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Q) Who runs and funds Clearcast?

A) Clearcast is owned and funded by the UK’s six largest commercial broadcasters; ITV and Daybreak, Channel 4, Channel 5, Turner and Sky. It’s mission is to simplify the process of getting audio-visual ads to the screen.  Incorporating experience gained over fifty years, it builds on being a long-term partner in the creative process for advertising.


Q)  What is its core business?

A) Clearcast approves TV, Video on Demand and Teleshopping ads on behalf of its shareholders and broadcaster clients, ensuring the BCAP (for Broadcast) and CAP (for VoD) codes are met. One important requirement of the BCAP codes is that advertisers can support the claims being made in their ads and this is verified prior to approval. In 2013 Clearcast considered over 36,600 scripts and viewed over 65,000 commercials.

The UK Advertising Codes against which Clearcast clears ads are determined by two industry committees – the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP ). These committees are made up of representatives from advertisers, media owners, agencies and clearance bodies.


Q) Do Clearcast ban ads?

A) Clearcast doesn’t “ban” adverts. Clearcast’s role is to work with agencies to ensure that ads can be approved for broadcast. This is often an iterative process and an ad which can’t be approved in its initial form can often be approved on resubmission following changes that address Clearcast’s concerns.

The decision to take an ad off air is made by the ASA following investigation, or in rare cases, the broadcasters themselves may decide to stop airing an ad on their channels. If Clearcast is unable to approve an ad before broadcast, it is because it feels it is in breach of the BCAP code, but Clearcast will always do everything possible to work with advertisers and agencies to get their ads on air.


Q) Why do some advertisers say Clearcast is banning their ads at the last minute?

A) From time to time advertisers submit ads for approval just before it is due to be broadcast and this can sometimes mean Clearcast don’t have enough time to thoroughly work with the advertiser or agency to address potential issues it may have, either with the ad’s compliance with the BCAP code or any claims that are being made.

For this reason Clearcast are sometimes in a position where they cannot approve an ad, even when the air time’s been booked. In these circumstances Clearcast is not “banning” or “pulling” the ad. It is imperative advertisers and agencies allow enough time for Clearcast to be able to properly consider an ad and the submission of a pre-production script is always strongly.


Q) Do you have an appeals process if an advertiser wants to challenge your decision not to approve an ad?

A) An advertiser can submit an ad, along with its justification for why it believes the ad should be approved, to our Copy Committee which is made up of representatives from Broadcasters, observer members from ISBA (Incorporated Society of British Advertisers) and the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.) The decision made at Copy Committee is final.


Q) Why do some ads not get approved on the grounds they are "political"?

A) From time to time we are sent ads for clearance from organisations and charities that are campaigning for a particular cause or a change in government policy. In these circumstances, we sometimes find ourselves unable to approve the ad, because it breaches Rule 7 of the BCAP code – “Political and controversial matters”. To read more about this click here.


Q) What else does Clearcast do?

A) Clearcast provides a number of other copy related services such as training, bespoke clearances and a pitch advisory service and also offers technical services such as and edit-to-clear for clocking, supers and some edits. Their TV Admin service is for clearances across media and Europe, including playouts and their Campaign Planning service is for advertisers and agencies that need strategic help with getting campaigns right from the start, or when more dedicated help is required.

Clearcast also commissions the CARIA™ campaign management system from IMD Optimad for television services within the UK and Ireland and our investment means that the core service is provided free of charge to buying and creative agencies.

Clearcast also run the Attribution service which underpins the analysis of television advertising in the UK.


For recent PRESS RELEASES, Please see the list to the left hand side of this page.


For all PRESS ENQUIRIES, please contact the Communications Executive on 020 7339 4700 or email


If you'd like to visit the NEWS area of our site, click here.