We were not as successful in 2007 as we had been in previous years or as we had budgeted to be. While our margin improvement, from 11.1% to 11.5%, was better than most of our competitors and kept us substantially ahead of all of our ad-hoc publicly traded competitors (TNS, Ipsos, Synovate) our like-for-like revenue growth of 2.7% was at the bottom of the peer group. While the comparables suggest that we gained or held market share in North and Latin America, Asia and Africa, we clearly lost market share in Europe.
As this became clearer, we focused on four steps: structural change to get a more relevant offer, more of our best talent to face the client, better recruitment, and more competitive pricing.
Tangible examples of this included the setting up of a London office for Millward Brown which has allowed us to tap into a new pool of talent and get closer to certain clients; the elimination of regional management structures at Added Value with a view to reducing time spent internally; further reductions in web-based fieldwork prices from Lightspeed and a parallel reduction in data processing costs as a result of Kantar Operations' outsourcing to India; the setting up of the Institute for Insights into Public Services (IIPS) as a joint venture between Henley Centre HeadlightVision and BMRB as a way to help government clients get the mix of high quality research and forward-looking insights around the provision of public services.