CopyCentral Upgrade July 2019

28th June 2019

UPDATE Monday 15th July: Following a slight delay in the testing phase, we aim to have full access to CopyCentral restored by 14:15 this afternoon. Thanks for your patience.

From 18:00 on Friday 12th July until approximately 13:00* on Monday 15th July 2019, Clearcast will be closed, while our CopyCentral system is put into maintenance mode and undergoes a major infrastructure upgrade. This upgrade will make the system more resilient and allow for future improvements.

On the morning of Monday 15th July, the system will remain in maintenance mode and be unavailable to use, while we go through various system checks to ensure the integrity of data and the system.

We aim to have full access to CopyCentral restored by 13:00* on Monday 15th, but keep an eye on our CopyCentral status page, Twitter and LinkedIn for updates on the day.

We plan to clear ads for Saturday 13th – Monday 15th July by end of play on Friday 12th July.

Please be mindful of this closure when submitting ads for approval to us in the period up to and during this work; we can’t guarantee to clear ads where we haven’t had sufficient time to do so.

*Previous estimation 12:00, current forecasts estimate a 13:00 reopen.

Welcome to Clearcast, 8th edition released

17th June 2019

Last year we read more than 32,100 scripts and considered 61,200 filmed ads.

The scale and scope of the services we provide means sometimes our clients need a hand getting started. So we created this handy guide a few years ago and like to refresh it on a regular basis.

Today we are releasing the electronic version of the 8th edition.

The guide explains how we work with advertisers, agencies, and media companies to get great ads to air and keep them there. It paints a picture of what we do, how we do it and how we can help you.


To order a handy A5 copy email and include your postal address.

Summer Newsletter

12th June 2019

Whether you’re new to Clearcast and want to get to know us and our work a little better, or have worked with us for years and just want to stay ahead of the game, there’ll be something in here for you.

Fast Track

This week we launched our Fast Track service, which guarantees a 24 hour turnaround on submissions when you need it most. To celebrate the launch we’re running a competition until 21st June which tests your knowledge and gives you the chance to win an Apple watch. 

5 Hot Topics

We’re often asked if there are any advertising categories that are especially challenging at the moment. We take you through Food, Alcohol, Motoring, Gender Stereotypes and Gambling.

Viva La Vulva

Read our case study on how our Copy Development service helped AMVBBDO and Bodyform break taboos and push boundaries with their Viva La Vulva advertising campaign.

On-Set Guidance

When there may be last minute changes to a script, improvisation, or just for peace of mind, Clearcast can attend your shoot to provide guidance as you go.

Honesty is my USP

How can our TV Admin service help you?

Subtitle Now

Only around 60% of TV ads are subtitled and the percentage of VoD is much lower. With some 7.5 million people using subtitles, if you aren’t subtitling your ads then your client is missing out on audiences that they have already paid for.

Training Update

Have you been on one of our popular courses yet? They help agencies, creatives, advertisers and broadcasters get to grips with ad rules and learn how to work within them.

Super Supers

You all know the guidance around legal supers in ads changed in March. A few months on and we’re offering the very latest advice for getting them right. 

Linear vs VoD.

Is your ad going to air on TV? Will it run on VOD? Are you unsure? When you create a new submission on CopyCentral, you will be asked whether your submission is for Linear/VOD or VOD only.

A Question of Trust

Our MD Chris Mundy addresses the public’s trust issues with the advertising industry. 

And much more!


Representative APRs

11th June 2019

By Jan Cooper and Nicola Wynter, both Senior Copy Group Executives

At Clearcast we deal with some very tricky claims but APR triggers are probably up there as the trickiest. If you submit an advert that features unsecured credit, you may need to include the Representative APR or RAPR as known in the business. This is the rate of interest paid on the amount borrowed. The question is: do you need to always include it? If you do have to include it then it needs to have adequate prominence within the ad. It can’t be hidden among other legal text in the ad.  

Credit adverts are subject to the Consumer Credit Act and the Financial Conduct Authority’s Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC) guidelines. As this is a legal issue, when you submit adverts that feature credit, you should always ensure that the claims and the super imposed text are checked by a relevant person. That is someone with legal or compliance experience. This person should then explain exactly why the advert complies with the rules and this will be sent to Clearcast as part of your substantiation.

As the issues around credit advertising are complex we advise against agencies submitting credit compliance on behalf of their clients as they may not have the appropriate legal or compliance background.

The guidance that applies to consumer credit advertising generally is CONC 3 (link) but much of our discussions in the office relate to ‘triggers’, ie, how the content of the ad triggers the requirement to include an RAPR.

CONC 3.5.7 says:

(1) A financial promotion must include the representative APR if it:

(a) states or implies that credit is available to individuals who might

otherwise consider their access to credit restricted; or

(b) includes a favourable comparison relating to the credit, whether

express or implied, with another person, product or service; or

(c) includes an incentive to apply for credit or to enter into an

agreement under which credit is provided.

(2) The representative APR must be given no less prominence than any of

the matters in (1).

This gives the reasons why you will need a RAPR and states that the RAPR needs to be as prominent as whatever triggered the need to include it.

Whilst the rules seem relatively simple, they are quite subjective and what can be called an incentive has been an issue and resulted in some ASA Upheld rulings, the variety of which exampled below show that advertising case law is built up over time.


A recent ruling for a 118 118 money credit card which extolled the virtues of having no cash withdrawal charges, was upheld by the ASA for not including a representative APR. Although the claim was not presented as comparative, the ASA said that it was commonly known that there is usually a cash withdrawal charge for credit cards, therefore this amounted to an incentive to apply for credit and a favourable comparison against other credit cards.

Another ruling concerned an ad for Help-Link that offered boilers with ‘nothing to pay until …’. Help Link argued that as long as the amount was repaid within the timescale the representative APR was 0% and therefore no APR was required. The ASA took the view that ‘nothing to pay until …’ was an incentive to take credit and required a representative APR for those people who paid after the set timescale.

In another example an ad for Sunny Loans offered loans with the ‘flexibility to pay early with no penalty’ in the voiceover. The ASA considered the references to ‘flexibility’ and ‘no penalty’ amounted to incentives to take credit and therefore an RAPR was required.

As you’ll see from the above there are no hard and fast rules about what triggers the need for an RAPR so the advertiser in their compliance letter will need to set out clearly why they believe their ad doesn’t require it.


A ruling which provides a good example of a RAPR not being as prominent as the incentive was for Sunny Loans where they had claims in the voice over. The advertiser had included the RAPR in superimposed text, which was held for longer than needed and was larger than other superimposed text on screen so therefore given prominence. The ASA concluded that as the claims “At Sunny they don’t charge fees at all” and “Loans with no fees from £100” was stated in voice over and both would be an incentive to apply for credit, they were more prominent than the RAPR which should have also been included in the voice over. 

Another example where the ASA felt the RAPR should be in voiceover is in a ruling against Santander . They considered that the visuals emphasised, and therefore added prominence to, the features of the offer stated in the voiceover. Therefore, the use of onscreen text was unlikely to meet CONC’s requirement for ‘no less prominence’.


Adverts that offer credit will continue to exercise Clearcast but as long as proper thought is given to the requirements in the regulations, we will do our best to ensure your ads get to air and stay there.

Clearcast introduces a Fast Track service

10th June 2019


The company responsible for clearing ads before they are broadcast in the UK now offers a Fast Track service, enabling advertising agencies to receive feedback on an ad submission within a day.

Agency surveys show that satisfaction levels for Clearcast’s core service is high but there is demand for a faster service when deadlines are very short. In response, Clearcast has set up a Fast Track service, which guarantees agencies feedback on an ad script or video submission within one working day, for a fee.

Recently appointed Fast Track Manager Matthew Stevens, who was clearing ads for almost 8 years at Clearcast before taking the role says:

“This is a really exciting opportunity for Clearcast to develop the services it provides to advertisers, agencies, and broadcasters. I know how keen everyone is to get work approved as quickly and smoothly as possible, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of shaping our new process to enable this.”

Enquiries about the service should be made via or 020 7339 4777.

Alternatively visit or search ‘Fast Track’ on for further info.

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, on-set guidance, technical services, international clearance advice and a TV Admin service.

For more general information on Clearcast visit

We’re introducing a Fast Track service

10th June 2019

We know that speed is of the essence in the hectic world of advertising. Over the years we’ve had requests from agencies to consider starting up a Fast Track service. We are pleased to announce that this is exactly what we are now doing.

When you submit a new piece of work to Clearcast, you will now have the opportunity to Fast Track it for a fee. If you take up this option, then you are guaranteed to receive feedback within 1 working day.This could be at the script stage, or at the video stage.

Your submission won’t be handled by your usual Clearcast contact but will be directly handled by Matt Stevens, the Clearcast Fast Track Manager who can be contacted on or 020 7339 4777.

Please visit the Fast Track page for lots more information.