Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Alert: Brent Cross market research scam?

Brent Cross Coalition has published the following alert:
Misleading Market Research Calls?

The "Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan" believes there is possible confusion about phone calls being made to local households this week “about Brent and Barnet”. Some householders have gained the impression that it is "on behalf of Brent and Barnet".

These calls are surveys about the £4.5 billion Brent Cross redevelopment, but Brent and Barnet Councils are not involved (we are suggesting – awaiting replies from both councils).

Anyone might have commissioned the survey through Communicate Research/ICM Direct.

Whoever it is, the calls involve subtly slanted questions*. We are worried that this "survey" will be used - by persons unknown - to mislead the public, if and when the "results" are publicised.

Householders should be warned.

We are asking anyone who can record such a call to contact the Brent Cross Coalition, so we have a transcript. Please ask the caller who they represent, and complain about any questions you think are "slanted" and not neutral.

* Some questions fall blatantly into the category of “motherhood and apple pie”, asking e.g. whether new schools are a good thing, whether it would be desirable to replace an old waste handling facility with a new modern state-of-the-art-facility, etc. etc. Others are more subtle, or simply fail to offer negative options. With such a biased questionnaire design, there is huge scope for misinterpretation of the findings.

We are complaining to the Market Research Society that this survey contradicts Requirement B14: "not to lead the respondent to a particular answer".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe there will soon be press "stories" from some PR outfit, claiming "Most People Support New Shops, Housing and Jobs at Brent Cross".

We should be on our guard.