Skip to main content

Veteran pollster Angus Reid is throwing his name back into the commercial-polling business after getting the trademark for his eponymous public-opinion forum back from a British market-research firm.

The latest version of the Angus Reid Forum is, in part, the result of a two-decade-long professional friendship. Mr. Reid, who is 70 and had retired from commercial polling, announced on Monday that he had acquired a stake in a 30,000-member insights panel from the Vancouver-based market researchers Insights West. He and Steve Mossop – the latter firm’s president, who worked in the office next door to Mr. Reid for much of the late nineties – are the Forum’s co-owners. The pair plan to triple the panel’s membership, working across digital platforms such as e-mail and Facebook Messenger to deepen its millennial membership and better convey Canadian opinions.

The repatriation of the Angus Reid Forum branding, however, is the result of a multidecade web of acquisitions and divestitures. Mr. Reid’s name is, to many Canadians, nearly synonymous with public-opinion polling; the brand’s journey back into his hands shows just how widely he has touched Canada’s opinion-research industry in the past 40 years.

Story continues below advertisement

In 2000, Mr. Reid sold the two-decade-old Angus Reid Group for $100-million to the Paris-based research company Ipsos SA, becoming Ipsos-Reid Corp. A few years later, he invested in his son Andrew’s digital-services firm, Vision Critical Communications, and became its chief executive officer. It soon started a market-research and consulting division, and launched a consumer-insights panel called the Angus Reid Forum. The panel, Mr. Reid says, climbed to about 100,000 members. A decade later, Vision Critical sold that division to the British-based Maru Group for nearly $60-million, and it took the Angus Reid Forum with it.

(Mr. Reid cut all ties to Vision Critical in early 2017, selling his shares for $44-million and giving up two board seats to a New York private-equity firm.)

Maru Group continued to use the Angus Reid Forum branding for Canada – until late last month, when it revealed it was rebranded to Maru Voice Canada. In interviews on Monday, both Mr. Reid and Rob Berger, managing director of the Maru division that runs the panel, said Maru’s license to use Mr. Reid’s name on the panel had ended – just in time for Mr. Reid to take it back.

“I tried retirement,” Mr. Reid told The Globe and Mail on Monday, “and failed.

“I made the decision that it made sense to use the mark myself to build, along with Steve [Mossop], a new, exciting national panel.”

The two will be co-owners, with Mr. Reid as chair and Mr. Mossop as president and chief executive. The latter will also remain president of Insights West. He said by phone that he was excited to return to work with his old mentor.

“We both wanted to build a national panel of Canadians that would give their opinion,” Mr. Mossop said. “That’s not, maybe, a unique proposition - but what we have with him is the brand. Over 50 per cent of Canadians are aware of the Angus Reid brand. That’s how we can capitalize on getting more people to join and get their opinions on everything under the sun.”

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Reid also runs the Angus Reid Institute, another polling firm, although a non-profit one. Mr. Mossop said the Institute will be “one of our biggest clients,” as the the Forum studies “social, political, economic, environmental issues that strike the heart of Canadians.”

With files from Sean Silcoff

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter