OPTIMUM FILMS, INC.
Video Compliance Cheat Sheet
1: Does your larger corporate entity have a compliance handbook?
As I covered earlier your parent company or underwriting brand will most likely have a handbook covering compliance in video production. If you don’t want to read it, that’s fine, but make sure your video producer gets it early. They will commit it to memory over the course of the project.
2. What rules are your firm currently following regarding the Series 65?
The rules have technically been changed to make it possible for IAR Series 65 holders to begin taking and using video testimonials. Many firms are holding off on taking advantage of the rule change until November 4th, 2022.
3. Who is your compliance liaison or regional marketing specialist?
Your regional marketing management or corporate level compliance will want to be informed BEFORE you start pre-production.
4. Introduce your video producer to your compliance officer early.
Assigning an administrative member of staff to handle communication from your office with your production team is standard, but you can save a lot of time in the compliance review process by just letting your video producer speak directly with the compliance officer reviewing your project.
5. Keep compliance looped in!
Show them the first cut just to make sure you are on the right track. Ask questions if you are unsure about something before letting an editor continue with further drafts. You could get pretty far down the wrong road and delay the project with costly extra edits.
Keep in mind that when you approach your clients about taking part in your video, that you do not offer them gifts exceeding $100 unless you want the testimonial to be disclosed as a “Paid Endorsement”.
VIDEO COMPLIANCE FOR WEALTH MANAGEMENT
Producing videos for companies regulated by FINRA or the SEC can have many pitfalls, being aware of the guidelines will keep you on track. Through producing 100 videos for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Managers, consulting with a FINRA and SEC specialist, and also investing our personal time, we have become acutely aware of compliance guidelines and learned a lot about the FINRA and SEC guidelines that regulate your video’s production.
BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Everyone knows about the rule regarding implied performance guarantees. This is an area that is critical to navigate during client testimonials and when team members explain products and services; but until recently there was a designation that prevented you from creating testimonial interviews. The rules around the series 65 have begun to change, but until the changes are fully instated November 4th of 2022, many people are choosing to play it safe. For more information or to read the compliance laws click here If you are part of a larger association of Financial Advisers and Wealth Management Advisors you may also be subject to some corporate compliance concerns. Large compliance departments provide associated firms with guides and information about how to produce and present your videos, but what if your group has not had prior experience with advertising and marketing through video? How can you be sure you won’t waste money on re-shoots or scrapping the project all together?
The obstacles for compliance and penalties for noncompliance can be daunting. That is why you need a team with experience producing your video. In most cases the best rules to follow are: Keep the video focused on experience and feeling, avoid language that sounds negative or consequential in tone, and focus on the core values of the firm that give the client’s piece of mind. These types of videos are documentary in nature and therefore it is very hard to prevent clients or even team members from sometimes stating things unintentionally out of compliance. You should structure the question formulation process with this in mind. In many cases it’s not even the service you provide that is the most important or poignant piece of the interview, but more how your service has freed them from worry, gifted them with opportunity, and secured a future for their family. That’s where the heart of your video is, and it has nothing to do with sanctioned language in the compliance handbook.