Clearcast Will Be Closed on 4th September

16th August 2017

On September 4th 2017 CopyCentral, the workflow system at the heart of advertising clearance, will transfer from Hogarth Worldwide to Optimad (a Group IMD company).


Over the period September 2nd to 4th, the live CopyCentral system will move from physical servers into the cloud.  Please be aware:


  • Clearcast will close at 1700 on Friday September 1st.
  • The CopyCentral system will be unavailable from 1830 on Friday September 1st until 0830 on Tuesday September 5th
  • It will therefore not be possible to submit anything to Clearcast on Monday September 4th and Clearcast will be closed that day
  • On Friday September 1st we will be clearing advertisements broadcasters advise us will be broadcast through to September 5th, please ensure we receive these in good time
  • Our online terms and conditions for CopyCentral will be updated to reflect the change in supplier, as well as some other changes, and all users will be required to agree to these before they can use the system. The revised online terms, and key changes, can be found here (pdf).  Otherwise the URL (web address), functionality and support of CopyCentral remain unchanged
  • Our systems agreements with some companies, where they refer to Hogarth as our systems provider, are also being revised and updated, and where relevant these will be sent separately to super users. By continuing to use the System on or after 4 September 2017, your company will be agreeing to the updated CopyCentral System Terms


The transfer follows work over several months by Hogarth, Optimad and Clearcast to ensure smooth migration of this industry-critical system with minimal impact on users.  It involves moving the system to Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) which will give it more resilience, flexibility and power.


More background to the transfer can be found here.


Transfer of CopyCentral by Hogarth to Optimad

16th August 2017

CopyCentral, the workflow system at the heart of advertising clearance, has been transferred by Hogarth Worldwide to Optimad (a Group IMD company).


Hogarth Worldwide was awarded the contract to provide Clearcast with the CopyCentral system in 2012.


Clearcast clears linear and VOD advertising on behalf of the UK broadcast industry (ITV, Channel 4, Sky Media, Turner and other broadcasters) and uses CopyCentral to manage its clearance workflow. The system has been operating successfully for two years and circa 35,000 scripts and 66,000 commercials a year go through the system. CopyCentral processes many hundreds of clearance requests each day, serving up in excess of half a million page views per month to agencies in the UK, Ireland and beyond, providing Clearcast with a system that will meet the needs of the TV advertising market for years to come.


Hogarth is the world’s leading marketing implementation agency, with nearly 3,000 staff globally. With the continued strong growth of Hogarth’s advertising production and localisation business a decision has been taken to focus its development efforts on those systems which underpin Hogarth’s core offering, and to consider divesting those technologies which aren’t central to Hogarth’s own core activities.


Optimad is a Group IMD company specialising in creating and operating media systems. It runs the TV industry’s transactional platform CARIA® in the UK and ROI, TV Attribution on behalf of Clearcast in the UK and the creative services workflow system for ARPP, France’s copy clearance organisation.


CopyCentral complements Optimad’s existing portfolio of products and following migration Optimad and Clearcast will explore ways to further improve the media workflow ecosystem including integrations for the benefit of the advertising industry.


For any questions please contact Chris Mundy, MD of Clearcast, Richard Glasson, CEO of Hogarth Worldwide or Simon Cox CEO of Group IMD.



Google Exec on Adding Sanity to Video Asset Management

11th August 2017

This is a guest post from Harold Geller,  Executive Director of Ad-ID LLC — the industry standard for the registration of advertising assets across all media platforms. It was originally posted on on 8th August 2017.


It is music to my ears when people in the industry understand and support what we’re doing at Ad-ID.  That’s why it can be satisfying to listen in on the question and answer session during one of our webinars.


After a recent webinar on VAST v 4.0 and the technologies and best practices for server-side ad insertion, I was thrilled to hear Abid Dar, Manager of Video Solutions at Google, say that having a single, universal identifier — like Ad-ID — reduces confusion when identifying creative assets.  He went even further, saying it adds sanity and brings cohesion.


Ad-ID is the designated UniversalAdId to track assets cross-platform in the U.S. as required by the latest version (4.0) of the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) for delivering video ads across multiple platforms: over-the-air, online, over-the-top, mobile and place-based.


Without such a universal identifier, systems from data collection to campaign management to creative tracking start to break down as the ad asset moves cross-platform.  This makes video operations extremely difficult to manage.


My new best friend Abid went into some detail on the struggles he encounters when trying to accurately report without the benefit of a common asset identification registry.  “I think that one of the largest challenges we face post-implementation is, ‘Why did X creative run and why didn’t Y creative run?  And how can I get more information about what happened?'” he said.  “Having a single ID that we can all reference helps.”


Abid concluded that the solution to resolve a variety of challenging scenarios is to agree on an industry standard unique identifier that would provide commonality throughout the ad-delivery process.


Queue the music to my ears.


VAST 4.0, created and managed by the IAB Tech Lab, requires such an industry standard — the UniversalAdId.  In the U.S., it’s Ad-ID; in the U.K. it’s Clock Number, administered by Clearcast.  These UniversalAdIds track each ad creative and provide a unique creative identifier that is maintained across all platforms.  When created from a known registration authority such as Ad-ID, it establishes consistency and reliably guarantees uniqueness for identifying the asset.


Using an Ad-ID code ensures that an individual video ad will have a single unique identifier across publishers and campaigns.  This improves data collection and reporting for cross-platform campaigns by providing the ability to control, track and measure ads accurately.  In addition, it prevents a stitching service from re-processing assets that have already been processed and made available for ad delivery.  The inventory fill rates for both the publisher and the advertiser, then, are improved.


Using a known registration authority such as Ad-ID or Clearcast delivers universally unique identifiers, which benefits the advertising ecosystem by eliminating asset-identity confusion throughout the supply chain.


I encourage you to attend one of our webinars; it’s a great way to learn from others and ensure you’re maximizing the usefulness of Ad-ID.  To listen to the webinar that Abid Dar attended, go here.


That webinar, while briefly giving an overview of VAST 4.0 core features, focused on demonstrating the importance of server-side ad insertion using the mezzanine file to deliver a higher-quality TV-like experience across platforms.  It also covered the benefits of UniversalAdId to track assets cross-platform.

Press Release – Clearcast launches an online portal for the ad industry

03rd August 2017

Clearcast Business Affairs department launches MediaCentral, an online portal for the video ad industry.


The Business Affairs department at Clearcast, the company best known for clearing TV ads for broadcast in the UK, has used its far-reaching industry knowledge and contacts to develop an invaluable online portal for advertisers and agencies who need help navigating the world of video ads.


The site is a task-based portal that impartially (and without charge to users or featured companies) connects agencies and advertisers to hundreds of 3rd party websites.


From MediaCentral users can quickly find companies ready to help with a range of challenges faced when making an ad, such as where to book air time, how to get a soundtrack for an ad, how to get an ad on air in another country and how to get a child licence.


Business Affairs Manager at Clearcast, Danny Turner  says, “I’m often asked about the best processes for getting ads to air both locally and overseas. There’s never one straight answer because the processes differ so much between countries. I’ve always thought a central place for listings of companies, services, codes and tools would really help people navigate the sometimes confusing world of video advertising and now we have it on MediaCentral. I’m thrilled that our Business Affairs department has been able to provide the industry with this valuable resource.”


MediaCentral can be found at


About Clearcast

Ad agencies, advertisers and broadcasters use Clearcast services to conceptualise, develop, produce and broadcast great adverts. Although best known for clearing ads for UK commercial channels, Clearcast works with clients throughout the ad development process and offer a range of other services to the industry like training in advertising rules, advice on pitch and research scripts, technical services, international clearance advice and a Business Affairs service.


For more general information on Clearcast  visit



For any questions relating to this press release please email

MediaCentral – an online portal for video ad industry

03rd August 2017

Powered by Clearcast Business Affairs


You probably know us best for clearing TV ads for broadcast in the UK.


But you probably also know we like to spread our wings and be helpful in other ways too. Perhaps you’ve been on one of our training courses or have used our Copy Development service?


Well our latest endeavour is bound to be one of our most helpful yet. Our Business Affairs department has used its far-reaching industry knowledge and contacts to develop an online portal for advertisers and agencies who need help navigating the world of video ads.


The new site is called MediaCentral and is a task-based portal that impartially (and without charge to users or featured companies) connects you to hundreds of 3rd party websites.


From MediaCentral you can quickly find companies ready to help with a range of challenges faced when making an ad, such as where to book air time, how to get a soundtrack for your ad, how to get an ad on air in another country and how to get a child licence.


Please take a look at The site is constantly evolving so get in touch via as we’d love to know your thoughts.


And if you would like talk to us about any of your upcoming projects, please contact Danny Turner, our Business Affairs Manager who would be more than happy to help. You can reach him on 0207 339 4770 or by email on



ASA Overturn Oak Furniture Land Ruling

02nd August 2017

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has today published a reversal of a notable ruling from last year. In October 2016 the ASA banned Oak Furniture Land from using the phrases “No veneer in ‘ere” and ‘solid hardwood’. Today they have reversed their decision and ruled in favour of the advertiser.


The case hinged on the definition of veneer and consumer’s likely expectations. Oak Furniture Land explained that some of their products were made with an oak wrap technique which involved multiple pieces of hardwood glued together, and that this was very different to a thin layer of hardwood covering MDF.


In the original ruling last year the ASA acknowledged that the furniture was made from hardwood, not veneer-covered MDF, but considered that ‘the furniture’s construction was inconsistent with likely consumer expectation of solid hardwood items made without veneer’. On that basis the complaint was upheld and a number of ads were banned.


The reversal today follows an independent review of the ASA’s decision. The full text of the ruling is available here, but in their conclusion they say:


‘Because none of Oak Furniture Land’s furniture contained any cheaper material such as MDF or plywood, and because the oak-wrap technique was restricted to only the legs of the dining tables, while the rest of the tables were made from solid exposed wood, we concluded that the claims “no veneer”, “solid hardwood” and “100% solid hardwood” were unlikely to mislead the average consumer into taking a transactional decision that they otherwise would not have taken.’


We welcome the result of this independent review. Often the issues on which the ASA and Clearcast’s views differ are matters of nuance and open to interpretation. This case highlights the robust nature of the self-regulatory system and we shall continue to work closely with the ASA to ensure ads are able to get on air and stay there.

The Clear View: Car Ad Rulings

02nd August 2017

The Advertising Standards Authority has recently published the results of complaint investigations into three different car ad campaigns. In all cases the complaints have not been upheld. Motoring has become an increasingly contentious sector in the last few years, with a number of high-profile investigations. We’re pleased that the ASA has agreed with our view that the ads were acceptable under the Code, but it is worth looking at the detail of the cases to understand how seriously these issues must be considered.


This week the ASA has published a ruling in favour of Citroen. In the ad a driver uses an in-car camera to photograph various landmarks, then sends them to his girlfriend. Twenty people complained that the ad condoned or encouraged dangerous or irresponsible driving and breached the Highway Code.


In our assessment we considered whether pressing a button to take photos from the car was markedly different to pressing other buttons, for example turning the radio on. We concluded that there was no difference and that as long as the car was either parked or travelling safely when the feature was used then it was unlikely to breach the Code. The ASA agreed with our assessment.


In a similar case a couple of weeks ago the ASA didn’t uphold a complaint about a BMW advert which featured a driver swiping his hand across a built-in screen on the dashboard. As with the Citroen ad, the complainant believed this behaviour condoned or encouraged dangerous or irresponsible driving and breached the Highway Code.


We argued that the driver was shown maintaining proper control of the vehicle while swiping the screen, an action comparable with, or even quicker than, using the dials and buttons of a more traditional interface. The ASA agreed, noting that ‘there was no suggestion in the shot used in the ad that the driver was distracted or not exercising proper control.’


A Sixt campaign, including two TV adverts, has also come under recent scrutiny by the regulator, with 11 complaints received. In both ads the complainants took exception to the drivers’ use of their mobile phones. The cars were stationary on the forecourt of a Sixt branch at the time but the complainants still felt this breached the Highway Code and encouraged irresponsible driving behaviour.


The ads had a comedic tone and during the calls both drivers were wearing seatbelts, with one hand on the wheel. The phone calls were terminated before the car pulled out from the forecourt, and the drivers looked at the road ahead.


While the ASA noted that the ads were somewhat surreal, they also confirmed our view that this was not a carte blanche to show drivers breaching the Highway Code. The ASA went on to state that ‘… the drivers were in moods of quite high excitement, but we considered that it was nevertheless clear that the phones were put down before the drivers drove off and that, when he or she did so, they were exercising proper control of their vehicle.’


As in-car technology becomes increasingly sophisticated motoring ads must be careful to ensure the latest gadgets are marketed in a responsible manner. All three cases stem from the Highway Code stating that drivers ‘MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times’, and it is apparent that a humourous treatment does not negate the Code. The rule is something which is open to a degree of interpretation, and we welcome the fact that the ASA clearly agrees with our take on it.


Work on a car account? The Motoring section in our Notes of Guidance contains commentary and example rulings to help you out.