RCA - Spring 2003 - Advertising Regulation Electronic Filing

Member firms can now send PDF files of advertisements and sales literature directly to the Advertising Regulation Department for review via the Web. This reflects a major enhancement to the Advertising Regulation Electronic Files (AREF) system, which was introduced in mid-2002. Previously, AREF provided members with electronic access to NASD comment letters on their filings. The system was upgraded in late 2002 to permit registered users at members firms to upload new communications for review by NASD staff.

The enhanced system enables firms to track filings as they move through the review process. In response to requests for Expedited review, the system sends Review Status Confirmation letters confirming whether the review has been accepted on an Expedited basis.

Accessing AREF

AREF is one of several Web-based applications provided to NASD member firms as part of the Regulation Form Filings System. Other applications include FOCUS, Blue Sheets, and Customer Complaints. To use AREF an individual must have a user name and password as well as appropriate entitlements from his or her member firm. Individuals should contact the Regulation Form Filing Account Administrator at their firms to obtain these permissions. If an individual does not know who the Regulation Form Filing Account Administrator is at a given firm, he or she should call Gateway Business Applications Support at (800) 321-NASD to request this information and details about account administration and entitlements.

Detailed instructions on how to submit material via AREF appear in the Navigation Guide for the system.

AREF System Highlights

The enhanced AREF system permits users to:

  • Submit PDF files of communications with the public for review by the Department.
  • Track pending filings awaiting review by the Department.
  • Receive and view Review Status Confirmation letters in response to requests for Expedited review.
  • Search for, view, print, and save Department letters, including archived letters dating from the previous three years.
  • Receive e-mail notification when a new NASD letter is available
  • Set two distinct permission levels:
    • Read Own Comments: allows the user to see only those comment letters addressed to that individual.
    • Read All Firm Comments: allows the user to see all comment letters sent to the member firm.
      Use of AREF is voluntary. The Department will continue to accept hard copy and facsimile filings. The Department will also send hard copy letters to members via first class mail, unless the individual to whom NASD's letter is addressed has registered on AREF and elected on the system not to receive hard copy letters.

To view AREF, visit the AREF Web Site. If you have questions about the enhanced system, call the Advertising Regulation Department staff at (240) 386-4500.