FEATURE16 November 2020

Essential safeguards

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How should market research organisations handle discriminatory comments and bullying allegations? By Julie Corney, standards and compliance manager at the Market Research Society.

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Along with a revised code of conduct published in October 2019, the Market Research Society (MRS) standards team has continued to create and update specialist guidance notes to provide detailed interpretation and application of the code to the insight sector. Most recently, this has included Covid-19 resources and the introduction of an essential safeguards series of guidance, with the aim of guiding our members in the prevention of harm – a key construct of the MRS code.

The subjects of the first two guides in this series are:

1. Dealing with discriminatory comments

Many of us have witnessed or experienced discrimination at one time or another. Often, people do not challenge this behaviour because they do not want to be a target of abuse themselves. Discrimination can take many forms, including:

  • Verbal and physical abuse
  • Bullying
  • Threatening behaviour
  • Online abuse

Standing up to discrimination can be a powerful sign of support. It can also make the perpetrator think twice about their actions. When responding, always assess ...