NEWS14 April 2011

Socialdata denies blurring research and marketing

Europe News

GERMANY— Germany’s research watchdog has criticised research and marketing agency Socialdata for not making clear enough the distinction between the two areas of its work.

Munich-based Socialdata and its managing director Werner Brög were issued with a reprimand by the board of arbitration for German market and social research after a complaint. The company incorporates a research business focusing on transport and infrastructure and a ‘dialogue marketing’ business.

The board initially said that Socialdata had breached industry rules on combining direct marketing with surveys – but Socialdata denies that it has ever mixed research and non-research activities in the past and insists it never will.

The board later clarified its position to say that the firm’s website had given the impression of combining research and marketing activities in a way that risked damaging the public’s view of research and willingness to take part.

In a similar case last month, Leipzig-based Omniphon came in for criticism from the board over how it presented its activities on its website. Omniphon also denied that there was any blurring of its research and marketing services.