Youthography closes its doors

The youth market research firm shuts down due to recessionary woes almost a decade after opening up shop

Toronto-based full service youth market research firm Youthography has closed after almost ten years since first opening its doors.

Well-respected within the industry for its youth expertise, the company, which launched in 2001, officially ceased operations at the end of April. The reason for closure was cash flow issues endured as a result of the recession, said chief strategic officer and co-founder Mike Farrell in an open letter to the industry. It really hit the company’s advertising business hard, which it started up in 2004.

‘The research industry, in general, did a lot better throughout the recession than the advertising/marketing business, as we all know,’ says Farrell. ‘There’s been a lot of blood all over the place in terms of the ad game and we couldn’t escape that. We had a lot of clients just pull entire budgets from us during [the recession], American clients in particular, and that just killed us.’

As a result, the research side of Youthography’s business was left to service debt that accumulated from the company’s ad business. Thus, the decision was made to close down the company’s ad operations during the last quarter of 2009, at which point Youthography co-founder Max Valiquette ceased formal involvement with the company. He tendered a formal resignation last month. Since April, Farrell has spent much of his time helping Youthography staff land on their feet.

‘I’m happy that we managed to find some of our key staff some good homes,’ says Farrell. ‘There are great Youthography trained experts out there and they’re kicking ass for sure.’