Kids, among other demographic groups, may require special precautions and approaches when involved as research participants or data subjects in marketing research and data analytics studies. So, following stakeholder consultation, ESOMAR and the Global Research Business Network (GRBN) have released a new "Guideline on Research and Data Analytics with Children, Young People and other Vulnerable Individuals."

Focused on "the ethical and legal issues involved" and giving "overriding consideration" to "the welfare of individual data subjects," the Guideline emphasizess that they "must not be disturbed or harmed as a direct result of participating in research, or having their data processed and analysed for a research purpose." The goal of the Guideline was to give parents and guardians confidence "when their child participates in research or when their data is being analysed for research purposes."

Recognizing that who consitutes a "child" or "minor" will vary from country to country and that "local culture dictates who can give consent for studies involving children," the new Guideline highlights "the need to treat children, their parents, and vulnerable individuals with due respect and consideration." In addition to the Guideline, and relevant industry/professional self-regulatory Codes, research and data analytics professionals also need to remember to abide by national and state laws and regulations "in the jurisdictions where the data will be collected to determine when and from whom consent is required or where cultural sensitivities require particular treatment."

The Guideline includes:

  • How to get appropriate consent in online surveys.
  • What parents and guardians need to know before their child participates in the study.
  • Measures to take when children are doing product testing.
  • What researchers should do when working with children’s data on social media, with photos or audio/video recordings of children