Jack Jones, pioneer of market research, dies aged 91


Jack Jones, one of the pioneers of Irish market research, has died at the age of 91.

Mr Jones founded the company Market Research Bureau of Ireland (mrbi) in 1962 and it went on to have a pivotal role in political and consumer research ever since.

The latest mrbi opinion poll, which showed Fianna Fáil as the most popular party in the State again, was published in this newspaper on Saturday, on the day Mr Jones died.

He was originally from Suncroft, Co Kildare, and was an officer in the Defence Forces.

After he left the Army, he joined the market research company Neilsen before leaving to found mrbi in 1962, the first indigenous company of its kind.

He undertook market research, surveying everything from air travel to washing powder.

In the 1970s he started political polling. He was commissioned by Garret FitzGerald to poll in marginal constituencies, and the firm’s reputation for political polling grew.

In 1996 he sold the company to Taylor Nelson and he remained on as chairman. The company became Ipsos mrbi in 2009 having been acquired by the Ipsos company.