Advertising Regulation

FINRA's Advertising Regulation Department reviews broker-dealers' advertisements and other communications with the public to ensure that they are fair, balanced and not misleading. Every year, the department reviews more than 100,000 communications. Firms submit communications for review either as required by FINRA's rules or on a voluntary basis. In addition, the department conducts targeted examinations and reviews communications submitted as a complaint or inquiry from a third party such as a competitor or another regulator, including FINRA staff involved in an exam.


FINRA Rule 2210

FINRA Rule 2210 governs broker dealers' communications with the public including communications with retail and institutional investors. The rule provides standards for the content, approval, recordkeeping and filing of communications with FINRA.


FINRA Rule 2210 Questions and Answers



Selected Regulatory Notices

13-03   FINRA Provides Guidance on New Rules Governing Communications With the Public

12-29   SEC Approves New Rules Governing Communications With the Public

Effective Date: February 4, 2013


Filings Review

Through this fee-based program, the department reviews communications broker-dealers file primarily in response to the requirements set forth in FINRA's rules. The department reviews the communications and provides written commentary to the firms, and if the department finds egregious violations, the staff will instruct a firm to cease using the communication and may refer the matter for disciplinary action.



How to Submit Communications for Review

Advertising Regulation Electronic Files (AREF) is a Web-based application that enables FINRA member firms to file communications with the public for review by FINRA's Advertising Regulation Department. In addition, members may use AREF to view, print, and save department letters about communications filed for review. For more information regarding the system, please see the Advertising Regulation Electronic Files page.


Firms that want to file hard copy submissions must use the Filing Cover Sheet.


Targeted Examinations

The department periodically requests that selected groups of broker-dealers provide for review communications that are normally not subject to the filing requirements set forth in the FINRA rules. These sweep or spot check reviews generally target areas of regulatory concern such as a new type of product or an investor protection issue. If a review reveals rule violations, the staff will provide written commentary to the firm and inquire into the preparation and use of the material. The staff may then refer these matters for disciplinary action.


FINRA has issued the following advertising-related targeted examination letters:


Advertising Regulation Resources

Firms may also find the following advertising-related resources useful:


Advertising Regulation Education

FINRA's educational materials highlight news, regulatory updates and other compliance topics. You can find advertising-related education using the following links.


Advertising Regulation Contact Information

Telephone:(240) 386-4500
Fax:(240) 386-4568
Advertising Regulation Department
9509 Key West Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850


Last Updated: 10/13/2014