Market Research Society
Overview of Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct is largely built around the principles of the Data Protection Act.  This is a voluntary code that guides the practices of the market research industry; it also incorporates the principles of the ESOMAR Code of Marketing and Social Research Practice.

The underlying principles are as follows:

  • Research is founded on the willing co-operation of the public and business organisations
  • Research should be conducted honestly, objectively and without unwelcome intrusion or harm to respondents
  • The rights of the respondents are paramount
  • Research design should ensure the quality and reliability of information

Further to this:

  • Respondents co-operation is entirely voluntary at all stages and they should not be misled for co-operation
  • Respondents must be given the opportunity to withdraw at any stage and do not have to answer all questions
  • Researchers should note that respondent sensitivity to a topic may influence their responses and lead to response bias
  • Respondents must be told if an interview is being recorded, observed or monitored by the Council
  • Respondents must be able to check the identity and bona fide credentials of the researcher
  • Assurances as to length of the interview must be honoured

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