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What is research abuse?

The mistreatment of the research process or using it wrongly. Often times the research process is "abused" through ignorance, confusing marketing and opinion research with telemarketing or lumping it into the same category. Legitimate marketing research requires the cooperation of the general population, and of registered voters in our country. Typical abuses are:

  • Selling under the guise of research often referred to as "SUGGing"
  • Fund raising under the guise of research is often referred to as "FRUGGing"

FRUGGING: The use of a poll to conduct fund raising has raised the distrust of the public to a point where they refuse to cooperate with researchers trying to obtain the opinions of any number of issues, including political campaign, and government: federal, state and local research. In a country inundated with telemarketing and direct mail fund raising it is more and more difficult for marketing and opinion researchers to get accurate data. Marketing and opinion researchers promise no selling, no request for contributions and confidentiality of personal information to respondents in return for their cooperation. Legitimate marketing and opinion researchers are only trying to obtain neutral and unbiased data. Fund Raising under the guise of research obviously rejects this principle.

SUGGING: The use of a marketing research survey to attempt to sell to the public. The misuse of the survey process compromises legitimate marketing and opinion research surveys conducted by professionals. It also causes distrust among the public and affects the reliability of all public opinion research. The government has legislation outlawing telemarketing calls selling under the guise of research. The Council for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR) is very active in the protection of marketing and opinion research and the public opinion.

What you can do about it?

Notify MRA Headquarters Once Headquarters is aware of an abuse, the following steps are taken:

  • A note of thanks for acknowledgement to the person reporting the event.
  • Review the abuse and determine the appropriate communication response.
  • Send letter to the abuser if possible and share the abuse with other associations that help take on "the fight."

Following are Sample letters you can use to notify the abuser of your concern.

***Send a copy to:
Marketing Research Association Headquarters

Marketing Research Association
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