SEC and FINRA Compliance

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New SEC Social Media Guidance

Real Word of Mouth complies with the new March 28, 2014 SEC guidance on the testimonial rule and social media. Prior to this, the SEC considered a review to be a testimonial and therefore prohibited advisors from using reviews on their websites and social media properties. However, as of March 2014, the SEC has made it possible for advisors to use reviews if the reviews are:
  • Third-party - Independent reviews are collected and hosted by a third-party like Real Word of Mouth.
  • Real-time - Reviews and any edits are published immediately without any delay.
  • Complete - All reviews in their entirety must be published.
  • Not manipulated - The advisor or their proxy cannot approve, select, hightlight, suppress, or order their reviews. For example, recommendations on LinkedIn violate SEC rules because an advisor can approve or disapprove (manipulate) their LinkedIn recommendations.

Review Take-Down Switch

If for any reason you need to stop displaying your reviews, we make it possible with our SEC compliant Review Take-Down Switch.
You can choose between displaying all of your reviews, or hiding all of your reviews. The action is immediate, and takes place on Real Word of Mouth, as well as any properties where you are using the Live Review Widget.
In a world where anyone can say anything about you and your practice, the Review Take-Down Switch provides you with peace of mind.

Live Review Widget

Only Real Word of Mouth provides third-party reviews that are SEC compliant and can be displayed directly on your website where clients and prospects are guaranteed to find them - without violating the SEC Testimonial Rule. The Live Review Widget allows you to uniquely leverage your reviews and social media to build and share your online reputation.
  • SEC compliance - Independent third-party reviews, displayed in real-time, that cannot be manipulated, and are shown in their entirety.
  • Customizable - The size and colors of the reviews can be customized to match your official website for a professional presentation.
  • Easy to install - Your website developer can, in a matter of minutes, easily add your Real Word of Mouth reviews to your website using simple copy-paste code. The Live Review Widget works with most any website platform from Bootstrap, Drupal and Wordpress to fully custom and corporate websites.
  • Phone, tablet and desktop - The Live Review Widget is fully responsive and will integrate with the latest responsive websites as well as conventional non-responsive websites.

No Review Manipulation

Real Word of Mouth does not provide any means for financial advisors or anyone acting on their behalf to manipulate reviews. In fact, you cannot accidentally violate the SEC rules for reviews while using Real Word of Mouth. For example, we make sure that you:
  • Cannot hand-pick reviews to promote, feature or highlight
  • Cannot select reviews to suppress or demote
  • Cannot edit a review written by your client
  • Cannot change the order in which reviews are displayed
  • Every review - good, bad or otherwise - will be published online. Fortunately, you can use the Review Take-Down Switch to instantaneously hide or publish all of your reviews at any time.