The regulatory arm of the National Association of Securities Dealers Inc. has set aside plans for a public discussion on advertising for on-line trading, a top official said.

Arthur Levitt Jr., the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, had called for a public roundtable during a speech at the National Press Club last month.

But since then, some on-line firms have changed advertising practices that were criticized by Mr. Levitt and have made "much more of an effort to educate investors," said R. Clark Hooper, executive vice president of the NASD's regulatory unit, during an interview Tuesday in her office.

The NASD thought it would be more productive first to meet separately with investor-focus groups, advertising executives, and on-line firms, she said, adding that a public roundtable discussion could be a later NASD initiative.

Separately, Ms. Hooper said the NASD plans to post a question-and-answer guide "imminently" to help member firms interpret recently revamped cash- compensation rules. These amendments adopt new definitions and limit how members can pay or accept noncash compensation, among other things.

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