NEWS26 October 2010

German associations urge public to ‘say yes’ to market research


GERMANY— Germany’s research associations have launched a poster and radio advertising campaign encouraging people to “say yes” to market research.

The ads aim to promote the value of market research in improving products and services, while emphasising the importance of respondent anonymity, data protection and the separation of research from sales and marketing.

Radio ads will include a jingle that can also be used in phone interviews. The campaign also includes printed materials that can be distributed by interviewers and agencies, and a website with information on how research works and how to tell legitimate research from sales and marketing calls.

The campaign is part of the Market and Social Research Initiative, which was launched in 2008 by the research associations ADM, BVM, DGOF and ASI to improve the industry’s public image.

Researchers are particularly keen to differentiate themselves from sales and marketing, as the public become increasingly impatient with unwanted calls, which sometimes operate under the guise of research.

Germany’s new data protection law specifically exempts market research from restrictions placed on other commercial activities, but Hartmut Scheffler, chairman of the ADM, said the industry still has catching up to do to differentiate itself from sales and marketing in the eyes of the public.

“The benefits of market and social research for society are much too little recognised,” said Scheffler. “In the long term that will only change if we demonstrate clearly the benefits for politics, the economy, but above all for the consumer.”

In May next year the organisations plan to hold a Market Research Day to help agencies communicate their work to the public.

UPDATE 1/11/2010
In response to some questions, the organisers of the initiative tell us that the ADM and BVM are in the process of getting media partners on board for the campaign, which will cover print, posters and radio, with radio spots set to begin nationwide in January. Flyers will also be distributed by interviewers to survey respondents, as well as to those who are invited to take part but decline.