Clearcast Training & – A Dynamic duo

20th February 2018

By Cass Coakley, Admin Assistant Clearcast Plus


The Idea

What better way to get to grips with the Clearcast clearance process than to create and clear an advert live at Clearcast HQ?


The Clearcast Training programme has recently had the pleasure of working with, a company who helps broadcasters, advertisers and brands transform video advertising campaigns by integrating live consumer and dynamic content such as tweets or betting odds. Their cloud-based ad rendering platform, Story, has allowed us to take advantage of their innovative technology and create a meaningful hands-on training exercise as part of our one day course programme.


The Task (30 mins)

Delegates, in teams, are tasked to add dynamic elements to a ready made (Clearcast approved) advert template. The client is The Clearcast Training Programme and the delegates are given a full brief on what the client wants and expects. The dynamic elements must follow the brief in being subjective or objective messages or claims. They should be in the form of a hashtag, images and a voiceover. The advert that best fulfils the brief is then created and rendered in minutes with the system before being shown at the end of the session.


The Point

Learning is reinforced through every stage of the task. By asking delegates to be creative in adding dynamic content to an existing template and then adding the limitations and restrictions of the BCAP code, they are forced to be mindful of their creative decisions to make their ad compliant. We hope that then in the real world they will consider these aspects and predict potential hurdles during the clearance process before submitting to Clearcast.


Once the winning ad has been chosen and created, attendees watch a walk-through demo of uploading the copy onto CopyCentral with our Operations expert Mark Hynes, who uses the winning ad as the mock submission. The submission then goes through the technical checks for superimposed text and flashing images as it would in the real world and can be approved and ready for broadcast (in this case broadcast on the training room TV!).


Featuring the task throughout the training day and keeping delegates informed on the submission’s progress aims to mirror the clearance process as realistically as possible. Besides all the learning outcomes and real-time elements, it’s simply lots of fun.


Delegates Thoughts

Speaking to some of our first ever winners of the ‘create an ad’ task, they gave some wonderful insights:


“The Create an Ad Task was a great interactive feature of the training course that allowed us to use our creative minds and use the knowledge we had learnt from the day to come up with an ad (the winning ad!). It was great to do this with new people and different businesses as we could bounce ideas and past experiences off one another. Great task, great day and great trainers!”


~ Bethany Dean, RB, Advertiser training September 2017



“It was a really fun and challenging exercise, with the time limits making it seem more real! We were able to work well as a team, using the knowledge that we’d gained throughout the very insightful training day with Clearcast.”


~ Kenny Dada, AMV BBDO, Agency Training – November 2017



#ZerotoTVhero campaign at the Advertiser Certificate, September 2017



Find out more about our training programme.


Read’s blog on the topic. 


2017 clearances in brief

13th February 2018

It’s that time again to take a close look at our clearance stats from the previous year and see how they compare to the year before.


In 2017 we considered more than 32,400 scripts, so just slightly down from 2016’s figure of 32,500.  Our film total is down from 66,500 films in 2016 to almost 61,200 last year.


In 2017 there were 76 formal investigations by the ASA (down from 89 in 2016). Only 44 of these were upheld though, which is a tiny portion of the ads we watched.


Our aim for 2017 was to provide a response on 85% of scripts within 4 working days and on 95% of videos within 2 working days. As you may have seen in an earlier news item, we exceeded these last year and as such have decided to bring our KPI target down from 4 days to 3 for 85% of scripts in 2018. We’re looking forward to taking on this new challenge and providing you with even faster script feedback in 2018.

Top 10 most complained about ads of 2017 – what does the ASA list tell us?

09th February 2018

Recently the ASA published their figures for the most complained about ads of 2017. The list was largely made up of TV ads but none of the complaints were upheld. A year ago, their list of the top ten most complained-about ads of 2016 featured nine TV ads, none of which were the subject of upheld rulings. These results show us two things.


Firstly, the list shows how effective pre-clearance is. The list had one common theme – all complaints were made on the grounds of offence, which is a tricky, subjective and far reaching sphere. These ads may have garnered hundreds of complaints but the ASA’s decision not to ban any of them following investigation shows just how well we’ve been doing our job of getting your ads to air and keeping them there.


We’re also reminded of the impact TV ads continue to have despite the rise of online and an uncertain economy following the Brexit referendum. Last year Thinkbox commissioned a study called “Profit Ability – the business case for advertising” which showed that pound for pound TV advertising out-performs all other media investments, in both the short and long term. As Lord Smith said in a piece he wrote in October for Campaign after 10 years as the ASA’s Chairman: “TV resilience is one of the major stories of the current marketing landscape.”


We won’t be surprised to see TV ads dominating the 2018 list too, but once again we’re working hard to ensure that they are the right side of line.

Easter Deadlines 2018

08th February 2018

We’ve recently received the below copy & instructions delivery timetable which has been agreed by ITV, Sky Media, Channel 4 & Turner Broadcasting for the 2018 Easter period.


For VoD campaigns running between March 30th – April 4th all copy, rotations, tracking tags & copy changes need to be received by 22nd March.


Airdate Copy Instructions By Copy Delivery By Copy Approved By
Monday 26th March 21st March 21st March 21st March
Tuesday 27th March 22nd March 22nd March 22nd March
Wednesday 28th March 23rd March 23rd March 23rd March
Thursday 29th March 26th March 26th March 26th March
Friday 30th March** 26th March 26th March 26th March
Saturday 31st March 26th March 26th March 26th March
Sunday 1st April 27th March 27th March 27th March
Monday 2nd April** 27th March 27th March 27th March
Tuesday 3rd April 27th March 27th March 27th March


** Bank Holiday


To comply with these deadlines PLEASE ensure additional time is factored in for Clearcast approval. Approval should be before or by the delivery date. Please be aware 2 clear working days are required for approval.


Vegan Claims in ads

06th February 2018

By Lydia Palmese, Copy Group Executive


Updated 15th June 2018


We’re starting to see ‘vegan’ claims appearing in ads and it can be an area that seems abstruse and hard to define universally. For many, ‘vegan’ means the product doesn’t contain any animal products. Simple, right? Well, not when you start to think about it, which is exactly what we’re doing. For example, a cosmetic product might contain insect shells to produce certain colours, but a clearance exec or specialist consultant might not expect insects to come under the heading of ‘animal products’, so wouldn’t flag this up. Similarly, we might be on the lookout for this, but won’t know the technical name when we see it.


This whole issue falls under BCAP’s 3.1: Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. To help make this easier and to adopt a fair and consistent approach to these claims, we have decided to write up a straight-forward definition of ‘vegan’. We’ve done this through a combination of research into vegan definitions, consultations, advice from CAP as well as lots (and lots) of internal meetings and reviews.


It’s clear that ‘vegan’ can be a lengthy list of do’s and don’ts, so to make sure things don’t get overlooked and help prevent misleading consumers, this is the definition we’re working to:


A. ‘animal’ is understood to reference and encompass the whole, non-human, animal kingdom, including vertebrates and multicellular invertebrates.


B. This product and its ingredients have not been cross contaminated with animal ingredients. Foods have been prepared separately to non-vegan foods.


C. The manufacture and/or development of this product and its ingredients has not involved the use of animal products, by products, or derivatives.


D. The manufacture and/or development of this product and its ingredients has not involved testing on animals in any form by the manufacturing company, on the company’s behalf, by other parties controlled by the company, or outside suppliers not controlled by the company.


E. That any genetically modified organisms have not involved animal genes or animal-derived substances.


To help put this in context, let’s say you have a moisturiser which is claiming both ‘vegan’ and ‘no animal by-products’. You’ve consulted the substantiation (this will probably include, but not be limited to: certificate of analysis, full ingredients, production methods supplied by either the advertiser or the manufacturer) and see that this product has been, or contains ingredients that have been, tested on animals. So, according to this understood definition, the moisturiser cannot claim to be ‘vegan’, but can claim ‘no by-products’. Depending on the claim and product, a clarification super may be required, but we’re on hand to help determine how and when to apply this.


We’ll now be asking agencies and advertisers making the ‘vegan’ claim to complete a confirmation letter. In some cases, we may ask an independent, specialist, consultant to review the evidence against this checklist. Like any assessment from a consultant, this process may require additional time and substantiation.


You will be able to review this information in our Notes of Guidance  (under “3.9 Substantiation” within “3. Misleading”),


If time is a factor in getting your ad to air, or you’re just unsure how to go about checking the manufacture of the product, you may wish to consult our Copy Development service, which is here to help you build the copy around the evidence you already hold.  As always, your exec. will be on hand to offer advice as to whether this service could work for you.