Veteran with New Role of Boosting the City's Image; INTERVIEW; Aged 76, an Adviser to MORI, Which He Sold for Millions, and Now Head of the Institute of Business Ethics, Bob Worcester Still Sets a Fearsome Pace

The Evening Standard (London, England), November 17, 2010 | Go to article overview

Veteran with New Role of Boosting the City's Image; INTERVIEW; Aged 76, an Adviser to MORI, Which He Sold for Millions, and Now Head of the Institute of Business Ethics, Bob Worcester Still Sets a Fearsome Pace


Byline: Chris Blackhurst City Editor

PLEASE God, can I have whatever Bob Worcester is on? At 76, the long-serving pollster is brimming with vitality and purpose. For our meeting, he's come prepared with papers and pamphlets, all to corroborate the points he wants to get across. He talks non-stop -- about politics, the state of the Coalition, his roles as adviser to Ipsos MORI, his chancellorship of University of Kent, his castle in that county and his latest appointment, as the new president of the Institute of Business Ethics.

"I'm still as excited and enthused as I ever was. When I was offered the Kent position, I was 72 and it was for a sevenyear term. I said, 'are you sure?' They said, 'Bob, it's not about chronology, but about energy. You've got more energy than most 50-year-olds'." He laughs. "It's true -- I see being in my seventies as the new fifties."

Bob, or to give him his full title, Sir Robert, was born in the Mid-West, in Kansas. But for more than 40 years, the UK has been his home. "When I was three years old, I said, 'I am going to live in London, England. It's the largest city in the world and I am going to live there.' I thought it was where the action was."

With his penchant for waistcoats and cardigans, love of heritage and membership of the Beefsteak, Reform and Walbrook clubs, he's more English than many of the natives. But he still speaks with a soft, American accent. "When I'm with Americans, they think I'm talking British English. I've not said 'tom-ayto' in decades."

He's got no desire to go back to the States permanently. "I said it when I was three, and I was right -- London still is the capital of the world. I would not have had as much fun as I've had if I'd stayed in the US. Other places are bigger and richer but most of the people I respect are in London, in the UK. Nowhere else comes close to that."

Why does he keep going, though, when others much younger than him are playing golf and fishing? After all, it's not as if he needs to work -- he pocketed many millions from selling his MORI stake.

"My father died when he was 47 and I was 13. That's probably one thing -- it drove me on. Another is the conviction that we only have one life to lead and if we don't do it now, we won't get another chance. Also, I've got a grasshopper mind so that at any moment I'm working on business ideas and proposals and other projects. I can be working on 10 different things at once. I compartmentalise.

"Today [it's 5.30pm] I've had at least 10 engagements and I've still got one more event to go to." He adds, his eyes twinkling, "I'm fascinated by this business.

You used the word 'work'. But it's not work, It's a way of life -- I consider myself very lucky in that I don't actually work for a living."

Over the years, Worcester has become the doyen of political polling, a ubiquitous figure, seemingly, at general election time -- sought-after for news of a half-point movement and his reaction, which is drawn invariably from his long experience. He stresses, though, that while he adores calling the Westminster outcome, it is not his main business. "Ipsos MORI has a turnover of over [pounds sterling]100 million a year. I'd say for the entire industry, conducting opinion polls for the broadcasters and newspapers, amounts to no more than [pounds sterling]1 million."

The bulk of what it does is reputation assessing for major corporations and brands.

Which brings him on to ethics. Or, in many people's eyes, the lack of them. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Veteran with New Role of Boosting the City's Image; INTERVIEW; Aged 76, an Adviser to MORI, Which He Sold for Millions, and Now Head of the Institute of Business Ethics, Bob Worcester Still Sets a Fearsome Pace
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.