New York & Legal Supers: The results

29th July 2019

Cass Coakley, Admin and Communications Executive

Following the mid-year training update published in our summer newsletter we also wanted to follow up with the results of our summer courses. To prepare and deliver both standalone sessions within 3 weeks was an ambitious first for the Training Programme and it probably won’t be the last! Our aim is always to service the industries needs so we can work together better to clear ads.

For the first time our Training Programme went across the pond and landed in New York ready to share our most popular CPD course; the Agency Certificate.

Although many US agencies and advertisers have UK offices and have attended our London based Courses, some prefer to manage the process from overseas, usually within their network and legal departments.

We aimed to expand our reach and give these agencies the opportunity to learn the essentials to getting their ads to air as smoothly as possible. From a regulation perspective, differences in practises and code rules were an obvious hot topic too. Here’s the stats:

THE AGENCY CERTIFICATE. NEW YORK. 20.06.2019

WHAT THEY SAID:

“Great job! Truly superb presentation and exceptional delivery!” Michael, Consultant – Lee and Steel LLC

“Great course for all levels. Wonderful presentation and interaction” Sam, Client Account Manager-  Comcast

“I learnt a lot, the session was great and Michael was very knowledgeable. I think the training will improve our approval process” Camille, Global Project Manager-  Combe Inc

LEGAL SUPERS BITE-SIZE TRAINING. CLEARCAST HQ. 10.07.19

Following on from the BCAP guidance changes earlier this year we decided to run an in-depth bite-size session for anyone in the industry working with super imposed legal text.

Our Training Manager Michael was joined by Mark Hynes (Clearcast’s Operations Manager) for a 90-minute supers break down. Our training space was full to the brim with a mixture of industry folk from Business Affairs Managers to Visual Effects artists. Here’s the stats:

WHAT THEY SAID:

“Thanks so much for the training session today, it was very clear and incredibly valuable.” Ben, Product Manager – Rockstar Games

“Excellent course, very thorough and engaging” Laura, Senior Producer-  Amazon

“Really useful presentation and good use of examples” Autumn, TV Production Assistant – TBWA

What Michael said: 

We’d wanted to do a US based session for some time and it’s great that it was so well received. There are a lot of key differences between the US and UK markets both in process but also in taste/decency issues. It was fascinating exploring these differences and the feedback indicates  demand for a West Coast session. We’ll look into this in due course…

As for Supers, the regulation changes are having a big impact on the UK ad industry and it was valuable to dissect the new guidance to ensure delegates have the best chance to get their ads on air and keep them there. Both Mark and I are happy to re-run this training as a bespoke session at client offices, email us to find out more.

To book a place on our regular certificate courses please email us or book directly online here.

A Question of Trust

22nd July 2019

Chris Mundy, Managing Director

This blog was originally posted in our Summer Newsletter on 12th June 2019.

It won’t have escaped your attention that the public has trust issues with the advertising industry. Recent research by Advertising Association think tank Credos identified good, bad and troubling factors. Amongst the bad were being bombarded by ads and excessive personal targeting whilst seen as troubling were intrusiveness, “suspicious techniques” and sensitive sectors. These concerns related to online advertising.

It’s both obvious and easily forgotten that TV and radio advertising is governed by the BCAP code with ads that are precleared by Clearcast and the Radiocentre respectively. Many of the problems highlighted by the AA research don’t, and can’t, happen on TV and Radio. Advertisers can rely on the fact that their ads will appear in a quality environment and consumers can rely on the fact that claims have been verified and rules applied.

Viewers trust brands like ITV, Channel 4 and Sky and don’t distinguish between watching a much-loved show on linear and watching on catch up. They expect to see ads they can trust in Coronation Street, for example, whether they are watching it live or on ITV Hub. That’s why broadcasters apply higher standards than the rules say they need to on their VoD services, seeking advice from Clearcast on whether ads meet the CAP code. Clearcast also issues VoD ads with a content indicator to ensure broadcasters can schedule them appropriately. Viewers and advertisers can rest assured that Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVoD) advertising not only appears in quality content but can be trusted.

On another note, the Cambridge Analytica scandal highlighted how digital platforms are being increasingly used to manipulate public opinion on political matters. The political advertising rules (“Rule 7” of the BCAP code) are there to prevent that happening on TV and radio; messages on behalf of political parties, trying to change public opinions on political matters or placed by (or on behalf of) bodies of a mainly political nature are banned. The same rules prevented Clearcast from approving the Iceland ad (originally made for Greenpeace) for TV and that has led to a debate about whether it is appropriate to have rules that differ between “old” and “new” media and the extent to which regulation of political advertising may have lagged behind as online platforms have developed.

So when you’re considering the value of TV Advertising, make sure you include brand safety in your list of TV’s other benefits: unrivalled reach, cost-effectiveness, impact and a quality environment.

Are you busy? We’re here to help

19th July 2019

Our TV Admin team can help you as the school summer holidays creep in and staff members creep out of the office! 

At Clearcast we work with agencies, broadcasters and advertisers across the UK, so we can help make your ad clearance and delivery a smoother process, just when it all feels a bit much.

We can manage your UK and International clearances and take care of your delivery and copy rotations.


So if you’re short of staff or time, or both, contact Danny Turner on tvadmin.international@clearcast.co.uk or call 0207 339 4770. Don’t just take our word for it, read here for some shining testimonials.

Out & Proud

05th July 2019

Not only is this weekend the annual London Pride celebration, with LGBTQ+ people and allies celebrating being out and proud across the capital, but 2019 marks #Stonewall50 – half a century since the Stonewall Riots – a defining moment in the battle for LGBTQ+ rights, often cited as the first Pride March.

As a society, we have come a long way in both representation of and equality for LGBTQ+ people, allowing many people to live their life, unapologetically, as themselves.

Advertising and the creative industries always appear to be at the forefront of diversity and equality, especially in recent years. We have asked a few Clearcasters to talk about what being out, both at Clearcast and in the industry itself, means to them. We were given a range of stories from several perspectives which we’d like to share with you today:

Cass Briscoe – PA to MD

I’ve worked in advertising for over a decade, and I find the industry to be an open and original space that encourages everyone to be themselves and foster creativity. As such I’ve witnessed a strong LGBTQ+ representation almost everywhere I’ve worked, which I think is wonderful, and I am grateful for those that have paved the way to increased acceptance and inclusivity today.

I don’t think many of my colleagues are even aware that I’m bisexual and I think that is due in part to the fact that I’ve never felt anything other than free to be myself, especially at Clearcast. I am aware that I am far more privileged than many, but am grateful to work in an industry that embraces the differences that make us all who we are.

That being said, there is still lots of work to be done even in our industry, so I hope that together we can work towards equality for all – because nobody is free until everybody is.

Chris Mundy – Managing Director

I came out late at 38, having been married in the traditional sense and it took a little while after that for me to come out at work.  It’s hard to explain the effect of being “closeted”. You self-censor and can’t be yourself. When you’re asked a simple question like “how was your weekend?”, you find yourself carefully using language, so saying ‘partner’ instead of ‘boyfriend’ and closing yourself down a little. When you do that, you’re not presenting the person that you really are. The feedback I received was that I was a hard person to get to know, and I processed that as being someone that was uninteresting.

Coming out was a liberating experience. For the first time I could genuinely express who I was, how I spent my life and the general joys and tribulations of being a human being.  I’m fortunate that I came out at the BBC which was a safe and welcoming environment to do so. When I joined Clearcast and introduced myself to the team at an all staff meeting, I made sure that being gay was part of the life story that I shared about myself. I feel that as a gay business leader you have a responsibility to be a role model for others that may be considering whether it’s safe to come out.

There’s lots of research that shows that people that are comfortable to be out at work are happier and both they and the companies they work for perform better. I’d recommend John Browne’s book ”The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out Is Good Business” to learn more. Also check out PrideAM, a group working to promote fair and accurate representation of LGBTQ people in advertising and marketing communications as well as promoting an open and inclusive environment in the industry. They have just published Outvertising 2019  which outlines the business and ethical case for authentically embracing LGBTQ in advertising.

Adam Amini – HR & Office Executive

I was very lucky to be accepted by my friends and family when I came out: a definite sign of progress in the right direction. This allowed me to grow and be more open with the people around me, normalising being gay for myself and, I hope, other people too.

There are many workplaces, even today, where people feel pressured into not being open about who they are – I am happy that Clearcast is not one of them. I am accepted and able to be myself, and I think the same goes for many companies across our industry, which is making steps with LGBTQ+ representation in all areas.

It’s encouraging to see so much of the industry taking part in Pride and representing LGBTQ+ people, and I think it’s important that companies continue to be allies all year round and not just for Pride month. This fosters an environment where people feel safe and comfortable to be themselves – an environment I’m happy to be a part of here at Clearcast.

This Pride, we encourage everyone to listen to the points of view of people across the LGBTQ+ community. These varied perspectives from Clearcast are only a tiny fraction of the many voices across the community and the more their stories are told, the easier it becomes for people to be out, accepted and themselves.

Happy Pride from everyone at Clearcast!

Ace your sports & exercise equipment ads

02nd July 2019

Barry Noone, Teleshopping Copy Group Exec

You know summer has well and truly arrived when Wimbledon kicks off. As well as tennis, summer brings all sorts of sports to the fore, with lots of us wanting to play or simply hit the beach or park feeling fit, energetic and confident in our body.

We consider a lot of claims for fitness products and exercise programs and, while most are acceptable, some of these claims can be questionable. To help we’ve outlined some advice for advertising fitness products or programs.

If an ad for a fitness program includes a dietary or nutrition plan and your ad concentrates on weight loss, the ad will fall within the category of ‘weight loss’ products and Section 12 of the BCAP Code will apply. We’ll need to see full details of diets and eating plans and these may be forwarded to a consultant nutritionist to check that they’re safe to follow and nutritionally sound. If the ad just contains general fitness claims, with no reference to weight loss, then Section 12 won’t apply.

Love: Weight loss

Weight loss can only be attributed to diet and not to exercise. Claims such as ‘doing more reps really is the key to keeping me lean’ would not be acceptable.  Also claims such as ‘fat melting’ and ‘core shredding’ suggest a reduction in weight by inches or pounds so these are not be acceptable.

15: Results

Advertisers should advise viewers how long they should be working out to achieve results. For example, we would be likely to accept ‘from as little as 10 minutes a day, it could help you get fit, tone up and strengthen your whole body’, however something like ‘get super fit in less than 5 minutes per day’ would not be acceptable. Promises or predictions of specific weight loss are not allowed. We may ask for claims to be qualified with super imposed text, for example: ‘Results will vary based upon your start point and the amount of effort put into your workouts.’

30: Safety

We recognise that starting a fitness programme or using exercise equipment could be harmful for some people.  In some cases, we may ask advertisers to ensure they advise viewers to consult a doctor beforehand and to follow instructions properly.  For example: ‘Follow all instructions for safe use and consult your doctor if required.’

40: Denigration

Ok we know that your product may be a great way to get fit, but denigrating other options isn’t allowed. In any case, the viewer wants to know why your product is so good, not why others aren’t. 

Deuce: Superiority

There are many ways to get fit and healthy and what works for one person may not work for another person. Superiority claims such as ‘this is the ultimate way to get toned’ are not acceptable, however claiming ‘this is one of the best ways to get fit’ would be fine.

Game: Personal trainers

We accept that there are many great fitness programs which provide excellent instructions, however it’s unlikely that these will ever take the place of a professional personal trainer. We would suggest advertisers don’t claim their device is as good as having a personal trainer.

Set: Effort

Getting in shape requires consistent effort and motivation.  Advertisers should not suggest that results can be achieved without effort. We do not accept claims such as ‘the Body Bulger does all the work, so you don’t have to!’

Match: Exaggeration

While we accept that some claims are obviously puffery, advertisers must not over exaggerate the capability of their product. Claims such as ‘get results like you’ve never seen before’ would likely be an issue, however ‘get great results’ would be fine.

Championship: Specificity

Finally, please bear in mind that if you’re offering an exercise device (such as an abdominal machine[), claims should not be extended beyond the part of the body for which it is intended. Also for some submissions, we may need to send your evidence or claims to our consultant physiologist for evaluation.

If you have any questions about this blog or about advertising your exercise or sports equipment, please contact the Teleshopping Team on teleshopping@clearcast.co.uk