Publishing Content – Disclosure Requirements
In certain circumstances, you may wish to publish an article on a website or in a local newspaper. While we permit changes to the content itself (though you may still need compliance approval; check with your Broker/Dealer for details), we do not, under most circumstances, allow you to remove or alter proprietary notices.
Here are some guidelines to help you understand when, and in what circumstances, alteration to the disclosure is acceptable:
- If you are only trimming the piece, making minor changes to the text, you should keep the disclosures in place.
- If you are making notable changes to the piece, you may change the disclosure to read “This material was prepared in part by MarketingPro, Inc. and does … (etc.)”
- If you are completely rewriting the piece, you may leave off the disclosure.
There is no firm measurement for what constitutes trimming, notable changes, or rewriting. Here are examples that may help, using a single paragraph:
- ORIGINAL: You have an “estate”. It doesn’t matter if you own a mansion or a motor home. Rich or poor, when you die you leave behind an estate. For some, this could be real property, an investment portfolio and more. For others, it could be as straightforward as the $10 bill in their wallet and the clothes on their back. Either way, what you leave behind when you die is considered to be your “estate”.
- TRIMMED: You have an “estate”. Rich or poor, when you die you leave behind an estate. For some, this could be real property, an investment portfolio and more. For others, it could be as straightforward as the $10 bill in their wallet and the clothes on their back.
- NOTABLY CHANGED: Do you have an “estate”? Yes. You may own a mansion or a motor home – it really doesn’t matter. Whether you’ve got great wealth or very little, what you leave behind when you die is considered to be your “estate”. This may be real property and an investment portfolio for some. For others, it could be as straightforward as the $10 bill in their wallet and the clothes on their back. Either way, it’s an estate.
- REWRITTEN: Your “estate” is what you leave behind. You may think that only the very wealthy leave behind an estate. Think again. Whether you’re living in a palace or a cardboard box, whether you’ve got six private jets or a single jalopy … whatever is left behind after you’ve “passed on” is your estate.
A subscriber must be responsible for their printed materials.Simply changing the title or reordering a few paragraphs isn’t a re-write, so it’s advisable to use caution when leaving disclosures off completely – as this indicates you’re now claiming that the piece is your own. Adding “in part” to the disclosure is usually going to be the safest bet if you’ve made any alterations.
In situations where you are publishing outside of your direct influence, such as through a local newspaper or a website other than your own, you will want to be clear with the publishers about the responsibilities that come with publishing the material:
- You may want to provide your pieces to the publication with a statement that the piece must remain in-tact and cannot be edited or altered. You might also consider requesting that you be notified of and given an opportunity to review and/or approve any changes they want to make – before they are made.
- You may want to ask the publication to let you know a character/word count and allow you to submit materials that fit that count exactly and/or allow YOU to make edits.
- If the publication you’re submitting to is altering your compliance-approved materials without consulting you, it may be a concern from a compliance standpoint. A piece that has been compliance approved generally cannot be altered without the need to re-submit to compliance for re-approval. We highly recommend you discuss this with your compliance office.
While proprietary notices must remain intact ("This material prepared by MarketingPro, Inc."), subscribers who are not subject to Broker/Dealer review and approval may trim or remove portions of the remaining disclosures at their discretion. Each subscriber is responsible for the materials they use/distribute/publish, and for assuring that any pertinent disclosures accompany each piece. Therefore, if the subscriber feels that portions of the provided disclosure (not including proprietary notices) are unnecessary, they may trim as they see fit.