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AdMaster Features

New features are added regularly to make your life easier.


Features Highlights

AdMaster is continually improving with new features being added on a regular basis. Below is a partial list of features you can expect to benefit from as part of your AdMaster subscription. Features are grouped by Usability, Compliance and Risk Reduction.

Usability Features

Configurable Workflows

A key feature of AdMaster is the ability to configure workflows to fit your business rather than changing the way your business works to fit the software.  Easily configure as many workflows as you want with different workflows asking different user defined questions; having different steps; and/or going to different groups of users, or having different statuses.

Workflow Diagram

Red Oak works with you to create the workflows you need, either creating them for you, or guiding your AdMaster administrators as they use the same user interface that Red Oak uses to setup and modify your configuration.

Red Oak’s implementation and support team is always available to help and has the experience of helping many other firms like yours configure AdMaster to best suit their needs.

User Defined Questions and Answers

Create a library of reusable user defined questions and answers that are then placed on any activity (step) on any workflow to collect the information you want.  Questions can be dates, radio, checkbox, dropdown, text, text area, and numeric types.  All user defined questions/answers are searchable.

Email Notifications

AdMaster sends email notifications to appropriate users based on their individual notification preferences.  Notifications include a clickable link to go directly to the submission the notification is for and even includes the most recent comment made.  Notifications practically eliminate the need to manually send emails regarding submissions outside of AdMaster.

CC Other Users

You can easily “CC” (Carbon Copy) a submission to other users so they are aware of it.  CC’ing people in AdMaster is exactly the same as when you CC someone when you send an email.  CC’ing in AdMaster will send the CC’d users an email notification with a link to the submission that includes a comment you enter.  CC’ing users also “involves” them in the submission so they get other notifications regarding the submission.

Verifier Parallel Reviews

If you ever want multiple subject matter experts to comment on a submission and give their “thumbs-up” in parallel, you can add them to a submission as “Verifiers”.  Verifiers get a notification email with a link to the submission.  Each comment made by each verifier of the submission is sent in an email notification to the other verifiers as well as the current owner of the submission.  Verification is a great way to collaborate in parallel, collecting feedback on a submission without having to follow a prescribed workflow.  Adding Verifiers is done ad-hoc and is a real world way of dealing with “I’d like our attorney and product manager to look at this one”.

Dashboard for Transparency

Each user has a Dashboard listing all of the in-progress submissions that they are allowed to see.  Submission visibility is controlled by defining visibility profiles and assigning them to each user, thus ensuring users can see the submissions they need to, and none they should not see.


Each user can easily filter their Dashboard list by submission status, or any other text, allowing them to focus on the submissions they are most interested in. They can even modify which columns are displayed.  User defined questions can also be configured for inclusion on the Dashboard making it very easy to see important information at a glance.  It is common to display a “priority” question/answer for instance.

The Dashboard greatly reduces the amount of time needed to determine the status of someone’s submission.  It also frees up time and helps ensure all submissions are being processed in a timely manner.

On-line PDF, Video and Audio Annotation

With PDF, Video and Audio file types you have the ability to make annotations online without having to first download the piece to your local storage (video and audio are “streamed”).  Annotations track who made them and when they were made.  All other file formats can be annotated/edited in whatever software is necessary for that file type.  For instance, if the file type is Microsoft Word you would need to have software that can view and edit Word files.

Documents for Review and Supporting Material

Each submission can include material to review as well as any supporting material.  Supporting material can include regulatory approval letters, data sheets, or anything else you want to keep with the material that is being reviewed.  Each uploaded document can be up to 5GB in size and of any file type.  As submissions move back and forth through your workflows, multiple versions/revisions will be collected.  All versions are kept with the date/time they were uploaded and who uploaded them.  Only the material to review is included in the regulatory exports.

Documents for Review


AdMaster includes a fully searchable library your team can populate with pre-approved material to allow your users to easily find and download material they are allowed to use.  Material is “tagged” with permissible uses and given an expiration date ensuring users will only find material they are allowed to use that has not yet expired.

Library Search ResultsBehind the scenes AdMaster extracts the text from each document and makes use of an embedded search engine providing your users with a very fast “google-like” search experience.

Global Users

AdMaster fully supports global users with features such as local time zones; screens in their preferred languages; workflows that can be configured to stay within, or span, countries and regions; 24-hour support; 99.99% or better application availability.


Searching allows a user to find submissions based on almost any criteria including all metadata, user defined fields and document text.  For instance, if you have added questions such as target audience, then you can find submissions that are targeting a specific audience.  Users can only find submissions they are allowed to see.

SearchManagers can export deep search results to Excel for reporting, graphing or other analysis.  The deep search includes all submission metadata and all user defined questions and answers as columns in the spreadsheet.  Documents can also be exported in a “Submission Package” with a clickable link for each document in the spreadsheet.  This is great for regulatory exams.

All information in AdMaster is immediately available.


Reports are designed to help you manage and improve efficiency. Here is the current list of reports:

  1. Submission Efficiency Analysis- Shows where time is spent for each of your different submission types.
    Submission Efficiency by Status Report
  2. Submissions Pending by Status- Shows currently pending submissions by status which are pending longer than the number of days you select.
  3. Submission Volume by Submission Type- Shows the year-to-date number of submissions created by month.
  4. Submissions Touch Volume by User/Year-to-Date- Shows the year-to-date number of submissions “touched” listed by user.
  5. Submissions by Selected Status- Shows a list of submissions for the selected statuses and date range grouped by status.
  6. Submission Efficiency by User and Team- Shows an efficiency ratio for each user in the selected group. An efficiency of 100% means a user touched each submission only once. 50% means they touched submissions an average of twice.
    Submission Efficiency by User Report
  7. Service Level Agreement Exceptions Report- Shows a listing of submissions which exceed the specified service level agreement (in business days) for a selected submission status.

Integration API 1

There are many ways to Integrate AdMaster as a component of your enterprise solutions saving time and improving data consistency.  AdMaster users have used the API to integrate with their marketing system to programmatically create and interact with submissions, to interact with their primary user store to provision and maintain users, and to feed their data warehouses.

Compliance Features

SEC Rule 17(a)-4 Compliance

AdMaster fully satisfies SEC Rule 17(a)-4 allowing Broker-Dealers and Registered Investment Advisers to rely on AdMaster for their electronic books and records.  Red Oak supplies the required third attestations for your regulators as part of your AdMaster submission.

Part of being 17(a)-4 compliant includes the inability to delete (you “withdraw” or make “inactive” instead); a robust audit trail; duplicate storage; and the ability to produce a human readable copy even if the software is not operational.

Limit Submission Visibility

It is common within financial services firms for regulatory requirements to mandate limiting the ability of one user to be able to see a limited subset of other users’ submissions or just their own.  For instance, Broker-Dealers must restrict each OSJ to see submissions only from the registered representatives they are the designated supervisory Principal for; research departments must obey “Chinese Wall” restrictions; and multi-company firms have complex visibility requirements with shared resources often spanning more than one company but not necessarily all companies.

AdMaster fully satisfies visibility requirements through the use of visibility profiles and the ability to make exceptions on a per-user basis.

Submission Snapshot

AdMaster enables you to accurately respond to future regulatory inquiries by knowing the facts as they existed at the time the submission was created.  Each time a submission is created AdMaster takes a “snapshot” of the facts surrounding it including the workflow, questions, and the answers provided.  Snapshotting is critical if you are to be able to respond to regulatory inquiries with “We approved the submission four years ago based on what we knew then” as opposed to “We wouldn’t have approved that with what we collect today”.

AdMaster gives you the freedom to update your configuration as needed knowing your regulatory records are preserved.  With AdMaster, you will never see answer choices with “*** DO NOT USE ***” beside them.

Regulatory Reports and Extracts

Managers can export a “Submission Package” from search results which can then be copied to a thumb drive and given to regulators.  Each Submission Package contains an Excel spreadsheet listing all of the submissions that met their search criteria along with subfolders containing the corresponding documents.  Each row of the spreadsheet has a clickable link to each document making it quick and easy to respond to regulators.
Excel Export
The spreadsheet includes many columns of data including a column for each of your user configured questions with answers.

For regulatory audit responses it is best practice to remove columns of unnecessary data from the spreadsheet to provide only the information that was requested.  Internal auditors can be given read-only access to AdMaster should you choose.

Audit Trail

As part of being SEC Rule 17(a)-4 compliant, AdMaster keeps a robust audit trail of each submission and what happens with it.

Activity LogUsers can see a submission’s “Status History” listing all the statuses a submission has been in, including the date and time it entered the status and who transitioned the submission to that status.

The “Activity Log” is a more detailed list of every time a submission is touched or viewed and what was done.


Record and report on approvals with the date, time, status and approver.  Workflows are easily configured to allow as many “approved” statuses as you need.  For instance, it is common for some or all of the following to mean “approved for use”:  Approved, Approved with Changes, Approved Pending FINRA, Approved pending Final Copy, and anything else you wish.

Configurable WorkflowIn addition to approvals, all other statuses are also recorded allowing detailed turn-around analysis, status reports, and more.

Expiration Dates, Notifications and Attestations

Assign expiration dates to material to automatically generate expiring submission notifications. This helps ensure material is not used past its permissible date or is resubmitted for review and extension.  Default expiration settings can be set by workflow and users can be asked to “attest” to whatever statement you want in order to turn off an expiration notification.  This provides another layer of regulatory risk mitigation — especially with field submitters.

Full Document Text Search

AdMaster extracts and indexes the full text of all uploaded documents making it easy to find disclosure language or other text within documents.  This ability is frequently used to quickly and easily find documents containing phrases such as “$4.3 Trillion AUM” or “Ranked #3 by Barons”, etc. so your marketing team can update them as needed.

Comment Templates (“Disclosures”)

Comment TemplatesMaintain a database of reusable disclosures and other standard or frequently used text (“Comment Templates”) that can quickly and easily be inserted as part of document feedback or a submission comment.  Comment Templates are assigned and filtered by workflow so only appropriate choices are presented to users.

Comment templates reduce turn-around time, save effort, and improve accuracy by eliminating the need for a separate disclosure source.

Lexicon to Flag Potential Issues

Lexicon MatchingAdMaster can help review your material by locating words and phrases you have previously identified as requiring attention and the reason why.  Explaining why to both the submitter and compliance reviewer provides training that results in better quality reviews and fewer deficiencies saving time and reducing risk.

When material is uploaded to AdMaster it is automatically run against your lexicon and any potential issues are identified.  This is configurable by submission type and can be turned off if desired.


Cloning creates a quick link to the material it was cloned from making it very easy for compliance to see what they did last time.  It is also a usability feature because cloning saves time for the submitter by automatically answering as many questions as possible.  Cloning is commonly used for recurring material or for material created from templates.

FINRA Electronic AREF Integration 2

FINRA Response LetterAdMaster’s AREF integration allows for the automated submission of materials for review to FINRA and then captures the response letters as FINRA publishes them.  All response letters are attached automatically to the relevant AdMaster submission as supporting material.

Email notifications regarding the receipt of response letters are sent out in real time, saving time and ensuring material is approved for use as fast as possible.

Risk Reduction Features


AdMaster uses the same in transit data encryption that banks use for online banking.  In addition, AdMaster meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).  Red Oak never uses client data for testing, demonstrations or any other purpose.

Data Center – SSAE 16, ISO 27001 Certified, Safe Harbor

Amazon ISO27001AdMaster’s production environment is hosted by Amazon Web Services in their Northern Virginia regional data center.  A completely redundant, isolated, failover environment is also hosted in Northern Virginia in a physically separate location and will take over in the unlikely event that the primary environment becomes unavailable.

Amazon Web Services is the #1 cloud hosting provider in the world and is fully SSAE 16, SOC-1, SOC-2, SOC-3, and ISO 27001 Certified.

Uploaded documents/media files are stored redundantly within Amazon’s S3 environment in two separate geographic regions.  Every piece of data is encrypted at rest as well as in transit.  This redundancy virtually eliminates any risk of downtime or data loss from any single point of failure.

Red Oak leverages Amazon’s tools and services for performance monitoring and intrusion detection.  AdMaster has achieved better than a 99.99% uptime since its introduction in 2011.

Your Data in Your Possession

Fines for not producing electronic books and records have been substantial.  Many firms mistakenly think that if they use a “large” vendor for their books and records they have less risk.  That didn’t work for LPL and Barclays and it is not adequate protection for any regulated firm.

The only way to fully mitigate the risk of not being able to produce your electronic books and records is to have a human readable copy in your possession.  AdMaster eliminates this risk by providing a data extraction application programming interface (API) that allows your team to extract your data in both a human and machine readable form as often as you want.  You can also export search results as a “Submission Package” containing a spreadsheet and documents.  Your team can visually inspect the extracted data as part of a business continuity plan or audit procedures.  “Backups” are only usable if the vendor’s software is up and can read the backup.  Backups alone are not adequate protection.

Configuration Changes

Your AdMaster Administrators can update your configuration at any time using the same user interface that Red Oak uses to configure and maintain your instance.  AdMaster’s “snapshotting” functionality ensures changes can be made while ensuring the regulatory record is intact.

You can always contact Red Oak for assistance however having the ability to modify your own configuration, without scheduling time and budget with your IT group, helps protect against business and regulatory changes and saves you money.


The majority of what a user can do and whose submissions they can see are controlled through groups that participate in workflows and their visibility profile.  In addition, there are also roles that can be assigned that enable additional functionality.  For instance, “Managers” can view and run reports, edit the name of submissions at any point in the workflow, reopen terminal submissions to their last pending status, and such.  “Admins” have access to all administration tab functions allowing them to immediately update your configuration should your business needs change.

Single Sign-On 3

Single sign-on is the ability for AdMaster users to be automatically logged into AdMaster when they are logged into your enterprise system.  This eliminates the need to maintain a separate login and password and ensures your corporate password policies are adhered to.  Simplicity reduces risk.


The Usability, Compliance and Risk Reduction features of AdMaster Compliance are some of the reasons AdMaster is regarded as the Best Advertising Review System in the World.  It is Red Oak’s passion for delivering maximum return on investment through expert implementation and support, and ongoing improvements by listening to clients that will ensure it stays that way.


1 Integration API is priced as an optional upgrade.
2 FINRA electronic integration where AdMaster sends to FINRA is included for all AdMaster FINRA clients. Bi-Direction FINRA integration is priced as an optional upgrade.
3 Single Sign On is priced as an optional upgrade.


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