Football exploding

Gambling Ads: New Scheduling Rules

11th January 2016

Gambling advertising on TV continues to be one of the most contentious sectors, and as such comes with a host of regulations. As well as the having to follow the BCAP code and its specific gambling section, the gambling industry also has its own code. Last year the Industry Group Responsible for Gambling (IGRG) announced a number of amendments to their code, which will be coming into play on the 20th February.


The most important change for TV ads is that sign-up offers for new customers will no longer be allowed pre-watershed. The last IGRG code required all gambling ads to be scheduled after the 9pm watershed, with the exception of bingo and sports betting ads shown around televised sporting events. This latest change means that these kinds of ads will also be restricted to post 9pm if they include a sign-up offer. This could be something like “Free bet for new players” or “Money back for new players if your horse loses.”


There are other changes as well, many of which are already standard practice for the majority of advertisers:


  • All broadcast ads (both TV and radio) should end with a socially responsible gambling message
  • Pre-watershed television advertising cannot make reference to other gambling products that would not normally qualify for pre-9pm exemption
  • The Gambleaware website should be given greater prominence
  • ‘18+’ or similar must appear clearly in both TV and print ads


There are also a number of requirements focused on social media marketing messages.


What Now?


Due to the fact that this is a change to the industry’s code rather than the BCAP code, and the sheer volume of ads we deal with, we will not be rescinding approval or changing restrictions of gambling ads we have approved in the past. We will expect ads submitted to air from the 20th Feb onwards to meet these requirements. A failure to comply with the industry’s code will not be a reason for Clearcast to reject an ad but, in agreement with our broadcasters, we will be working with agencies to assist with compliance and will advising broadcasters which ads should be scheduled after 9.00pm.


If you found this helpful, you may also be interested in our Advanced training course, which covers the most contentious areas of the BCAP code. As ever, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for the latest updates.



Clearcast Launch 2016 Training Programme

06th January 2016

If you’ve been struggling to come up with a  resolution for the new year, let us help: get in shape for clearance this year! Our award winning training programme is gearing up for another year, this time with dates in Glasgow and Dublin as well as London.


As always, we’ve got a full suite of courses aimed right across the industry. We offer separate, targeted CPD accredited courses for agencies, broadcasters and advertisers, as well as an advanced course for greater depth on the most contentious issues.


Book here or read on for more.



2015 was a hugely successful year for our training team, with more than 500 delegates attending courses. Even better than that though, is that 100% of Certificate delegates rated their courses as Excellent or Good, and 100% would recommend their course to a colleague.


Our standard Certificate courses provide the knowledge and insight needed to get to grips with broadcast advertising rules, along with the ability to work within them more effectively. Beyond these incredibly popular courses, we also offer bespoke sessions tailored to your needs.


And if you work in Scotland or Ireland take note: we’re hitting the road! Our Agency Certificate course will be popping up in Glasgow and Dublin this year to make it easier than ever to get Clearcast-ready.


So don’t delay, make your New Year’s resolution to get in shape for clearance, and click here to see the full course details. Got a question? Email



“Really great course! Engaging and hugely interesting to get the extra information to manage production and my client much more effectively.” Andrew, Account Manager, J Walter Thompson, Agency Certificate, October 2015.


“Best training I’ve been on in a long time- excellent.” Andy, Marketing Compliance, Sky, Advertiser Certificate, December 2015


“Key to the success of Michael’s presentation is that he makes it an interactive forum rather than a list of do’s and don’ts. It worked perfectly in helping the team to better understand the role they play in getting an ad on-air and what the watch outs are at every stage of the process.” George, Account Director, Karmarama, Bespoke Training, November 2015.


“The course was clear, concise, and covered everything I needed to know. Very pleased.” Sophie, Commercial Operations Scheduler, ITV, Broadcaster Certificate, April 2015.


“Brilliant course- just the right amount of information and interesting throughout. I would recommend it to more people. Thank you.” Lindsey, Ad Sales & Press Coordinator, Turner Broadcasting, Advanced Certificate, November 2015.


To book or see the course dates please click here or email with any questions. As ever, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for the very latest.

Slim kale stems

Ads for slimming products

04th January 2016

Now the festive cheer and feasting are over, the New Year usually ushers in a cornucopia of ads offering ways to get back in shape. This is a very tightly regulated category, so we’ve put together some of the biggest watch-outs to help slim down your clearance time.



All claims in ads must be substantiated before they are approved for broadcast. The substantiation or scientific evidence for weight loss claims will need to be particularly robust. It’s highly likely we’ll send the script and evidence to one of our consultants for appraisal – we’re experts in the advertising regulations; our consultants are expert nutritionists, physiologists and more.


Over 18s Only

Ads in this category must not be addressed to or likely to appeal to under-18s (through the treatment or the people featured in the ad for example). Slimming ads may not be broadcast in or around programmes commissioned for, or of strong appeal to, under-18s. If in doubt about the audience breakdown of particular programmes, contact the relevant broadcaster before buying airtime. It’s worth noting that calorie-reduced products can escape this restriction as long as they aren’t presented as an aid to slimming.


Promises and Predictions

The BCAP code is unambiguous here: ‘Promises and predictions of specific weight loss are not acceptable for any slimming product.’ – rule 12.7



The BCAP code goes into detail over what’s permissible for testimonials in this category – check rule 12.9 for the specifics but in a nut shell: if an amount of weight loss is specified by the individual concerned, then a time frame must also be given. It will need to be a safe rate of weight loss, generally a max of 2lbs a week. Bear in mind we will still need robust evidence for the product/plan – a testimonial alone isn’t enough to make slimming claims.



There can be no suggestion that being underweight is desirable. No-one featured can have a BMI below 20.

Up until recently ads in this category could not be targeted at or feature obese people, specialist clinics excepted. This is quantified as having a BMI of 30 or above. In November 2015 CAP updated the rule to allow references to obesity under a strict set of criteria. See CAP’s announcement here for full details.


Those are some of the biggest rules, but see the BCAP code for the full set.


If you found this helpful you may also be interested in our blog on advertising junk food. Follow Clearcast on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin for all the latest news.