Introduction - Municipal Security Advertising Standards
Advertising for municipal securities is regulated by Rule G-21 of the aptly named Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). According to the MSRB, there are three types of muni ads:
- Professional advertisements concern facilities, services or skills.
- Product advertisements concern municipal securities themselves.
- New issue advertisements are a special class of product ads describing securities that lack a long track record and thus require a higher standard of transparency.
Before a broker-dealer can place any muni ad, a principal from the firm must first approve it in writing. The firm must make and keep a file of the ad.
The standard for professional and product ads is that broker-dealers must not provide information they know or have reason to know is materially false or misleading.
The standard for new issue ads takes into account the possibility that the price or yield could change between the time the ad is placed and the time the security is available for sale. Thus, any statement about price or yield should also include the date at which it was sold under those terms. New issue ads should also indicate that the securities for sale may no longer be available at the time of publication or may be available at a price or yield different from that shown.