LONDON: Britain's market research industry experienced a flat year in 2006, according to the latest annual MRS (Market Research Society) Annual Survey, billing an aggregated £1.353 billion ($2.79bn; €2.02bn). This represents year-on-year growth of just 2.4% - roughly apace with inflation.

Commenting on the report, MRS director general David Barr said that the 2006 numbers confirm a widespread impression of tight, intensely price-competitive market conditions.

He added: "Increasing use of online data collection methods is delivering real benefits to clients in terms of faster results at lower prices, and this may be acting as a partial brake on revenue growth for some agencies."

While MRS chairman Simon Lidington noted that some large international clients are diverting spend from mainstream research to 'adjacent' businesses that draw on sources and techniques beyond conventional MR boundaries.

"Many of these new entrants," he said, "will tend not to see market research as their only or even their primary market activity. As such, their turnover is not yet included in the MRS annual survey, which may therefore understate the total volume of research undertaken."

After the USA, the Britain is the world's second largest user of market research.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff