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SA's biggest research tender draws 26 bids

SAARF reports a total of 26 bids have been received from ten SA and overseas research houses, consultants and partnerships for its 2005 series of research tenders. Most of the usual suspects are represented with a couple of significant additions, attracted, no doubt, by the size of the tenders, estimated to be worth more than R 24 million per annum.

Dr Paul Haupt, managing director of the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF), has released details of the bidders for the Foundation's 2005 series of research tenders, reputed to be South Africa's biggest.

"We have received a total of 26 bids from 10 companies for the five research projects we put out to tender last November," said Haupt. "Included are most of the large South African research houses and two wholly-international operations, one a German/Canadian partnership, the other British. The SAARF tender sub-committee has expressed its satisfaction with the number and source of the bids."

Tenders have been requested for the:

  • All Media and Products Survey (AMPS)
  • Radio Audience Measurement Survey (RAMS)
  • SAARF products and brands, interests and activities (Lifestyles) self-completion questionnaire survey
  • Electronic measurement of outdoor advertising survey (OMS) - only for years 2005 and 2006.
  • Data integration project
  • to cover the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2008.

    The 13-person SAARF tender sub-committee met on March 5th to formally accept the bids and to agree the criteria that will be applied to evaluate them. Amongst the nine evaluation criteria are included an assessment of sample design, resources the bidder will bring to bear on the research, employment equity and BEE credentials, and, of course, the fees to be charged. The sub-committee is comprised of research, marketing and media experts seconded by (the Marketing Federation of South Africa (MFSA), Advertising Media Forum (AMF), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Out of Home Media of SA (OHMSA), Print Media South Africa (PMSA) and the two senior officers of SAARF itself, Haupt and technical director Piet Smit. In addition to the usual confidentiality agreement, each member has been required to lodge a 'Declaration of interest' to ensure probity. Haupt noted that one of the original nominees had recused herself, feeling that she might have been perceived to have a conflict of interest.

    Haupt explained that the next stage involved selecting a core of qualified bidders who would be invited to present their proposals in person to the sub-committee. Following a preliminary evaluation, these short list nominees would be named on April 2nd and invited to present their proposals to the sub-committee in the week of 19 to 23 April. The sub-committee's final recommendations would be presented to the board of SAARF on or about 23rd April.

    Haupt said that the internationally renowned media research expert, Harald Amschler, from Switzerland, would assist the process. "Harald has many years of media research experience, and is currently the equivalent of SAARF's technical director for the National Readership Survey in Switzerland, in addition to his role as Swiss representative on the European Media Research Organisation (EMRO), where he is responsible for summarising country reports for all media categories from all the member countries."

    Amschler will assist in the selection of the short list of bid finalists, then will visit Johannesburg to join the sub-committee in making the final recommendations to the SAARF board, around the 23rd April.

    "This is the most professional, comprehensive and transparent tender process SAARF has ever conducted," concluded Haupt.

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