26th September 2018

By Jonathan Laury, Copy Group Executive


Games have come a long way in a very short space of time. Just in the last few years they have eclipsed the film industry for UK revenue, and yet they are still, inexplicably, seen as a poor relation. Given the number of people playing games in the UK, it’s no surprise that games advertising also comes under scrutiny. Accordingly, the ASA upheld a complaint earlier this year that sets an interesting precedent for a sector where tech evolves very rapidly.


An ad for Gran Turismo Sport for the PS4 was found to be in breach of the rules because it did not make it clear that an internet connection was required to play the game. As someone who plays games regularly, and has an occasionally spotty internet connection, I’m all too aware of modern consoles’ love of being connected. The confusion comes from the different tiers of connectivity games require.


The major consoles – PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch (from September this year) – all have a subscription service to allow online multiplayer gaming. That means without paying a monthly fee you can’t play with/against friends or strangers online. If an ad for a game is making a virtue out of playing online, then a super will be required along the lines of ‘Online subscription required’. Assuming the ad mentions something about playing online then we wouldn’t also insist on an ‘Internet connection required’ super. On a separate level there are games which require a free membership of PlayStation or Xbox’s online service and must be played online, but don’t need a paid subscription. If these are required to play the game, then this must be clear in the ad.


Now we come to games which can be played offline but have additional content when connected to the internet, like Gran Turismo Sport. In the case of Gran Turismo, although the game can be played offline, some game modes are limited or not available. The ASA felt that the amount of content offline vs the amount of content when connected meant that a super should have been added to clarify that internet connection was necessary.


Finally there are games which can be played in their entirety offline. These days it’s incredibly likely that software patches will be released by the developers to fix bugs or add new content. Unless this new content is mentioned in the ad we would not expect a super about internet connections to be added.


It’s worth noting that in their defence of the Gran Turismo ad, Sony argued that the majority of consoles were connected to the internet regularly. The ASA were not swayed. The overwhelming popularity of Fortnite has meant a lot of parents have had a crash course in how online gaming works. Perhaps when the next console generation launches in a couple of years’ time things will have moved on and understanding of the various tiers of connectivity required will be widespread. Keep your eye on our website* for any updates.


*Internet connection required

Teenage Kicks

20th September 2018

It’s not just ads that are taken seriously at Clearcast. We’re big believers in working with our local community and this summer was probably our busiest one yet for the CSR planning team and the staff taking part. With all that activity there wasn’t much chance to share the stories at the time, so we’ve broken them up into a special 3-part blog series. Something to keep us all warm inside as the Autumn blows in. First up, Teenage Kicks by Cass Coakley, Admin & Communications Executive.


For the last four summers we’ve been part of an internship programme with Haverstock School in Camden. This year we had 17 year old Husna and Tasnima with us, who spent the summer as fully fledged Clearcasters. They spent six weeks of their eight-week summer holiday hanging out with our Copy Clearance teams, Clearcast plus, IT, HR & Finance, Reception, Communications and the Operations gang. What else could a 17yr old want from a summer holiday?


Our copy clearance teams spent two weeks with the girls at the beginning of the six weeks. They attended the daily viewing and Policy & Copy meetings and even led a discussion, which is never an easy task, soon realising that they needed to keep their eyes peeled and heighten their attention-to-detail skills to be a copy executive. Husna and Tasnima drew parallels with their Sociology classes, explaining how the theories they learnt about needed evidence to back them up, just like scripts.


We made sure they experienced all corners of Clearcast, including contributing to our CSR programme which was their favourite experience over the 6 weeks. They attended The Whitechapel Mission to assist the homeless with computer-based tasks, such as applying for benefits and housing, which they wouldn’t have access to if it wasn’t for Whitechapel.


Attending our Agency Training course is a must for the interns and this year was no exception. They’d been with us just a week before attending training and big props to the Copy teams as these ladies were well informed. They got fully involved with the interactive exercises and even got a quiz question correct in the fastest time, outsmarting agency newbies. They told us they thrived off the chance to have a chat and network with agency folk but felt our choice of lunchtime music wasn’t trendy enough. Ahh to be 17…


Our Business Affairs manager Danny Turner gave the girls a run for their money and had them stumped on international clearances. A whole afternoon was spent researching how to obtain clearance for a TV ad to air in Switzerland and Australia…with no luck. It is a tricky task and I guess that is why you should always give Danny a call on 0207…only joking!


A subject more familiar to them lay with Ellie in the Comms department as the girls got creative and designed some more of our weekly #clearcasttips to post across our social media channels. Their digital minds grasped this quickly and their creative streak went even further. During their final presentation they revealed the new Clearcast logo they had been working on during their lunchtimes. Impressive.


Studying Media, the girls had a strong interest in advertising and all things creative. We sent them on lots of visits to Agencies and Broadcasters so they could experience the life cycle of an advert from its creation to its placement between programming. Trips to Krow and Karmarama got a shiny 5* rating for their involvement in the creative process and the goody bags, oh and the free food (a running theme). Channel 4 also hit the mark with their personal mug gift, welcoming aura and the free food (see!?).


If you’d like to learn more about our internship programme please visit:


Watch this space for our next CSR themed blog which will talk about all the fun we had organising and playing in the Clearcast World Cup in June with The ASA and Channel 4. Spoiler alert: we didn’t win. We didn’t even come close.




2018 Training: The Final Call

11th September 2018

“Inspirational- I have already recommended to all my colleagues”

Sojo, Trivago – April 2018


2018 has been another successful year for our training programme. But it’s not over yet. If you haven’t managed to join us so far then don’t worry because this is your FINAL CALL for 2018. We have a few places left on some of our most popular courses.


Click through below to find out more or contact us with any other questions.


 In-house courses:

Agency Training – 19th September, 17th October & 14th November

A monthly course for Agencies that covers the entire script to screen process for smoother future clearances


Broadcaster Training – 10th October

A half day training Broadcasters on the practical aspects of the BCAP code so we can work effectively together to keep ads on air


Advertiser Training- 31st October 

A one day course looking at the Clearcast process and claim  support, perfect for those involved in TV campaigns or compliance


Advanced Training- 28th November

A chance to learn in depth rules on the tricky sectors like alcohol and gambling, perfect for Broadcasters, Agencies & Advertisers


Specialised courses: 

3 of a kind: Gambling Training: Gibraltar – 27th September 


3 of a kind: Gambling Training: London- 4th October (SOLD OUT)

A 90 minute training session focusing on the key rules & restrictions and the best practice advice in TV advertising for Gambling ads


Watch our short promotion video for a taster!