CID Gallup is a member of ESOMAR and subscribes to its code for the practice of Social and Market Research.
Effective communication between suppliers and consumers of goods and services of all kinds is vital to any modern society. Growing international links make this even more essential. In order for a supplier to provide what consumers require in the most efficient way there must be an understanding of their differing needs; how best to meet these needs; and how the nature of the goods or services offered can be most effectively communicated.
These objectives of market research apply to both the private and public sectors of the economy, as is the case, for example, when measuring the public's behavior and attitudes with respect to social, political and other issues having to do with government, other public institutions, the media, and academic institutions, among others. Market and social research have many interests, methods and problems in common although the subject of study and objectives tend to be different. Research depends upon public confidence that it is being carried out honestly, objectively, without unwelcome intrusion or disadvantage to respondents, and that it is based upon the respondent's willing cooperation. This confidence must be supported by an appropriate professional code of practice, which governs the way in which marketing research projects are conducted.
The first such Code was published by the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR) in 1948. This was followed by a number of Codes prepared by national marketing research societies and by other bodies such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which represents the international marketing community. In 1976 ESOMAR and the ICC decided that it would be preferable to have a single International Code instead of two differing ones, and a joint ICC/ESOMAR Code was therefore published in the following year (with revisions in 1986).
Subsequent changes in the marketing and social environment, new developments in market research methods and a great increase in international activities of all kinds including legislation, led ESOMAR to prepare a new version of the International Code in 1994. This new version sets out as concisely as possible the basic ethical and business principles which govern the practice of market and social research. It specifies the rules that are to be followed in dealing with the general public and with the business community, including clients and other members of the profession.
ESOMAR would be glad to give advice on the implementation of this Code; and also offers an arbitration and expert assessment service to help resolve technical and other disputes relating to marketing research projects.
Other aspects of marketing - in particular Direct Marketing and Advertising- are covered by separate International Codes of Practice published by the ICC. Copies of these may be obtained from the ICC Secretariat in Paris.