Looks like E-Trade ponied up millions to run their popular talking baby ads during the SuperBowl yesterday – trying to convince anyone watching that trading is so easy, even a baby can do it. If you missed it, they are so proud of them they have a whole web page devoted to the ads.
For anyone in the futures industry brave enough to try, create an ad along the lines of E-Trades “it’s so easy a baby can do it” ads featuring talking babies (make sure to use no disclaimers as they do) – then count down the minutes before the regulators (NFA) come barging through the door shutting your whole business down.
I’m not sure why E-Trade, an NFA member who offers futures trading, is allowed to run these ads when the rules are quite clear that you are not allowed to state futures trading is appropriate for everyone (maybe it’s because they just imply it…don’t state it, or more likely that they have higher priced lawyers then the rest of us in the industry); and I do like the E-Trade platform… but I can quite confidently say that trading in general, and futures trading specifically – is not so easy a baby can do it.
How do the commercials stack up against the prohibitions of Compliance Rule 2-29:
Compliance Rule 2-29 prohibits material that:
- is likely to deceive or mislead the reader/viewer;
(babies talking about how etrade allows their tailor to retire in Tuscany = somewhat deceptive and misleading)
- uses or is part of a high-pressure sales approach;
(looks like they are ok here…..the babies are more cute and cuddly than high pressure)
- omits any fact that might make the material misleading or deceptive; or
(hmm… you could lose more than you invest, you actually need to know more than how to burp after dinner, seems all the facts aren’t there…)
- states that futures trading is appropriate to everyone.
(They don’t state it…they IMPLY it. So maybe that is ok? Or maybe babies aren’t included in EVERYONE? Maybe they under some special height exemption… )
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