Wirthlin Worldwide

Wirthlin Worldwide was an American political and business consulting firm founded by Richard Wirthlin in 1969. The company specialized in polls and their interpretation. In addition to political consulting, Wirthlin Worldwide also provided research for non-profits and industry, covering topics such as handwashing behavior after using public toilets,[1] post-September 11 charitable giving,[2] the impact of a company's ethical image on consumer purchasing behavior,[3] and preferred methods for purchasing prescription drugs.[4]

Wirthlin Worldwide
Industrypublic opinion research
Founded1969; 53 years ago (1969)
FounderRichard Wirthlin
HeadquartersReston, Virginia
Websitewirthlin.com (archived)

It ceased to operate as a separate company on September 8, 2004, when it was sold to Harris Interactive in a deal valued at $42 million.


Originally established as Decision Making Information, Inc,[5] Wirthlin Worldwide was founded in Los Angeles in 1969 by Dr. Richard Bitner Wirthlin.[6] Wirthlin was an economist with a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1980, Wirthlin Worldwide was asked to help with the presidential campaign of the then-Governor of California, Ronald Reagan. This led to continued engagements throughout the two terms of President Reagan, including the second presidential campaign.[7]

During its existence, the company went through two name changes, The Wirthlin Group in the 1990s and Wirthlin Worldwide at the beginning of the 21st century.[6] It was finally sold and merged into Harris Interactive in the fall of 2004. The company website was shut down and began redirecting to Harris Interactive on March 16, 2005.[8]

Wirthlin Worldwide won the ARF David Ogilvy Advertising "Grand Winner" Award four times,[9] most recently in 2002 for its research work on the Robert Wood Johnson "Covering Kids" campaign.[10] It ceased to operate as a separate company on September 8, 2004, when it was sold to Harris Interactive in a deal valued at $42 million.[11][12][13]


  1. ^ "Another US airport travel hazard - dirty hands". American Society for Microbiology, Sept. 15, 2003. Last accessed 2007-03-25.
  2. ^ A Survey Of Charitable Giving After September 11TH, 2001, prepared by Wirthlin Worldwide for Independent Sector, October 23, 2001. Last accessed 2007-03-25.
  3. ^ The Hidden Costs of Unethical Behavior. Josephson Institute, 2004. Last accessed 2007-03-25.
  4. ^ "Attitudes about Mandatory Mail Order Pharmacy", National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation (NACDSF). Last accessed 2007-03-25.
  5. ^ Wirthlin Worldwide - Our Firm. Last accessed 2007-03-26.
  6. ^ a b "Richard B. Wirthlin dies at 80; pollster and strategist helped steer Reagan's political career". Los Angeles Times. 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  7. ^ Cornwell, Rupert (2011-04-02). "Richard B Wirthlin: Reagan adviser who pioneered the art and science of the modern pollster". The Independent. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  8. ^ Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Last accessed 2007-03-26. On this date, the archived pages begin redirecting to Harris Interactive.
  9. ^ "Speaker Biography: Richard Wirthlin". American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). 2004. Last accessed 2007-03-25.
  10. ^ The ARF David Ogilvy Advertising Awards - 2007 Entry Kit
  11. ^ "Harris Interactive Announces Fiscal First Quarter Results", Lexdon Business Library. Last accessed 2004-03-25.
  12. ^ "Harriis Interactive Inc, Form 8-K/A, Filing Date Nov 9, 2004". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  13. ^ Harris Interactive Buys Wirthlin for $20 million and stock. Direct, September 13, 2004. The stock was valued at 21.8m.

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