5.4.1 Advance publicity

Any form of publicity that refers to a society’s intention to sell community shares forms part of the contract with the purchaser of those shares. All public communications, at all stages of a promotional campaign, should be consistent with the contents of the share offer document. These communications should not provide supplementary or additional information that changes the material nature of the offer, or implies different terms and conditions.

At the early stages of planning a community share offer, a society should restrict its public communications to more general matters, and avoid giving details that it might later want to alter when it is ready to launch the offer. As plans develop, care needs to be taken to ensure the consistency of communications across all the forms of media used to promote the share offer, including websites, social media, and public meetings, as well as the published share offer documents.

If you have any questions or suggestions for new information you would like to find in the Handbook, contact the team by email at communityshares@uk.coop