... does MNHQ ever post somewhere to say they've been approached by < media | researchers | polling firm > and given them the OK to contact certain forum users ?
Only ask because of a PM sent to me (twice actually) today.
Admittedly it offers an incentive for taking part but as it's in London the travel cost (from Merseyside) would exceed the amount they propose paying anyway.
I'm not unduly bothered, or angry, but they are wasting their time if they are assuming random strangers are within an hour's journey time of Chiswick, and thus might be interested.
(OK, not a 'random stranger' - the person saw I had shown interest in some technology and therefore invited me to assist them...)
If MNHQ does give a stamp of approval somewhere that'd be interesting to know, and the sort of thing which any 'approved' business representative should be required to link to in their initial correspondence, so there's simple proof they're not doing this off their own bat, ignoring the Private Message comment about journalists etc needing permission.