Menu

Expect Focus Life Insurance, June 2017

FINRA Issues New Guidance on Social Media and Digital Communications

Financial Services Regulatory   |   FINRA Litigation, Enforcement and Investigations   |   Insurance   |   Life Insurance & Financial Lines   |   Securities and Derivative Litigation   |   Technology & Telecommunications   |   June 23, 2017
Download   
Share Page

In April, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 17-18, which reiterates previous rules and provides additional guidance regarding the application of several key rules governing communications with the public to digital communications. It is intended to supplement, rather than alter, previous FINRA Regulatory Notices 10-06 and 11-39, as well as the February 2013 amendments to Rule 2210 and the December 2014 Retrospective Rule Review Report.

The new guidance recalled many principles from past guidance and also contained several question-and-answer clarifications as to the interpretations of previous rules. For example, FINRA recalled past guidance regarding recordkeeping, such as Regulatory Notice 11-39, which notes that whether a communication must be retained depends on its content and not on the type of device or technology used in its transmittal. Further, regarding third-party posts, the new guidance restates language from Regulatory Notice 10-06, which holds that, generally, posts by customers or other third parties on social media sites established by a firm or its personnel do not constitute communications with the public by the firm or its associated persons, unless the firm or an associated person has either (1) paid for or been involved in the content’s preparation (which FINRA would deem "entanglement") or (2) explicitly or implicitly endorsed or approved the content (which FINRA would deem "adoption"). Additionally, regarding hyperlinks to third-party sites, the new guidance reiterated that Regulatory Notice 11-39 requires that a firm not establish a link to any third-party site that the firm knows or has reason to know contains false or misleading content.

The question-and-answer clarifications provide additional advice pertaining to several common issues firms face when interpreting these rules under topics such as hyperlinks and sharing, testimonials, native advertising, and text messaging.

©2018 Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A. Carlton Fields practices law in California through Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, LLP. Carlton Fields publications should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information and educational purposes only, and should not be relied on as if it were advice about a particular fact situation. The distribution of this publication is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship with Carlton Fields. This publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication or proceeding without the prior written consent of the firm, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request reprint permission for any of our publications, please use our Contact Us form via the link below. The views set forth herein are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the firm. This site may contain hypertext links to information created and maintained by other entities. Carlton Fields does not control or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this outside information, nor is the inclusion of a link to be intended as an endorsement of those outside sites.

Subscribe to Publications

Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.