SEC’s New Ad Rule Creates New Opportunities for Radio

wall street

Earlier this July, the Securities and Exchange commission lifted a ban on fundraising that could energize the ad market.

Now start-ups, hedge funds and private equity firms will be able to raise money by appealing to larger audiences in print, radio, television and online. As Inside Radio reports:

Just as financial services spending is flowing at a faster pace, the Securities and Exchange Commission has potentially opened the spigot a little wider.  It has lifted the 80-year ban on advertising on certain private securities offerings. While some limits will remain in place, the change will allow small businesses to use advertising to help raise money, as well as allow hedge funds, private equity firms, and buyout shops to market their funds to the public.

The ads will target the well-heeled and it’s not clear whether media beyond the likes of CNBC or Fortune magazine will see any ad dollars.   But it could bring some ad spending to radio outlets such as The Wall Street Journal Radio Report or network radio newscasts.

But that’s not to say the airwaves are going to be full of unscrupulous investment firms pitching their offerings. The SEC is barring “bad actors” from taking their message to the public if they have been subject to criminal conviction, certain court rulings and injunctions and other disciplinary actions.

Additionally, whether or not these investments are open to do-it-yourself investment operations is up for speculations. So far, only “accredited” investors with more than $1 million in liquid assets can sign onto these new fundraising operations. Whether or not investments will be available for soccer moms, grandparents and middle-class families is up in the air, the SEC still needs to rule on the matter.

The Upstart Business Journal spoke to CEO of startup company Crowdbouncer, said:

“Up until now, start-ups had to go to the network of people they knew to raise capital. That’s all changing now. You’ll be able to send a blast out and broadcast information about securities to investors you don’t even know that you can connect to through the web.”

So what does this mean for radio?

Given the pending rule that limits investments to “accredited investors,” it’s plausible that marketing will remain in very niche markets, both online and locally. But if, and when, the flood-gates open for start-ups to advertise to middle-class audiences new opportunities in local business and marketing will emerge.

Of course, there will be a new influx of revenue for advertisers and marketers who have to face the challenge of marketing something consumers aren’t used to hearing. How will start-ups, for instance, effectively market their fundraising campaign? We’re excited to find out.