NEWS19 August 2009

German MR watchdog reprimands online marketer

Europe Features

GERMANY— Germany’s research watchdog has reprimanded an online marketing agency which gave details of survey participants to its clients for marketing and advertising purposes.

Munich-based Kajomi recruited participants for online surveys and then passed their details on to marketing customers to be used for personalised marketing and advertising.

The board of arbitration for German market and social research investigated Kajomi following a complaint. It said in a statement that the firm breached its rules in a number of regards by failing to separate research from advertising and marketing, and by not respecting the requirement for anonymity in research, which prevents the identities of participants being revealed even if they have given their permission.

The seriousness and scale of the breach, and the need to prevent a repeat, made a public reprimand necessary, the board said. Its statement named the company and its owners Michael Hoffmann and Kai Noltemeyer.

The board applies its rules to all organisations that conduct research in Germany, not just those that are members of the professional bodies that support it.