June 17th 2023

Official Statement on the Survey "Masculinity" published by Plan International

We would like to share the following information regarding the survey on "Toxic Masculinity" conducted by moweb research GmbH on behalf of transpekte Marktforschung. The survey, which took place from 09 to 21 March 2023, involved 2,000 participants (m/f/d) aged 18-35 from Germany. We ensured that the survey adhered to the project description's criteria, fully complying with industry standards and requirements. The client specified census-based quotas for age, gender, education, and region, all of which were met by us accordingly.

It is essential to clarify that our role was limited to the field service, and we were not responsible for the survey's design, analysis, evaluation, or publication. Consequently, we are unable to provide further details or documents about the survey. For inquiries regarding the content, results, and evaluation of the survey, we kindly request you to directly contact the project management of transpekte Marktforschung and Plan International.

We are aware that this survey has triggered a controversial debate and that the result is shocking. We regret that the current discussion about the methodology of the survey is distracting from this explosive issue.

We, moweb research GmbH, and our employees are strongly committed to tolerance, equal rights and inclusion in all areas of life.

We would like to take this opportunity to dispel any potential doubts regarding the professionalism of our institute and the quality of our work. As an established and independent market research institute, we maintain our own online research panel that adheres to all applicable national and international standards and regulations for online research, including ADM, BVM, ESOMAR and DGOF. Over the past 20 years, we have successfully completed more than 10,000 projects, earning us a high level of credibility and a longstanding professional reputation.

Online market research plays an enormous role in today's world. Through online panels, we can reach a diverse and wide-ranging audience that would be challenging to access using traditional methods. Online market research has become an indispensable tool in our digitalized society.

Our access panel is based on a convenience sample, as commonly employed in online research, rather than a probability sample. Representativeness is ensured through stacked quota sampling and data weighting upon survey completion.

To achieve a well-stratified sample, moweb employs various recruitment methods and internal quality assurance procedures, including multi-modal recruitment and digital fingerprinting. Our recruitment channels comprise newsletter advertising, banner and pop-up advertising on popular websites, affiliate marketing, social media advertising, search engine acquisition, email list distribution, and, when necessary, conventional advertising in trade magazines for hard-to-reach target groups.

We would like to address the two most frequent comments and queries below:

Claim: Online panels cannot be representative because the sample is not randomly selected.

While it is true that participants in online panels voluntarily choose to participate in surveys, this does not negate the potential for representativeness. Representativeness is not solely tied to randomness. A representative sample accurately reflects the population in terms of relevant socio-economic variables such as age, gender, region, education, income, and other characteristics. Online panels capture many of these variables, enabling us to meet specific quotas easily.

Claim: The financial incentive attracts a "certain clientele".

While the incentive may motivate some participants to register on a panel, there are various other reasons why individuals join such panels. These reasons include a genuine interest in specific topics, the desire to express personal opinions, or the opportunity to influence products, services, or political decisions. Our experience indicates that the financial incentive is rarely the primary motivation for participation, especially in consumer surveys.

Why can online market research potentially be more representative than other methods?

Online methods allow us to reach population groups that are challenging or impossible to access through traditional market research approaches. For instance, individuals with non-traditional working hours or those without a landline can be reached more effectively.

Additionally, online surveys mitigate interviewer bias and minimize the impact of social desirability. People may hesitate to disclose sensitive experiences, such as domestic violence, to an interviewer. The anonymity provided by online surveys fosters a more comfortable environment for participants to share their opinions and experiences, resulting in more honest responses.

The discussion about the representativeness of online research has been going on for over two decades with various arguments and viewpoints. In view of the current post-pandemic situation, this debate gains relevance. It is therefore crucial that researchers and companies carefully weigh the pros and cons of different survey modes to ensure that their samples and findings remain representative and meaningful.

A promising approach to ensuring the representativeness and meaningfulness of surveys may be to combine different survey modes (mixed-mode surveys). By integrating online and traditional methods, both the advantages of online market research and the strengths of traditional research can be used. The use of mixed-mode surveys could thus be a promising solution to address the challenges of representativeness in the digitalised world.

Contact for queries

Herbert Höckel | Management |
moweb research GmbH | Mertensgasse 12 | 40213 Düsseldorf | +49 (0)211 828 28 00

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