NEWS7 May 2010

Esomar mobile guidelines ‘address legal, ethical and practical issues’


NETHERLANDS— Esomar has published official guidelines for conducting telephone and text message-based research via mobile phones following a consultation.

The 12-page document (available online here) does not address methodological issues, but instead serves as a guide to the legal, ethical and practical considerations facing researchers who wish to survey respondents in this way.

Points covered in the guidelines include the need to ensure respondents are adequately compensated for any expenses incurred for taking a survey on their mobile; that respondents are in a position to take the survey safely and confidentially (i.e. that they are not driving and that the call cannot be overheard); that standard landline calling hours are adhered to; and that interview length is kept as short as possible.

Draft rules were put to members of the industry association in January. Esomar said: “With mobile phones becoming the preferred mode of telephone communication on a global scale, it is critical to establish clear guidance on the conduct of market, social and opinion research via mobile phone.”