By now, you’ve probably heard about the SEC’s new marketing rule that went into effect on November 4th, 2022. This is the biggest change to the financial marketing industry in over 60+ years!
With this new rule, financial advisors finally have the green light to use reviews and testimonials as a part of their marketing strategies. This is a commonly used strategy that other industries have had access to for years.
There will be many legal challenges that come with this new change. For example, the SEC is requiring advisors to keep detailed records of their advertising efforts. So - how do financial advisors keep their content in
compliance with the new SEC marketing rule? Tune into to our webinar on March 23rd at 1pm CST with Michelle Atlas-Quinn from AdvisorLawLLC to discuss how advisors can legally take advantage of this new rule! (If you’re reading this after 3/23/23,
click the link to be directed to a recording) In the meantime, here are some ways to ensure your content is compliant.
- Understand how the rule affects you Since the rule went into effect, there has been a lot of confusion regarding how the rule should be interpreted. Realistically,
financial advisors won’t have time to read the 430-page rule. However, becoming familiar with the rule and how it pertains to your business is a good place to start.
- Execute a complete compliance audit of all advertising content. This includes both digital and non-digital advertising content. According to the new rule, it includes,
but is not limited to: all website content, social media content, email marketing/communications, third party communications, testimonials, endorsements, all types of performance advertising, audio and video content, whitepapers,
blog posts, eBooks, and recorded seminars or workshops. Although this may seem monotonous and daunting, financial advisors are unable to skip this step. The good news is that Myriad can help you prepare and execute this audit! As a rule of thumb, you or your internal compliance team should find compliance violations before the SEC does. Plus, content audits are beneficial and regularly recommended.
- Retain a detailed record of everything. As a result of the new marketing rule, you’ll need to keep a lot more than invoices and receipts in terms of managing your advertising. Luckily, it’s a lot easier to obtain detailed records for digital media as all social media platforms automatically offer this.
You can better believe the SEC will keep a closer eye on financial advisors who take advantage of using client reviews and testimonials.
That’s why it’ll be important for advisors to have detailed documentation of your client’s permission to use the testimonials and reviews.
- Reinforce your compliance team. With the new marketing rule, internal compliance teams have never been more important. As mentioned previously, your internal compliance team should find compliance violations before the SEC does in order to avoid potential fines.
This could look like anything from digital marketing services to in-house compliance officers. In short, whoever is on your compliance team should take the time to truly understand and be able to keep advisors compliant with this new rule.
All in all, the SEC’s new marketing rule will come with many challenges for advisors. But nothing worth having comes easy - this will be a great opportunity for the industry! If you’d like to learn more about the SEC’s new marketing rule,
tune into to our webinar on March 23rd at 1pm CST with Michelle Atlas-Quinn from AdvisorLawLLC to discuss how advisors can legally take advantage of this new rule!