In the UK, the Market Research Society (MRS) has launched a sugging/frugging hotline through which organisations and members of the public can report unsolicited calls which contravene its Code of Conduct.
The MRS is actively trying to address the growing problem of sugging - selling under the guise of research; and frugging - fundraising under the guise of market research. Typically these activities are labelled as 'lifestyle surveys' and used to make respondents believe that the telephone survey is genuine market research.
By launching a sugging hotline - 0800 975 9955 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org - the MRS is providing a means through which people can report suspicious calls to be formally investigated. If a call is found to be in breach of the Code of Conduct, the individual or organisation can be referred to the Information Commissioner's Office, or police.
Jane Frost, CEO of the MRS, comments: 'We understand that it can be difficult to distinguish between genuine research and a sugging or frugging call. The practice of sugging also undermines the value of true research which is an essential tool for the development of evidence-based policy and decision making.'
Web site: www.mrs.org.uk .
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.