Forerunners of GfK

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Vershofen (1878 – 1960)

In 1925 Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Vershofen founded the Institut fuer Wirtschaftsbeobachtung der deutschen Fertigware (IWF) (Institut for Economic Surveillance of German Products).

Objectives are cost-comparisons and change of consumer habits.

For these purposes secondary statistical research is conducted. It soon becomes evident, however, that secondary statistical analyses is not sufficient for the study of consumer behaviour.

On the 8 August 1934, Vershofen publishes a petition suggesting the establishment of a network of correspondents to question consumers on a broad basis.

Konsul Wilhelm R. Mann (1892 – 1992)

Prof. Vershofen convinces Consul Wilhelm R. Mann, member of the board of IG Farben.

The Consul calls for neutral inquiries to replace reports by travelers.