When it comes to raising awareness of your campaign, and ultimately the investment opportunity into your business, there are a few rules that you should be aware of. For UK companies, your marketing and communications must comply with the financial promotion regulations published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If you’re marketing your campaign outside of the UK, you should check the local financial promotion regulations.
Outlined below is a summary of our guidance on how to tailor your communications to your UK audience, and more information can be found here.
What is a financial promotion?
A financial promotion is an ‘invitation or inducement to engage in an investment activity’.
Every financial promotion must be made or approved by an FCA-authorised firm like Seedrs, unless it falls within a limited set of exemptions. Your pitch on the Seedrs platform is a financial promotion, which is why Seedrs must verify and approve it. But you should be aware that your marketing of the campaign may also involve financial promotions.
Unless you’re an authorised financial services business it’s unlikely that you or your business can make or approve financial promotions. Doing so is contrary to FCA rules and you risk facing legal action or a fine.
In light of this, there are two options for marketing your Seedrs campaign:
Option 1: Ensure your communications do not constitute financial promotions.
For any communications that aren’t approved by Seedrs, you should ensure that your marketing activity does not fall into the FCA’s definition of a financial promotion. Your communications should not ‘invite’ or ‘induce’ investment into your campaign, but you can still generate interest in your business and let your community know that you’re ‘crowdfunding on Seedrs’, directing them to the platform.
This marketing communications should aim to generate interest in the business itself rather than promoting the investment opportunity. Here are some strategies you may want to consider:
Use phrases that encourage readers to learn more about the campaign such as 'Find out more', 'check out our campaign' or 'Join our journey' along with a link to your Seedrs campaign page. Phrases such as 'Invest now' or 'CLick here to buy shares' Should not be used.
Use disclaimers such as 'This is not an invitation to invest'. Although you should note that this isn't a magic wand, adding this to something that otherwise is clearly an inducement doesn't work.
Purely factual information about your business such as news, achievements or even the fact that you are crowdfunding are unlikely to be considered a financial promotion. provided of course, there is no additional language that persuades people to invest.
Option 2: Work with Seedrs to construct financial promotions and we can approve them before they’re communicated.
If you’re not an authorised financial services business (and therefore unable to make approved financial promotions yourself), we can support you in marketing your campaign in a compliant way.
We’ve created a series of emails and social media templates for you to use in your campaign marketing which, once you’ve created the content, we can approve as a financial promotion.
For templates and more information on financial promotions, please take a look at the guide here.