Published on Sep 13th, 2023 |

Feeling “Overwhelmed” by Marketing Review | Vigilant Solutions

Vigilant Insights

Brief Introduction

The SEC has recently released a Risk Alert describing the large amount of documents typically requested during SEC Examinations.

With the SEC’s first enforcement action related to the Marketing Rule recently announced and Marketing Rule Violations (announced on September 11th), it is important for Firms to ensure their compliance departments are properly supervising marketing materials.

Marketing Materials Requested During Exams

Marketing Materials Requested During Exams

Directly from the Risk Alert, the SEC may request (at the least) the following:

  • Advertisements and marketing materials disseminated, including newsletters, public audio and video programs, pitch books, pamphlets, brochures, websites, blogs, social media, and other promotional and/or marketing materials used.
  • Client or investor meeting materials and presentations.
  • Sponsored and attended seminars or events.
  • Client performance information.
  • Composite performance information, including current and terminated composites and composite returns.
  • Requests for proposal, due diligence questionnaires, and any other questionnaire (e.g., third party consultant database or other performance database).
  • Testimonials and endorsements, including payments made and compensation received.
  • Third-party ratings and rankings.

How Vigilant Handles Marketing Review?

How Vigilant Handles Advertising and Marketing Review?

As your outsourced advertising and marketing review team, we:

  • Utilize industry leading technology to review all required marketing materials and maintain documentation of the process for any potential examinations.
  • Provide crucial feedback involving disclosures, advertising materials, performance advertising, testimonials, and any other material that would be requested during an examination.
  • Maintain a team of in-house reviewers that are properly trained to assess material from a Marketing Rule perspective.
  • Create custom workflows designed to reduce delays in marketing publication due to compliance.

Vigilant's Conclusion

Vigilant’s Conclusion

Advertising and marketing material will likely be an important topic for sweep investigations for the foreseeable future.

Now that Risk Alerts have been published, and enforcement actions have begun, it is vital that Firms ensure their marketing material supervising process can withstand SEC scrutiny.

It can be difficult to be successful in this compliance area without industry professionals with dedicated training and the ability to dynamically change processes based off announcements from the SEC.

Firms should consider utilizing an outsourced advertising and marketing review to help protect their business goals and limit their potential risk of regulatory burden.

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