ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research
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The first Code of Marketing and Social Research Practice was published by ESOMAR in 1948. This was followed by a number of codes produced by national bodies and by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). In 1976 ICC and ESOMAR agreed that it would be preferable to have a single international code instead of two differing ones and a joint ICC/ESOMAR Code was published the following year 1977. This was revised and updated in 1986 and 1994, making the current version the fourth edition of the ICC/ESOMAR Code, under a slightly altered title.
Effective communication between the providers and consumers of goods and services of all kinds is essential to any modern society. There are many methods of gathering information, and the channels available are multiplying with the development and use of internet-based technologies and other interactive media. One of the most important methods of gathering information is by using market research, which in this Code is taken to include social and opinion research. Market research depends for its success on public confidence – that it is carried out honestly, objectively and without unwelcome intrusion or disadvantage to its participants. The publishing of this Code is intended to foster public confidence and to demonstrate practitioners’ recognition of their ethical and professional responsibilities in carrying out market research.
The self-regulatory framework responsible for implementing this Code has been successfully in place for many years. The use of codes of this nature and their implementation have been referred to and accepted as best practice worldwide, as a recognised means of providing an additional layer of consumer protection.
This Code is designed primarily as a framework for self-regulation. With this in mind, ICC/ESOMAR recommend the worldwide use of the Code, which intends to fulfill the following objectives:
KEY FUNDAMENTALS OF THE CODE
The Code is based on these key fundamentals: