GfK Custom Research North America Realigning to Meet Evolving Client Needs

–Globally Scalable Research Provides 360 Degree Marketplace–

NEW YORK–March 1, 2007–GfK Custom Research North America today announced it has completed the integration of its companies in the U.S. and Canada.  As part of the GfK Group, a top five global market research house, the firm has realigned to meet the evolving needs of its client base and strengthen the company’s presence in this critical market.

Remapping based on sectors and practice areas, the new organization offers clients seamless access to the consumer intelligence and research analysis housed in its specialized groups including the firm’s legacy products – GfK Roper Reports® US and GfK Roper Reports® Worldwide, GfK Starch® Communications print ad readership database, GfK Roper® Poll, GfK Price Challenger®, GfK LoyaltyPLUS®, BVT (Brand Vitality Tracking) SM and AFI Purchase Funnel® among others.

This step marks the completion of Custom Research North America’s integration into its parent company, the GfK Group.  Providing a 360-degree view of the market and serving the world’s largest research arena, GfK Custom Research North America will significantly contribute toward the company’s global mission of “Growth from Knowledge.” 

The reorganization enhances cross-communication and provides clients with the expert advice and sector specific knowledge they demand and require. Uniting the strength of ARBOR, Allison-Fisher International (AFI), Caribou Lake, Custom Research Inc. and NOP World (US) under the GfK Custom Research North America umbrella, the company now offers five industry-specific sectors as well as six practice areas with services that cut across all industries. 

GfK Research Dynamics, its custom research company in Canada, will continue to function as a standalone entity. For more information, please visit,

The new sectors include GfK Automotive, GfK Consumer, GfK Financial Services, GfK Media & Communications, and GfK Technology. Practice areas consist of GfK Roper Consulting, GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media, GfK Brand & Communications, GfK Customer Loyalty and GfK Qualitative & Ethnography as well as a Research Center of Excellence. 

GfK Custom Research North America is lead by:

Martin R. Lautman, Ph.D., Chairman – Previously President and Senior Partner of ARBOR, now part of the GfK family, Marty oversaw more than 500 marketing research and strategy engagements for a variety of clients.

Debbie Pruent, Chief Operating Officer – Formerly CEO of GfK Automotive, Debbie has over 20 years of auto marketing research and consulting experience on both the client and agency side. 

“The integration allows us to respond to our client’s needs for innovation and fact-based consulting supported by high quality research data, enabling us to deliver unmatched, actionable intelligence,” says Debbie Pruent, COO.  “I'm pleased to announce the management team selected to run the newly organized company.  Each of these leaders has been selected from within the legacy NOP, AFI, ARBOR and Custom Research Inc. (CRI) companies and reflects the depth of talent that runs throughout GfK Custom Research North America.”

Sector and practice area heads include:


  • GfK Automotive: Don DeVeaux
  • GfK Consumer: Patricia Hughes
  • GfK Technology: Thomas Finkle
  • GfK Media & Communications: Barry Feinberg
  • GfK Financial Services: Bill Matlack

Practice areas

  • GfK Roper Consulting: Anders Brogren
  • GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media: Barry Feinberg
  • GfK Brand & Communications: John Wittenbraker
  • GfK Customer Loyalty: Don Simons
  • GfK Qualitative & Ethnography: Joanne Kaplan

For more information, please visit

About GfK Custom Research North America
Headquartered in New York, GfK Custom Research North America is a company of the GfK Group.  With home offices in Nuremberg, Germany, the GfK Group is among the top-five market research organizations in the world.  Its activities cover five business divisions: Custom Research, Retail and Technology, Consumer Tracking, Media and Healthcare.   In addition to 13 subsidiaries in Germany, the GfK Group has more than 130 subsidiaries and affiliates in over 70 countries.

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