Information About Being a Research Participant

Beware of Scams!
RED C, or any professional market research agency, will never ask you for credit card details in any of our surveys or from any client we work with. Please be vigilant when you complete surveys, particularly those sent to you online.

Some tips to keep you safe:

  1. Never provide credit card details.
  2. Check the email address of the person who sent you the survey is from either the research company or the brand.
  3. Check the web address for any online survey to make sure it matches the research company or client that sent you the survey.


If you are ever in doubt about the source of a research survey, check with the company that it is legitimate before you complete it.


What Research Activities Are RED C Involved In?

RED C undertake market research for an array of clients across different industry sectors. RED C really appreciate the participation of the public, our online panel and our client’s customers in the research projects we conduct. Your opinions and views are very important and provide businesses with information which helps them to improve existing products and services and to introduce new ones.

We use different research methodologies which include the following:

  • Individual interviews – this is information obtained from people on a one-to-one basis. This might be captured face to face/by telephone by one of our RED C interviewers, or by self-completing a questionnaire online.


  • Focus Groups – this is where people are recruited in advance and asked to attend an open group discussion to gain a deeper understanding of their views or opinions in relation to a particular product, service or a proposed new concept. Generally eight people attend a focus group discussion and it lasts for 1-2 hours. People are advised of the topic of the discussion on recruitment and will also be advised what participation will entail i.e. whether they are required to complete a task, whether the discussion will be streamed or viewed by clients etc. Generally no special knowledge is required on the part of the participants as we are just interested in people’s attitudes and opinions. Everything is fully explained in advance to ensure that we have your informed consent.


  • Depth Interviews – in this instance people are recruited to participate in an interview with a member of our research team. The interview will take place face-to-face or via telephone and at a time and place convenient to you. Everything is fully explained in advance to ensure that we have your informed consent.


  • Hall tests –people are either pre-recruited in advance or are recruited on the street and asked to participate in research in a set venue which is generally a research facility or hotel meeting room in a city or large town. Participants may have to taste food products/drinks or view advertising or new product concepts. Everything is fully explained in advance to ensure that we have your informed consent.


  • Online interviews – is when an email invite or SMS message with an online link is sent to individuals requesting their participation in an online survey. An option to unsubscribe will always be provided.


  • Online focus groups and communities. Bringing together people from a variety of locations (national or international) into one focus group to participate in the focus group online. An online community involves using a social platform to engage with consumers and track behaviour on a specific subject area. Everything is fully explained in advance to ensure that we have your informed consent.


  • Vox Pops – a short video clip taken from interviews with members of the public or people who have participated in another method of research where they share their views and opinions in relation to a topic, brand or product/service. The video may be taken in a public place or if tied with another method of research it could be in a hotel/meeting room facility or someone’s home or place of work. Everything is fully explained in advance to ensure that we have your informed consent.


Is The Data I Provide As A Research Participant Confidential?

All information we receive is treated in the strictest confidence. The information we collect from research participants on a survey or from a focus group/depth is combined and reports produced summarising findings. If we are looking to collect your personal data we will only do so with your consent.


Why do you ask Demographic Questions? 

If you participate in a survey we will ask demographic questions such as your age, marital status, occupation of main income earner etc. This provides us with important information about different subsets of the population. Collecting demographic information allows companies that undertake market research to meet the needs of different types of people. By using demographic information we can help clients shape product and service offerings, determine promotions and pricing, and sort customer groups based on needs and interests.


How did you get my number?

Telephone numbers are generated at random using a computer programme that gives everyone in the country an equal chance to be called. Numbers are not stored on lists and are not associated with your name or address. For each poll we conduct the computer randomly generates a new set of numbers.


 I am ex-directory, so how did you get my number?

Unfortunately, being ex-directory just means you are not listed, but doesn’t mean you can’t be called. Because all our telephone numbers that we call are randomly generated by a computer we can end up calling people who are in and not in the directory.

I’m on a “Do Not Call” Direct Marketing Register. Doesn’t that prevent you from calling me?

No – legitimate survey research is exempt from the “Do Not Call” Rule.  The rule covers marketing and sales, but not opinion polling or market research that does not involve an effort to sell you something. Our Call Centre will honor any request from someone asking not to be called again. You will be required to provide them with the number you wish not to be called on and it will be included on our own internal “do not call” register.