Global Knowledge Base
addHow can a researcher find out how the law applies to [issue] in a specific country?
Please note that any guidance by ESOMAR or any of the national associations cannot replace legal advice. In case you are unsure whether or not what you intend to do is legal in a specific country, we recommend contacting a law firm.
addWhich questions and answers should be included in the questionnaire in order to determine the social class of the interviewees in [country] (MIE occupation, education,..)
The sub-variables on which the social grade is based:
A national or regional association may be able to help you with questionnaires for local economic classification. You can use this associations finder to find their contact details.
addAre there circumstances where a researcher can pass on personal data to the client?
addIs a researcher allowed to send personal data of an unhappy customer to their client?
This means that the introduction would need to be along the lines of
It is important that when approaching the respondent, the study is not called a market research, but a consumer satisfaction study on behalf of the client. More information on the distinction between MR and CSS can be found in on ESOMAR guideline You can use this associations finder to find their contact details.
addIs it okay for a researcher to pass personal information on to the legal department of the client to ensure confidentiality of a new product or campaign?
Last but not least, national laws may have set more stringent measures on such a transfer of personal data for which you may approach the national association in that country. They may be able to provide more detailed information on the laws in their country. You can use this associations finder to find their contact details.
addIs it okay to pass on information on illegal activities to the authorities?
In any case, when a researcher would like to pass on identifiable information to the authorities, researchers are advised to obtain legal advice in relation to their responsibilities and protection under the original contract with the client. If a researcher were to hand over the names they could be in breach of data privacy legislation relating to the identities of those involved. It is essential that your agency establishes its legal responsibilities and safeguards under such legislation and under its original contract.
addAre there restrictions for transferring personal data from [EU Country] to [country A]?
There are a couple ways to transfer personal data on EU citizens to countries outside of the EU:
addAre there restrictions for transferring personal data from [Country A] to [country B]?
Further, you would be advised to check national legislation, some countries may have stricter rules about the sharing of respondent data than other countries. DLA PIPER’s Data Protection Laws Around The World might be a good resource to find out which data protection laws there are in Country A and Country B. For more detailed advice on a local law, you can contact the national association in that country. They may be able to provide more detailed information on the laws in their country. You can use this associations finder to find their contact details.
addCountry guideline is stating that the sample must reflect 85% or more of the population to be representative. Is there any guideline similar to that that is well known internationally?
addAre mini groups endorsed by any market research body and are they validated by the market research standards?
You might want to contact the Association for Qualitative Research in the UK, or the global Qualitative Research Consultants Association to see if they have any more specific views on this.
addWhat market research methodologies are publishable in the [various countries] of this research?
It also states:
Researchers must therefore:
The following section then includes methodological and practical considerations for the conduct of the most visible types of opinion polls and the various ways that data can be collected including face to face, phone interviewing, online polls and mixed mode.
addThere is still legal uncertainty surrounding the issue of consent for user generated content in the digital space (social media) in relation to market research studies involving digital listening. What are the international guidelines in this area?
When using groups in social media such as Facebook for collecting market research data, the first thing you would need to check is if this is allowed by the service’s terms as conditions. If consent has not been obtained (directly or under the T&C) researchers must ensure that they report only depersonalised data from social media sources. If researchers are using automated data collection services, they are recommended to use filters and controls to remove personal identifiers such as user names, photos, links to the user’s profile, etc. Where this is not possible or they are manually collecting data from websites, their analysis must only be with depersonalised data and no attempt should be made to identify people – see section 2.4 of the Social Media Research Guideline - or a discussion on when identifiable quotes can be potentially used.
addWhat is the age of consent is in the following markets
Furthermore, we strongly recommend to review our guideline of Interviewing children and young people into account. This document gives you guidance on the requirement for children and young people taking part in research.
addMy client is concerned that Data Protection laws in Germany will prevent them sharing contact names that they wish to be included in the research. We plan on carrying out telephone calls with the high-level stakeholders that the client has identified by name only (we have sourced contact details independently). Are there any specific regulations on this?
It is the case that in Germany privacy laws are often stricter than other countries and as ESOMAR does not provide specific guidance on legal issues in specific countries, we would advise you to contact the German association on Market Research ADM which publishes a range of guidelines on the rules to follow. If you have any follow up questions please contact the ADM, you can find their contact details on their website
addIn B2B research when the respondent is asked a permission to share his/her response with the client and he/she is made aware of the purpose of the research, is it possible to share identified responses to the client?
Please note that both examples assume that the interviewer will also identify themselves and provide respondent with information about how to contact the data controller if they need to.
addWe conducted a qualitative study, 20 B2B in depth interviews. The respondents didn't accept to participate until we explained that their company identity is strictly confidential and that the data is analyzed on total sample of similar companies. The client argues that they do not need personal data of our respondents, only their companies' names. Are there any international rules or guidelines that may restrict sending this data to the client?
Therefore, only in cases where the sample is large enough to guarantee anonymity might it be possible to give the names of the total sample, without giving the details on the sample segmentation.
addWe want to conduct a European online study and we want to apply a raffle in order to improve participation rates. Is this allowed in [country/countries]?
For local regulations it is in general best to ask this at the association of the country. You can find the contact details of associations of the other countries on our website.
addIs it allowed to conduct research into [alcohol/tobacco] in [country]?
To find out about the local laws and guidelines on alcohol or tobacco research you may approach the national association in that country. They may be able to provide more detailed information on the subject. You can use this associations finder to find their contact details.
addIs it allowed to send unsolicited e-mails to recruit respondents for research purposes?
For more details, check the ESOMAR/GRBN Online Research Guideline
addIs there an international standard contract between client and research company?
For more details, check the ESOMAR Guideline on How to commission research - Reaching an agreement on marketing research project.
addWhat if my client cancels a research project but I have already incurred costs in paying sub-contractors?
For more details on issues to cover in the contract go to the resources.page3.faq19.text.faq21.link
addHow long should a research company keep records?
To allow questions to be answered about how the research was conducted or about the results, including after the research project has been completed, the retention period of the following records shall be as follows, unless otherwise agreed with the client:
For more detail go to the ESOMAR Guideline on the Mutual rights and responsibilities and the ESOMAR Data Protection Checklist.
addMy client wants to observe a group discussion. Is this allowed?
More detail may be found in the ESOMAR Guideline on Passive Data Collection, Observation and Recording