The Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) has launched a digital platform to highlight fake or illegitimate research activities to the public.
‘Phish of the Day’ enables AMSRO members, as well as the general public, to report any scams or non-genuine market and social research activities to the association.
These might include telemarketing or sales activity masquerading as face-to-face, telephone or online interviews.
The AMSRO will then investigate any reported non-genuine research conduct and, depending on the severity and nature of the issue, may attempt to work with the organisation to improve their operational practices so they comply with relevant legislation; or report them to relevant federal or state/territory regulatory or enforcement bodies.
The association also has the power to discipline its own member companies for inappropriate research conduct, including expulsion for serious offences.
Craig Young (pictured above), president of the AMSRO, said: “AMSRO believes it is incumbent on the market and social research industry in Australia to take a more proactive stance in order to protect the public from unscrupulous operators, if we are to expect ongoing cooperation from the public, whose opinions are the lifeblood of our industry.
“The recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal and the banking royal commission’s findings of misconduct – both send a clear signal that trust and accountability – are central issues for the general public and company leaders.
“And whilst our member organisations take every possible precaution to protect consumer data and are bound to act in an ethical manner, unfortunately, fraudulent activity occasionally targets research companies.
“Our new ‘Phish of the Day’ site is designed to work with member organisations, the public and regulators to protect people’s personal information and member companies’ reputations by targeting shonky operators to ensure that Australians can feel confident when they provide their opinions on the matters that affect them.”