Scholar Talk: Researching Market Researchers

Past Event

Tuesday, 7 August 2018 - 11am to 12pm

Researching Market Researchers - Behind the Scenes at the Ashby Research Service

With Robert Crawford

Although market research is often mentioned, little is known about those who conduct it. One of Australia’s pioneering market research firms was the Ashby Research Service. Established in 1936 by Sylvia Ashby, the Ashby Research Service would go on to become one of Australia’s largest market research firms before it sold out to an overseas market research firm. In this talk, Professor Robert Crawford will go behind the scenes at the firm to reveal its inner machinations during the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to exploring the ways that it measured the market, this presentation will also revisit the forgotten aspects of its day to day operations – from training junior staff to dealing with Sir Frank Packer.


Robert Crawford is a Professor of Advertising in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. His research has focused on the growth and development of the advertising, marketing, and public relations industries across Australia, Oceania, and South East Asia. Professor Crawford's research books include Behind Glass Doors: The World of Australian Advertising  Agencies 1959-89 (UWAP, 2016 – co-authored with Jackie Dickenson) and But Wait There's More…: A History of Australian Advertising, 1900-2000 (MUP, 2008). He was the 2017 David Scott Mitchell Fellow at the State Library of New South Wales.


Photo - MLMSS 8907,Ashby Research Service Records, ca. 1937 – c.1972, Box 42

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