Complaint OEN461494

Date created
Dec 18, 2020
Date completed
Jan 27, 2022
Region Complainant
North America
Region Defendant
North America

Article 9 Professional responsibility

  • Researchers must be honest, truthful and objective and ensure that their research is carried out in accordance with appropriate scientific research principles, methods and techniques.
  • Researchers must always behave ethically and must not do anything that might unjustifiably damage the reputation of research or lead to a loss of public confidence in it.
  • Researchers must be straightforward and honest in all of their professional and business dealings.
  • Researchers must not unjustifiably criticise other researchers.
  • Researchers must not make false or otherwise misleading statements about their skills, experience or activities, or about those of their organisation.
  • Researchers must conform to the generally accepted principles of fair competition.


  • Researchers must ensure that research is carried out in accordance with this Code, that clients and other parties to the research agree to comply with its requirements, and that the Code is applied, where appropriate, by all organisations, companies and individuals at all stages of the research.
  • Correction of a breach of this Code by a researcher, while desirable, does not excuse the breach.
  • Failure by an ESOMAR member to co-operate with a disciplinary investigation by ESOMAR into a possible breach of this Code, will be considered a breach of this Code. This also applies to members of other self-regulatory bodies implementing this Code.


  • This Code and the principles enshrined in it should be adopted, and if it is adopted, must be implemented, nationally and internationally by the relevant local, national and international self-regulatory bodies. Researchers and clients also should familiarise themselves with relevant local self-regulatory documents on research and with decisions taken by the appropriate self-regulatory body.
  • Requests for interpretation of the principles contained in this Code must be submitted to the ESOMAR Professional Standards Committee or the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising for interpretation.

Public Resolution

Jan 27, 2022

This complaint was reviewed extensively by the ESOMAR Disciplinary Sub Committee, and was dismissed for the following reasons.

Firstly the complaint related to non-payment for services, which as noted in Article 11.2 of the ESOMAR Disciplinary Procedures is a matter in which ESOMAR will not intervene, unless a member repeatedly breaches the expected standards of professionalism, or brings damage to the reputation of the industry.

Secondly the complaint made reference to contractual terms between the parties relating to quality of results, again this is a matter in which ESOMAR will not intervene, and any contractual disputes should be settled via other mechanisms.

We remind all members to ensure that contracts are fully agreed upon by both parties, particularly with regards to data quality and quality control mechanisms. ESOMAR members are expected to provide work that reflects the high standards of the industry, and allow for quality control checks when requested.