Office of the Ombudsman

Our Assurance of Impartiality

Words Matter: Gartner Takes Its Independence Very Seriously

February 28th, 2018 · No Comments

Guest Post from Dean Daniels, MVP Ombudsman, Gartner

We were recently alerted to a press release, whose contents many who contacted us challenged. They said, “This doesn’t look like something Gartner would have approved.” They were right. The headline read:

 

Gartner Inc. will strengthen [Provider’s*] position as a global player in [market] (redacted)

 

We immediately contacted the client and demanded that the press release be removed. It was.

 

The release had been submitted to the Quote Requests team for review, but none of the changes required by the Quote Request Specialist were made before it was posted. The document described a “partnership” in which Gartner would “assist and support” the technology provider to “become a global player” in its market. It also contained a quote from a Gartner associate that had never been said. And it referenced outdated research excerpts.

 

Aside from the fact that this press release was not approved for publication, what is more concerning is that this language could be interpreted to mean that Gartner endorses this provider over others or that Gartner will do whatever it takes to make it successful, intimating that client status would help achieve this.

 

We do want our technology provider clients to succeed, but the way we do it is to arm them with the market insight they need to be successful in their businesses. We help them make decisions about strategy, product, marketing and sales decisions, every day. However, we do not provide a service that helps technology providers assess their applicability for inclusion in our research. And we definitely don’t partner with technology providers to advocate their products or services.

 

One other thing: We do provide support for press releases. Often, technology providers (client and non-client) want to leverage Gartner Research excerpts in press releases and other documents. That is perfectly fine, as long as the provider contacts our Quote Request Team (email quote.requests@gartner.com) to ensure that what the provider wants to say, and how it wants to say it, adheres to Gartner’s Copyright & Quote Policy.

 

*It is important to understand that Gartner does not disclose the names of its clients, which is why the name and industry has been redacted from the headline here. We take client confidentiality very seriously, and as a practice, we do not reveal anything about our clients without their express permission.

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