Developed as the definitive resource for best practices and the foundational principles that support industry-wide self-regulation, quality and success, the Insights Association’s new Code of Standards and Ethics for Marketing Research and Data Analytics has been unanimously approved by members and the association’s Board of Directors and is hereby enacted. Adherence to this enforceable Code is required by all members of the Insights Association.*

“This is a significant milestone,” said David W. Almy, CEO of the Insights Association. “Our new Code builds on the industry standard-setting legacies of CASRO and MRA while reflecting many recent changes in research process and practice. It plays a vital role ensuring ethical behavior and best practices beneficial to research participants, the public, our members and the entire research and insights community.”

The Code was developed over the past year by an expert task force and refined in consideration of nearly 100 suggestions and comments from members. It features concise, plain language and is designed to cover all research and insights activities. It reflects changes in research and insights practice in a global context, while relying on supplemental guidance by ESOMAR/GRBN, EphMRA and other research and insights resources.

Understanding that technological advancements and marketplace activities can emerge quickly, a new Code governance process also has been adopted. Under this process, the Code will be reviewed annually by the Insights Association Standards Committee with input from members. In addition, the Insights Association Board can make fundamental as well as technical revisions to the Code when required. This new process ensures that the Code is a living document evolving with the practices that it protects.

“We are tremendously grateful for the contributions of the volunteers who met many times during the past several months to draft and edit the Code, as well as every member who offered feedback,” added Rob Stone, CEO of Grail Research and Insights Association Board Chair. Led by Insights Association consultant Peter Milla, the group included Abby Devine (Insights Association), Cathy Scott (Kimberly Clark), Ted Donnelly (Baltimore Research), Tim Hoskins (Quester), Frank Kelly (Lightspeed Research), Jessica Santos (Kantar Health) and Reg Baker (Market Research Institute International).

The Code is based on four overarching principles: Respect the rights of data subjects; Be transparent about the collection of personal data or PII, do so only with consent, and ensure its confidentiality and security; Act with high standards of integrity, professionalism and transparency; Comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

Allegations of Code violations are reviewed by the Standards Committee. Investigations that find a failure to abide by the Code may result in sanctions ranging from a private written warning to public expulsion from the Insights Association.

*Understanding that organizations may require additional time to fully review the new Code and study how it applies to specific processes and procedures, a grace period has been extended to members until the end of 2018. Until then, members may continue to refer to the CASRO and MRA Codes.

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As the leading voice, resource and network of the marketing research and data analytics community, the Insights Association empowers intelligent business decisions. All our proceeds are invested in advocacy, education, certification and direct support to enable our members to thrive in an evolving industry and drive business impact.