MRA News

  • Dec 10, 2014
    The 2020 Census seems far in the future, but funding decisions being made this week could imperil the quality of the results we get 6 years from now. Congress will pass an omnibus appropriations bill in the next few days to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2015 (only 3 months behind schedule, and with some homeland security funding only temporarily funded in order to delay a battle over the President's executive order on illegal immigration). However, despite the best efforts of MRA and our Census Project coalition allies, the...
  • Dec 8, 2014
    On December 4, the Center for Data Innovation hosted a conversation about the future of the Internet of Things and the role for policymaking in either stifling innovation or crippling it. The event coincided with the release of a report on their 10 policy principles for unlocking the Internet of Things. Speaking at the event, Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) remarked that the “transformative innovation” in the Internet of Things is different from the explosive growth of the mobile computing ecosystem because it “facilitates the collection, storage, and...
  • Dec 3, 2014
    Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) recently introduced the “Do Not Disturb Act” (S. 2957), legislation that would restrict most automated research telephone calls in the U.S. and potentially curb political and public opinion polling through an ill-defined ban on “push-polling.” “I have long been an advocate for protecting Alaskans’ privacy,” said Begich on introducing S. 2957, “and for limiting the ability of Outside groups to spend endless amounts of money on our elections.” Details of S. 2957 The Do Not Disturb Act would require Super PACs and 501(c...
  • Nov 25, 2014
    By Stuart L. Pardau An Introduction to the FTC Founded in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) to promote consumer protection and discourage anticompetitive business practices, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) powers have expanded considerably since its inception. Most notably, the FTC Act was amended in 1938 to prohibit “unfair or deceptive acts or practices,” as well as “unfair methods of competition.” The FTC is headed by five commissioners, appointed by the President for seven-year terms, and has broad authority to “...
  • Nov 19, 2014
    Amidst massive economic transformation driven by mobile commerce, the Internet of Things, and Big Data, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “has played the same trusted role: promoting competition and the interests of consumers,” according to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez (D). She spoke in celebration of the FTC’s 100th anniversary, at an all-day workshop in Washington, DC on November 7, with current and former leaders evaluating the agency's abilities and impact. Why the FTC matters so much The FTC has broad authority over much of the American...
  • Nov 17, 2014
    Another election cycle, another opportunity to dissect the performance of political polling. On November 11, the Marketing Research Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter hosted a panel discussion digging into what went right and wrong in the 2014 election polling and what we learned about voters and the Democrat and GOP campaigns. -- Blumenthal's presentation / Boxt's presentation / Hobart's presentation / Moran's presentation -- Mark Blumenthal, senior polling editor for Huffington Post, noted that the National Exit Poll (NEP) found overwhelming...
  • Nov 6, 2014
    Three cheers for marketing researcher Larry Solomon, the newly-elected mayor of Union, Kentucky! Larry was a first-time candidate for elected office, after a long career in the marketing research profession, most recently as president of Strategic Resources Inc. in Union. After earning his MBA, he conducted marketing research for decades at Kimberly Clark, Procter & Gamble, and Valvoline before launching his own firm. Solomon unabashedly cited what he learned running a focus group study for the Union city commission at the beginning of...
  • Nov 5, 2014
    At a recent event hosted by the Identity Theft Resource Center, new-ish FTC Commisioner Terrell McSweeny (D), sworn in at the end of April, got her chance to weigh in on data security policy. The Commissioner applauded President Obama's recent executive order, and the steps that may be taken in the retail sector. However, since "criminals will always adjust," McSweeny said at the Octboer 29 event, "the FTC supports comprehensive data security and breach notification legislation that would create strong and consistent national standards;...
  • Nov 2, 2014
    On October 31, 2014, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding their recent workshop, "Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?" According to MRA, "the FTC’s continued focus on the practice of segmentation indicates that a key aspect of research is under misguided scrutiny." The association's comments suggested that "the FTC would do well to articulate the policy changes necessary to combat" specific uses of segmentation for which the agency disapproves, "instead of...
  • Oct 27, 2014
    The mid-term elections for House and Senate are only 11 days away (and many voters have already cast their ballots). What are the stakes for the interests of the survey, opinion and marketing research profession? Change is coming to DC. Many incumbent Congressmen are retiring or are in danger of defeat in their reelection campaigns, and key positions as Chairmen and Ranking Members on House and Senate Committees may be up for grabs. More importantly, while the GOP is all but certain to retain its majority in the House of Representatives (and...