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Investment Advisor is seeking legal advice after Bob Veres called out IA's new 'Luminaries' awards for alleged sales, editorial conflicts

Sales and editorial staff at ALM, publisher of IA and ThinkAdvisor, counter that awardees are under no obligation to buy anything, but many often do.

Author Lisa Shidler October 11, 2022 at 7:05 PM
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Bob Veres:  As a former editor of a professional magazine in this space, that is a breach of the wall between sales and editorial.

Paul Damon

Paul Damon

October 13, 2022 — 5:34 PM
ThinkAdvisor and the other publications mentioned here, like WealthManagement.com and InvestmentNews, deserve some defense. It's easy to be skeptical of a publication's business motivations from the publishing side for such awards and finalist lists as well as the process for producing them -- and it is fair to say that many in the industry are cynical about such awards. In my experience over many years, however, I have yet to see a clear relationship between paying and results for any publication's awards shows, whether as finalists or winners. I've had clients who did not pay to be at an awards dinner or sponsorship of any tier, or any prior advertising really, still be nominated finalist and win awards. The opposite has played out as well; I've thought a submission for a client here and there was a high likelihood finalist based on merit or, to be cynical, from a perspective of budgetary ability to sponsor, but not get selected as a finalist let alone a winner. At the heart of these awards, this is about celebrating success and building community in the wealth and investment management industries -- and competition in a dynamic marketplace. Do such awards initiatives help publishers' bottom lines? It would be hard to argue they don't. But as RIABiz will probably agree, publishing and running an industry trade outlet is no cake walk. Should we appreciate non-traditional advertising efforts to support the wealth management press, keeping the fourth estate alive and well so that there is editorial accountability in this industry that has such an impact on how successful Americans are at accumulating for their financial goals and retirements and decumulating when they're there? I'd venture to say the consensus is unanimous.

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