ("Decima"), a corporation incorporated in Ontario, Canada.[11]
  • August 2007 — all of the capital stock of Marketshare Limited, a company incorporated under the laws of Hong Kong, and Marketshare Pte Ltd, a company incorporated under the laws of Singapore.[11]
  • February 2014 — Harris Interactive joins Nielsen. Nielsen and its wholly owned subsidiary, Prime Acquisition Corp., completed tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of common stock of Harris Interactive, Inc. (NASDAQ:HPOL). Harris Interactive became a wholly owned subsidiary of Nielsen and its shares ceased to be traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market.[12]
  • June 2014 — ITWP Acquires Harris Interactive UK, Harris Interactive SAS in France, and Harris Interactive AG in Germany from Nielsen.[13]
Chief executives
Name Tenure
Gordon S. Black 1975 – January 2004
Robert E. Knapp January 2004 – May 2005
Gregory T. Novak May 2005 – October 2008
Kimberly Till October 2008 – June 2011
Albert A. Angrisani June 2011 – March 2012 (interim)
March 2012 – February 2014 [5]

Harris Poll[edit]

The Harris Poll has been running since 1963 and covers a broad variety of topics.[14] In 1997, Harris Interactive began developing an on-line version of The Harris Poll. It has also developed several Internet-based polls in conjunction with other companies.


Further reading[edit]

"Harris Interactive Files Suit Against AOL, Microsoft, Qwest, and other ISPs Over Restraint of Trade"

"Harris Interactive- Information from Answers.com"