NEWS1 October 2019

New MRS Code of Conduct launched

Data analytics Media News UK

UK – The Market Research Society (MRS) has released a new version of its Code of Conduct, including new rules on data analytics and political lobbying under the guise of research.

Edited MRS logo_crop

MRS has expanded the scope of the Code to cover all professional activities by its members and company partners as it looks to recognise increasingly complex data collection and new methodologies, and reflect changes to the data protection framework.

New rules on data analytics and non-research activities include requirements that members never undertake ‘plugging’ – the practice of political lobbying disguised as research. ‘Media-mugging’ – creating false media or social media content under the guise of research – is also prohibited.

MRS has also added new rules covering vulnerable people to highlight the importance of members making their activities widely accessible and protecting participants.

The Code launches today ( 1st October), and comes into effect from 1st January 2020. It has been consulted on with members, research professionals and employers.

Jane Frost, chief executive of MRS, said: “Evidence helps to build strategy and reduce risk, it is essential for good commercial and public policy decisions – it creates better outcomes for people and society.  This is why we have focused on making our Code as clear to members of the public as practitioners, so that trust in genuine research is not undermined by dubious unsolicited sales or opaque political lobbying dressed up as research.

“MRS has successfully regulated the sector since the first Code was launched 55 years ago in 1954.  With this update we recognise the dramatic speed of change in research – as well as data analytics and society – and remain committed to promoting the highest ethical standards across the sector– not just in the UK but globally.”  

The Code can be found at