21st May 2007
A meeting of the members of the British Polling Council (BPC) was held on Friday 16th May. Discussion concerned an Ipsos MORI survey for Transport for London, aspects of which were released to the press by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone on 18th December.
At the time of publication by Mr Livingstone, Mr Henry de Zoete sought further specific information from Ipsos MORI. When this was not forthcoming, Mr De Zoete complained to the BPC that Ipsos MORI was in breach of its rules.
The BPC appointed a Disclosure Committee to examine the complaint made by Mr De Zoete. This Committee concluded that the findings of the survey did fall under BPC rules following release by the Mayor of London, and that Ipsos MORI did not act in conformity to these rules when it did not make available full details of the survey when it was requested to do so. This conclusion was accepted in full by the Management Committee of the British Polling Council.
Ipsos MORI has accepted the findings of the British Polling Council and has apologised for not making the information available when requested. As Ipsos MORI has now made available computer tables from its survey, the full meeting of the BPC decided to take no further action against the company.
In order to prevent a recurrence of this problem, Ipsos MORI and other members of the BPC will carefully review the contracts entered into with clients to ensure that these contracts do not conflict with their obligations under the Objects and Rules of the BPC.
Members re-affirmed that the rules of the BPC cover all polls and surveys they conduct that are published and where there is a legitimate public interest in the full findings being made publicly available. Members also agreed that the rules of BPC do not conflict with the obligations of members to other associations to which they may belong, including the Market Research Society and ESOMAR.
Members of the British Polling Council will be working to clarify certain aspects of the rules to ensure that all members are in future clear as to their responsibilities under the code.
- Nick Sparrow, Secretary
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