The Advanced Certificate – 27th November

25th September 2019

Our most in-depth training course, The Advanced Certificate, will next open its doors next on 27th November. This will be our last session of 2019 and won’t be running again until May 2020. Email us to check availability.

Our CPD certified and IPA recognised Advanced Certificate is designed for anyone wanting a detailed overview of the specific code areas: A must for broadcasters, agency staff and advertisers seeking a deeper understanding.

This course provides the most recent guidance on the most contentious areas including the rules covering alcohol, motoring, food, gambling, privacy and political advertising.

See full course location, pricing and syllabus below:

Address: Clearcast, 4 Roger Street, London, WC1N 2JX

Price: £299.00 plus VAT


  • Outline of the Alcohol rules
  • Review of Motoring guidelines
  • Overview of the Food rules including HFSS foods
  • Review of the Gambling rules
  • Analysis of rules on Privacy and Political advertising
  • Integrated guest talks from the Clearcast team who have expertise in the various sectors

Email us to reserve your place or for future training dates.

How to make your ads clear

18th September 2019

Niamh McGuinness, Head of Copy Clearance

This article was originally published in Campaign Magazine on 11th September 2019

Clearcast services underpin UK TV advertising but the organisation can be something of a mystery to people who don’t work with it often. Last year Clearcast celebrated its 10th anniversary. In that time, its processes, systems and services have advanced and made it the integral pillar of the advertising community it is today.

In a nutshell, what does Clearcast do?
Clearcast exists to make it easier to get ads to air. As well as clearing TV ads, we advise on BVoD ads and run a training programme. We commission CARIA, which handles media bookings and copy instructions for TV and BVoD in the UK and Eire, and our Attribution metadata underpins post-campaign analysis. We can help with international clearances, via our TV Admin service, and can edit ads to ensure they meet the supers and flashing rules.

Why is Clearcast still needed?
By law, TV broadcasters must pre-clear ads, and a Clearcast clearance gets an ad on most UK channels. If our expert team didn’t exist, agencies would have to clear an ad separately with every broadcaster carrying it. With trust in advertising at an all-time low, Clearcast helps protect the reputation of broadcasters and advertisers. The main broadcasters also get our advice for BVoD so viewers can have confidence in the ads on their catch-up services. In some ways other video services are playing catch-up: according to the ASA, complaints about online ads outnumbered cases related to TV ads by almost three to one in 2018.

How is Clearcast responding to today’s increased pace?
What we do takes time, but last year we improved our turnaround time KPI for scripts from four days to three (85% of script submissions responded to within three days); for TVCs it’s 95% in two days. We’re smashing this: from January-July we responded to 94% of scripts within three days and 99% of TVCs in two. Submissions that have to go to consultants, of course, take longer.

We recently launched a Fast Track service for clients on tight deadlines. This guarantees turnaround within a day for a small fee. Feedback has been very positive.

We are increasingly working with agencies at an earlier stage. Our Copy Development service is useful for ads breaking new ground or in heavily regulated categories. We also offer On-Set Guidance so agencies can get our advice as they’re filming.

What are you proudest about at Clearcast?
We’re much more responsive now. Our latest agency satisfaction survey shows that 78% of respondents feel Clearcast serves agencies well or very well, with 69% rating turnaround times excellent or good. The latter measure has doubled the equivalent figure from 10 years ago. We’re also proud to have been classed as Outstanding by Best Companies based on staff feedback.

What does the future hold?
There will only be more ads, in a wider variety of formats, with some created on the fly or from ‘building blocks’. That presents challenges, but I’m confident Clearcast will continue to adapt and meet them. 

Top five tips for speedier ad-clearing

1. Book yourself on a Clearcast training course – the better you understand how and why Clearcast works the way it does, the more time you’ll save.

2. Identify any claims in your ad script and submit any substantiation you have for them with the first version of your script. If we’ve previously approved a claim you’re making again in a new ad, let us know the clock number of the previous ad.

3. Where claims are complex or your creative may otherwise fall foul of the rules, use our copy development service to help shape your concepts and creative and nip problems in the bud. 

4. Allow enough time for your ad’s clearance – it is an integral part of the ad production process.

5. If you are working to a particularly tight timescale, consider making use of Clearcast’s new Fast Track clearance service.

Picture courtesy of Campaign; photographer Dan Wooller

Fast Track, Even Simpler

10th September 2019

Since launching in early June, our Fast Track clearance service (which guarantees feedback on a submission within one working day) has been a huge success. Matthew Stevens, our dedicated Fast Track Manager, has been hard at work and by the end of August had already processed our 100th Fast Track submission.

Up until last week, we’ve instructed agencies to create a normal CopyCentral submission and separately notify the Fast Track Manager when submitting a script or video for Fast Track. This was a temporary measure while we streamlined the process.

The good news is, we’ve just updated CopyCentral so that when creating a new submission, you can now select either ‘Fast Track Script’ or ‘Fast Track Video’. The submission will automatically appear in the Fast Track Manager’s inbox making the process smoother for agencies and Clearcast.

Our operations team have created a handy guide, which can be found here.

Matthew will still be available to answer any questions you might have about the service, so be sure to get in touch at or 020 7339 4777.

Find out more about our Fast Track service, here.

Chr****mas ad chat in September?!

06th September 2019

“Surely not!?’ Someone working outside of the TV advertising industry might say.’ But as we all know, getting those festive ads submitted to us as early as possible is a welcome relief for all involved. So to remind you of the vital dos and don’ts we’ve revisited the naughty list (of mostly don’ts) for you to keep in mind this year.

This is a revision of a 2018 blog called ‘Christmas ads…already’. All the advice is still relevant and in line with the BCAP code guidance. Here they are:

  • Don’t have decorations or stockings hanging down over a fireplace
  • Always have a fireguard present
  • Don’t have roaring fires which look out of control
  • Mirrors hanging above fireplaces are allowed
  • If you’re going to reveal the shocking truth about Santa’s identity be prepared for an ex-kids restriction. Obviously
  • Unexpected snowballs, or any snowball to the face is likely to be met with an ex-kids restriction
  • There are strict rules about rules about advertising toys – demos need to be accurate, scale references need to be included, anything over £30 should be priced and if batteries are sold separately you’ll need to tell the kiddiwinks
  • It can cause offence to use traditional hymns in adverts designed to sell products so please avoid this. Opt for carols and the pop classics!

Your clearance exec will happily discuss any questions you may have in more detail. Merry Autumn!