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If you can't find the answer to your question in our FAQs, you might find it in our Welcome to Clearcast, brochure which outlines who we are and what we do. If you'd like a handy A5 sized copy sent to you, please request one from email@example.com with your address details
We no longer use our FTP site as a way to upload your submissions. For information on how to upload your video file, please have a look at the document below.
Secure upload works in the same way as digital upload, except that the data is sent via an encrypted link, (over SSL).
It would be helpful for you to look at BCAP Section 6 on Privacy. It notes that living individuals have a right to their private and family life and should be protected from ‘unwarranted infringements of privacy’. For television, BCAP 6.1 notes: ‘with limited exceptions, living persons must not be featured, caricatured or referred to in advertisements without their permission. Exceptions are made only for brief and incidental appearances, such as crowd scenes, and advertisements that refer to a person featured in publications, programmes, films and the like, providing that the reference to or portrayal of that person is neither offensive nor defamatory’. Clearcast would normally not have a problem with a dead person being referred to without their permission (unless it was a defamatory remark); however, if they were recently deceased (say, in the last year or so) then we would ask that permission is sought from their family/estate before reference to them is made in an advertisement.
We’re happy for you to use celebrities in general in your advertising, although if they are giving testimonials (for example: ‘I’ve tried this and it’s the one I find works the best for me’) then we ask that you’d get them to fill in a Testimonial Form. We would not allow a celebrity to utter definitive statements like ‘this is the best shampoo in the world’ unless it is presented as their own good opinion and not a definitive opinion ie ‘I think this works the best for me’.
If you have any other queries about the use of celebrities in advertisements, please talk to your Clearcast contact.
Full frontal nudity is not currently acceptable, genitals or female breasts shown in an ad are likely to cause offence. Pixellation may be an option and this should be discussed with your Clearcast contact as context is important. Bare bottoms are acceptable but will be likely subject to a mild scheduling restriction. The same applies to revealing clothing or scantily dressed characters. Relevance to the advertised product is also important. Extra care should be exercised if the nude subject is a baby or child within the ad. This guidance is likely to apply to animated scenes also.
Toy guns may be advertised under the BCAP Code but there are no specific rules that apply. Care should be taken with the depiction of gun play, to avoid glamorising gun violence. If the gun is capable of firing pellets or the like, they should not be fired at other people. As with all toys, please ensure sound effects and any other features shown are genuine and are not enhanced. If the toy gun requires batteries that will need to be made clear in the ad. It will also need to be priced if the toy cost more than £30.
Any advertising message that’s sponsored by a company is generally recognised as a ‘sponsorship ident’ and is usually transmitted at the start and end of ad breaks within a TV show. Clearcast aren’t responsible for clearing this type of advertising, the broadcaster on which the advertising will be shown is responsible for its approval. However if there’s a clear advertising message it must comply with the relevant section of the BCAP code. Any issues are investigated by Ofcom and they will most likely check for compliance with the BCAP and Ofcom broadcasting codes. If an advertiser believes their advertising doesn’t fall within this definition they should either contact their Clearcast representative or Ofcom for further guidance.
Timing restrictions are a way of attempting to ensure that adverts are only shown at a time that is appropriate to their content. In general terms, some ads may only be shown outside of programmes mainly watched by children, while some may only be shown after the so called nine o’clock watershed, or even later. Post 19.30 is a half way house that would be applied to adverts containing moderate references to sex or violence or behaviour that would be harmful rather than life threatening if emulated.
Examples of content that would be likely to attract a post 19.30 timing are:
a/ Strong but brief interpersonal contact. Scenes of threat and horror in the home. Morphing and/or scary faces. Moderate or strong, but brief, aggressive behaviour. Visuals of injuries, which aren't too graphic but may be bloody.
b/ Moderate innuendo. Moderate non-graphic sexual activity, this might be nudity in a sexual context.
For a more comprehensive list and explanation of our timing restrictions, go here.
If you are new to workings of Clearcast and need help on how to set yourself up as a new user on our online system, Adway, please visit the Submissions section of our website.
In principle the rules are the same as for any other sector of advertising. Supers must comply with the rules on hold duration and height so that they’re legible and their meaning is clear. There are however some elements common in car ads that require legals.
If a ‘from’ price is stated and the car shown is not for sale at the starting price you’ll need a legal stating the name of the model shown and it’s price.
If a car ad makes any claim related to its fuel consumption or emissions you’ll need to add a legal stating on what cycle and under what circumstances the figures stated are achieved.
As for other sectors, if a particular car wasn’t available in all dealerships or there was any other type of availability restriction, this would need to be stated. Similarly any conditions related to a claim in the ad such as to qualify for free servicing you must drive under 35000 miles a year, any age requirements or qualifying criteria for a warranty will need to go into a legal. Credit offers will require the usual standard credit supers.
Any key exclusions to a claim will need a legal such as delivery restrictions.
Scrappage schemes are now quite common on car deals. If the price stated in an ad is related to a scrappage discount, this must be stated as should any other important condition related to the scheme, such as owning the car for over a year.
This covers the most common issues, chat to your Clearcast contact if you have any questions.
Before ads can be approved by Clearcast, agencies are asked to provide details of the music used in it. PRS for Music explains in an article written for our summer 2009 newsletter what it does with the data and why it is important that agencies provide Clearcast with accurate information.
Superimposed text is an essential part of TV advertising to ensure viewers fully understand the offers and any relevant legal info and is a strict requirement under the BCAP code. Please see the Super-Imposed Text section of our website for further info.
Clearcast does not clear adverts to be shown in cinemas. This is the responsibility of the Cinema Advertising Association.
Long form/teleshopping advertisements must identify their commercial nature in optical and acoustic means immediately at the beginning and immediately at the end e.g. "The following is (proceeding "was") a commercial presentation brought to you on behalf of X"
Advertisements must not refer to themselves in a way that might lead viewers to believe they are watching a programme. The word "show" however, is considered acceptable e.g. "Welcome to the show!"
The script must specify the purchase price and the cost of p&p in either sound or vision. If the script does not specify purchase price and the cost of p&p, then it cannot be said to include a direct offer for sale and does not qualify as teleshopping material.
More details will follow in our new Teleshopping section on our website, coming soon!
The Submission process for teleshopping scripts is exactly the same as for any other commercials. The process for the teleshopping shortform video submission is also the same as for any other commercials.
For any longform teleshopping ads (longer than five minutes), video submission is required in our Adway system and in addition, a DVD needs to be sent to Clearcast. Please ensure that you also directly contact the Clearcast Teleshopping team (Paul and Justyna) so that the status can be changed in the system from ‘awaiting tape’ to ‘new’.
File: Claims support
File: Testimonial form
On May 4th 2010, Clearcast introduced a deadline for the submission of ads for broadcast throughout the week. This follows a review of current arrangements undertaken with our shareholder broadcasters.
The deadline allows Clearcast to clear ads for broadcasters by 6pm; it also ensures we have enough time to undertake the routine technical checks needed and to let broadcasters have all clearances in time before broadcast. The deadline also avoids the need for broadcasters to use alternative copy in spots for which ads have not been cleared because they have been submitted too late.
We recommend you read the full article about the process for arranging a late clearance. Please click here
Films and games that are BBFC or PEGI certified 15 or above will automatically attract an ex-kids restriction regardless of content. However, Clearcast will view any commercial with reference to harm, violence and sexual content and apply an appropriate restriction.
Please read a related article on video games in our Winter 2009 Newsletter
If you go to the Contact Us section of our website and enter your agency name in to the "Find your copy group executive" box and hit "Go", you will be told the name and phone number of your Copy Group Executive and your Operations Assistant.
If you'd like to read any back-copies please click here to read the Summer 2009, Winter 2009, Summer 2010 and Spring 2011 releases.
The first port of call is Adway. When you look at your script submission it will indicate a status. ‘New’ means that the submission is currently in your Executive’s in box and is awaiting their attention. ‘In progress’ means that your Executive is working on your script or it is with their second reader for their comments. When you see the status as ‘In Progress’ please don’t upload amended scripts, substantiation or make comments on Adway without contacting your Executive first otherwise this may cause delays in getting comments to you. 'Pending agency’ means that your Executive and their second reader have considered your script and will usually have placed comments on Adway which may require your attention
The aim is that our consultants will respond to an initial request for advice within a week. However, this is very much dependent on the complexity of the issue being advised on and the adequacy of the supporting evidence supplied. In order to make the process easier our consultants have developed the Claim Support Model which helps the advertiser to identify the claims with a script and attach the appropriate evidence. The Claim Support Model can be found in Clearcast Forms
Click on the script submission from the home page. When the submission is open click on the ‘History’ tab and scroll down to the ‘Update script’ section at the bottom page. Click on the ‘Browse ...’ button and upload your script in the usual way. It’s important that you upload an amended script in this way as it ensures that the script appears in your exec’s inbox. Please avoid uploading amended scripts as substantiation.
Clearcast, together with the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), offers an online copy advice / pre-clearance facility. It allows users to submit their copy for advice in the selected country/ies by the self-regulatory organisation for advertising in the country. For more on how it works and e.g. where pre-clearance is required, go to www.ad-advice.org
In 2012 Clearcast considered 35,500 scripts (4.5% more than 2011) and 61,359 clock commercials (3.79% less than 2011).
The convention for a clock number is that it shows the name of the agency, the client and product, a commercial unique identification number and the commercial length. These codes are punctuated by a "/" to make a 15 character number:
Agency Code (three alpha characters)
Terminator/Client Code (two alpha characters)
Product Code (two alpha characters)
Unique I.D. (three numeric characters)
Terminator/Duration three numeric characters)
The agency code in the clock number is allocated by our Operations Administrator, the rest of the clock number is made up by the agency or advertiser.
The time taken for script depends on its complexity. Straight forward scripts may take only a few days to approve whereas those that require in-depth analysis and, possibly, a consultant's view on technical evidence take longer. Clearcast aims to either feedback on or approve rough or clocked commercials within two days of ingestion.