Deutsche Marktforscher fürchten, dass im Code of Conduct, der vom internationalen Verband ESOMAR neu aufgelegt wird, der wissenschaftliche Charakter der deutschen Marktforschung aufgehoben wird. Marktforscher appellieren mit offenem Brief an Esomar. In Deutschland sind Anrufe zum Zwecke des Verkaufens nicht erlaubt. Instituts-Marktforscher machen deutlich, dass sie keine Daten weitergeben, sondern dass sie nach wissenschaftlichen Kriterien anonyme Daten erheben und deshalb mit Direktmarketern nicht gleichzusetzen sind. Im Ausland gelten weniger strenge Kriterien, so dass befürchtet wird, dass diese deutsche Besonderheit im überarbeiteten Kodex zu wenig berücksichtigt wird. Walter Lulay, Geschäftsführer von smr Solid Marketing Research hat einen offenen Brief an ESOMAR geschrieben, den zahlreiche Marktforscher unterstützen. Der offene Brief ist hier nachstehend zu lesen, daran anschließend der Appell der Marktforscher an ESOMAR. Unterstützen Sie das Anliegen der deutschen Marktforscher! Schicken Sie uns Ihre Meinung (email@example.com)! Der offene Brief Dear Kathie Joe, dear Véronique Jeannin, I am responding to your invitation to comment on the proposed revisions of the ESOMAR codes of conduct. I attach a document, which summarises my concerns. I have forwarded this document to some colleagues in the German research industry, who I happen to know or with whom I have a working relationship. I attempted to create some awareness of the issues at stake and hoped to receive support for my point of view. All persons listed underneath have signalised that they agree with my assessment. Some are ESOMAR members, some are not. Some have added personal comments, obviously in German, which I will forward to Dr. Dieter Korczak and our new national representative Matthias Fargel. Be assured that the concerns we have are serious. We fear that the European legislation may severly constrain the freedom to exercise our profession. I do hope, therefore that you will take these arguments into account in your further discussions of the ESOMAR codes.
Sincerely yours Walter Lulay, MD SMR Solid Marketing Research GmbH Aufruf der Marktforscher “We are responding to your invitation to comment on the revision of the ESOMAR codes of conduct. Our aim is not to criticize particular phrasing and suggest better ones but to point out some general concerns, which correspond with some key points made in the letter that ADM, ASI, BVM and D.G.O.F. have published and written to ESOMAR on this subject quite recently. In 2006 the number of unsolicited sales calls, prohibited under German law, multiplied. In the same year quite a number of research agencies have been put on trial in Germany. While each case was special, the common denominator of all accusals was the denial of a privileged role of market research against direct marketing, i.e. the claimants would not want to distinguish a telephone call made by a research agency from calls made by a call center attempting to sell a product or service. This distinction is indeed not obvious to an outsider, in particular when the aim of the research ultimately is to help a corporation to improve their sales or advertising performance. We however believe that the only argument, which we can bring forward against an amalgamation with direct marketing is the scientific approach. Unlike marketers, whose sales attempts aim at identified persons i.e. consumers, market researchers treat individuals in a test setting as representatives of groups of people with common characteristics. This implies, that the personal data of test persons which make them identifiable and traceable are never in the scope of market research. This scientific framework is the key point that differentiates market research from marketing. This argument is brought forward by the German market research organisations in public discussions and has so far been the main statement of defence in court. We appreciate that ESOMAR mentions the scientific origins of market research in the guidelines "maintaining the distinction between market research and direct marketing" but we miss it in the proposed revision of the ICC / ESOMAR code. The fact that the scientific approach as a constitutive characteristic of market research is not mentioned in the ICC/ESOMAR International Code of Marketing and Social Research Practice and the fact that you propose to accept communicating a person's identifiable personal information to the client under certain conditions (Article 7) raises concerns about diluting a fundamental principle of our industry. We are afraid that ESOMAR may be responding to pressure exerted by research buyers. Even though it may not be intended, in practice the conditions under which such information will be communicated could easily get out of control. What looks like a practice applicable only in exceptional situations could quickly turn into a habit of proactively demanding the respondent's consent to communicate his personal data to the client. We believe that there is no need to make such exceptions: respondents who wish to contact the client may be given a contact name or number, as long as it remains up to the respondents to establish this contact. Please do not misunderstand our intentions. We have a serious reservation about weakening our position in future legal disputes and risking to completely loose all privileges compared to direct marketing. This will very likely have a fatal impact on the whole market research industry in Germany.”