The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Monday that its new $3.5 million national advertising campaign promoting BrokerCheck was made possible by the large volume of fines it collected from brokers last year.
The ads were created by Ogilvy & Mather and tout the free online BrokerCheck tool that allows investors to probe a broker’s background and regulatory complaint history. The ads will appear in print, online and on television, urging investors not to make “leap-before-you-look mistakes” when choosing a broker.
The digital ad, which starts Monday and runs through June, encourages investors to “get important facts” about a broker’s professional background by logging on to BrokerCheck. The print ad — to appear Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal — asks why people who wouldn’t cross the street, change lanes or reply to an email without checking first would invest with a broker before checking her background.
“We go online to research everything from restaurants to movies to hotels. So before handing over your hard-earned money, why wouldn’t you check out your investment professional or firm first?” the ad states.
The 15-second TV spots, to run for five weeks on cable channels, including CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business, Fox News, ESPN, Discovery, The History Channel and HGTV, includes one spot that states: “You wouldn’t haul a load without checking your clearance. So why would you invest without checking BrokerCheck?”
A print ad will run in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, with the campaign to run digitally on Bloomberg, CNBC, Fortune, Reuters, TubeMogul, the Undertone Network and The Wall Street Journal, along with YouTube and the search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing.
A FINRA spokesperson told ThinkAdvisor that due to the “volume of FINRA fines” collected last year, “we are able to devote resources to promote this important investor protection tool.”