2019 Clearance Review

31st January 2020

Now we’re well into the flow of 2020, we thought we’d look back at the last year which, as it turns out, was a big year for us. We launched our brand-new Fast Track service in June, and our MD Chris Mundy announced his departure after an incredible 11 years at Clearcast. Through this, our team were working hard as ever, so here are a few of our clearance stats from 2019.

In 2019 we considered more than 29,000 scripts, which is a little lower than our 2018 total of around 31,000.  However, our film total is up at 62,540 considered in 2019, which is higher than 2018’s total of around 61,000.

In 2019 there were 62 formal rulings by the ASA. Only 38 of these were upheld though, which is the lowest figure since 2015, a huge drop down from 53 last year and a great indication of how hard we’re working to keep your ads on air.

We’re happy to say that in 2019 we fed back on 94.9% of scripts within the 3-day target, and 98.1% of videos were turned around within 2 days, which far exceeds our targets of 85% for scripts and 95% for videos.

We’re looking forward to working with you all and keeping these targets up in 2020, and with the appointment of our new MD, Samantha Smith, we expect another exciting year at Clearcast.

On-set guidance

29th January 2020

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

In an ideal world the filming of all television ads would follow the exact wording of an approved pre-production script. Knowing copy has been accepted by Clearcast in advance gives agencies and advertisers confidence that their ad will air.

But of course we don’t live in an ideal world. Very often a precise pre-production script cannot be written because elements of the ad will be created on the day of filming. For example, you might be interviewing real people giving their opinions about Christmas foods, as with last year’s M&S Food campaign. Or your main talent might be an improvising Hollywood comedian, as with the  recent campaign for the bookmaker Coral (pictured). In instances like this all the content cannot be scripted and pre-approved by Clearcast, so it’s good to know that we’re available to provide advice, guidance and peace of mind on-set.

As part of our Copy Development service, one of the many things we do to ensure ads get to air smoothly is go to shoots and provide advice as the ads are being shot. This is exactly what happened in the case of the two campaigns mentioned above. When there will be improvising, or sections of an ad can’t be scripted, or even when filming an approved script in the wrong way could jeopardise clearance, then it makes a lot of sense to get Clearcast’s view as the ad is being filmed. Clearance isn’t given at this stage, but clear guidance is, which gives the production team the opportunity to do additional takes if required and to create a compliant edit from a well-informed position.

The aim of the Copy Development service is to save time, money and stress by getting advice and guidance early in the development process. Having on-set help has the same benefits and is an important service in helping Clearcast to fulfil its mission of helping get ads to air.  

For further info contact our Copy Development Manager Seb Lynch on copydevelopment@clearcast.co.uk or call him on 020 7339 4771.

2019 highlights from the ‘Clearcast For Better’ squad

21st January 2020

Last year was an eventful one for the Clearcast For Better Programme, which saw us uphold our regular gigs working with brilliant charities like Inspire, Caris Families and Whitechapel Mission, whilst also branching out with more fundraising events than ever. 

In August we organised and hosted the second annual Clearcast World Cup tournament against our shareholder Broadcasters Channel 4, Sky, ITV and of course our close allies, The ASA. If you didn’t hear about it, where were you!? The tournament was a tight one towards the end with Channel 4 just about swiping the trophy from Sky. We raised a humongous £1031 for The Outside Project which is a homeless/crisis shelter for LGBTQI+ in Farringdon. Half way through our match after an angry storm and a lot of rain, we were blessed with the brightest rainbow, how very apt! Check out the pictures on our Twitter page. Thanks to all involved and we look forward to coming at least third next year! (We can dream.)

Over the summer we also welcomed two new interns from Haverstock School; our fifth year in a row as workplace mentors. Melina and Charday showed incredible levels of enthusiasm and engagement and even got involved with volunteering themselves with our old friends at the Whitechapel Mission, ah the circle of Clearcast For Better!

Clearcasters loyalty knows no bounds. We still have volunteers who regularly attend workshops and career carousels at secondary schools around Camden, giving advice to teenagers deliberating their life steps. A dedicated bunch continue to volunteer at hostels for families on Monday afternoons to help children with their homework who need a quiet space to learn away from their often very small living spaces.

Back in June our Training Programme opened its doors to Media students from B-Six college in Hackney for a mini training session where they watched ads and debated the Harm & Offence rule. One student was “surprised by what people complain about”!

There is so much more to talk about but who better to hear it from than our Clearcast For Better heroes who make it all happen, your very own Clearcasters:

Rajveen, Operations Assistant

I took part in the football and ethical fashion show last year. I really enjoyed the fashion show because I was the judge along with two other females and it was great to see how confident the kids were. It felt like I was a judge on the X factor! When I announced the winners, the kids were so happy. I felt proud to represent Clearcast and be a part of this unique experience.

As for the football charity match, it felt like being in school again! I had a lot of fun kicking the ball around and it was tough playing against Channel 4. Even though it rained so much, it was nice having people from the office cheering us on. I do feel proud looking back.

Jan, Senior Copy Group Executive

On 20th June four intrepid adventurers (Paul Burrows, Jan Cooper, Louise Glover and Nicola Macbean) and myself took on the Monopoly Challenge to raise money for the Whitechapel Mission. The object was to visit twenty six locations on the Monopoly Board, taking pictures to prove we reached each location before heading back to Whitechapel. We had to do this in under four hours, against nineteen other teams using public transport, hire bikes or walking. It was great fun haring around town visiting some iconic London locations and bumping into other teams. In the end we came 6th. Not bad. And we raised over £200 for the Mission.

Guy, Cover and New Business Manager

I took part in the Clearcast for Better world cup tournament. The initial downpour that soaked us all before we even began and the reminder that I am immensely unfit and just plain bad at football were countered by the Corinthian spirit the games were played in and the sense that everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed it. Credit due to the other companies who sent teams and contributed to such a good cause. My personal favourite moment was that, for the second year running, I did not have a heart attack.

Thanks Guy, we’re very glad you’re in good health.  Let’s see what 2020 has in store for us! Read more about our ongoing Clearcast For Better work here and follow us on Twitter for live updates. 

Agency Certificate Training – 29th and 30th April –

16th January 2020

20/04/2020

Until normal working condition resume, we are now offering our Agency Certificate as a two-part live webinar on consecutive days. Each 90-minute segment will mirror the content from our face-to-face course covering recent changes, watch outs, hot topics, tips and best practice advice to ensure smooth approvals. Plus, we have integrated expert speakers, quizzes and plenty of Q&A.

Also, don’t worry about missing out on meeting the team. We’re planning an event later in the year where all attendees can visit our offices to meet our team, network and ‘graduate’ by receiving their certificate.

To book please click here.

Our interactive CPD certified and IPA recognised Agency Certificate is designed for advertising agencies of all types. During the course you’ll gain a unique practical insight into every aspect of the TV advertising clearance process from script to screen. The course will equip you with the essential knowledge and skills to get your client’s ads to air and keep them there.

Watch our promo video for a brief taste of the sessions and browse 2020 course dates here.

“Nothing to say other than, Fab!”Sascha, Gundog Media 

Agency Certificate, January 2019

“Would definitely recommend to anyone working in the advertising industry.”Christian, Smyths Toys

 Advertiser Certificate, April 2019

“I will be telling the office how good it was!” Rachel, ITV

Broadcaster Certificate, October 2019

“Many thanks from all our team for the Training, it was super helpful for us and it gave us very interesting insights!” Marina, Wayfair

Bespoke Training, April 2019

2020 Training dates out now!

10th January 2020

The 2020 training dates have just been released, make sure to join us!

2019 saw us train a whopping 850+ industry folk, venture to New York, Belfast and Manchester, set up our very own Training Twitter account and lots more. Thanks for making it brilliant!

As well as our London courses, in March we’ll be taking the Agency Certificate to Cardiff and are planning to host a one-off International session later this year. Make sure to follow us on Twitter for announcements, where our big news is leaked first…

Watch our promo video for a brief taste of the sessions and browse 2020 course dates here. Please note we’re now sold out for the 2020 January session.

“Nothing to say other than, Fab!”Sascha, Gundog Media 

Agency Certificate, January 2019

“Would definitely recommend to anyone working in the advertising industry.”Christian, Smyths Toys

 Advertiser Certificate, April 2019

“I will be telling the office how good it was!” Rachel, ITV

Broadcaster Certificate, October 2019

“Many thanks from all our team for the Training, it was super helpful for us and it gave us very interesting insights!” Marina, Wayfair

Bespoke Training, April 2019

Our next MD will be Samantha Smith

06th January 2020

We’re pleased to announce that Sam Smith, Head of Audience Services at the BBC, has been appointed as the next Managing Director of Clearcast. She will take up her post in early April, succeeding Chris Mundy who was in position for 11 years before being appointed as Chief Executive of media data science company RSMB.

Clearcast is best known for clearing ads for television and broadcaster VoD services. Our mission is to get ads to air (and keep them there) through services and systems ranging from training to media booking to advertising clearance and beyond. Finding the right person to lead the company was a high priority for Clearcast’s shareholders, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Turner.

Sam joined the BBC in 2000 and has been Head of Audience Services for the last ten years, managing the BBC’s audience support, enquiries and feedback services. During this time, she has introduced new technologies into customer service, providing technical support via social media and webchat, and working with suppliers to relaunch the websites that the public use to access the organisation.

Sam Smith said “Clearcast has earned a reputation for expertise, operational delivery and innovation and I’m excited to be joining as Managing Director. The industry is evolving quickly and I look forward to leading Clearcast through a period that will see broadcasters providing increasingly addressable formats and digital platforms.”  

Chris Mundy said: “I’m delighted that Sam has been appointed as my successor. Having previously worked with Sam, I know she is passionate about broadcast media, a great leader, collaborative and highly creative. She has exactly the right skills and approach to lead Clearcast as the advertising industry continues to evolve.”

Clearcast’s chairman Mark White said: “In a strong field, the Board were especially impressed by Sam’s leadership ability, understanding of technology, people skills, regulatory experience and her huge passion to do the job. Chris leaves Clearcast in great shape and Sam is well placed to both provide continuity and lead the company and team in the next stage of its development.”

The team at Clearcast look forward to welcoming Sam in the Spring.

Clearcast’s next Managing Director will be Samantha Smith

06th January 2020

PRESS RELEASE

We’re pleased to announce that Sam Smith, Head of Audience Services at the BBC, has been appointed as the next Managing Director of Clearcast. She will take up her post in early April, succeeding Chris Mundy who was in position for 11 years before being appointed as Chief Executive of media data science company RSMB.

Clearcast is best known for clearing ads for television and broadcaster VoD services. Our mission is to get ads to air (and keep them there) through services and systems ranging from training to media booking to advertising clearance and beyond. Finding the right person to lead the company was a high priority for Clearcast’s shareholders, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Warner Media.

Sam joined the BBC in 2000 and has been Head of Audience Services for the last ten years, managing the BBC’s audience support, enquiries and feedback services. During this time, she has introduced new technologies into customer service, providing technical support via social media and webchat, and working with suppliers to relaunch the websites that the public use to access the organisation.

Sam Smith said “Clearcast has earned a reputation for expertise, operational delivery and innovation and I’m excited to be joining as Managing Director. The industry is evolving quickly and I look forward to leading Clearcast through a period that will see broadcasters providing increasingly addressable formats and digital platforms.”  

Chris Mundy said: “I’m delighted that Sam has been appointed as my successor. Having previously worked with Sam, I know she is passionate about broadcast media, a great leader, collaborative and highly creative. She has exactly the right skills and approach to lead Clearcast as the advertising industry continues to evolve.”

Clearcast’s chairman Mark White said: “In a strong field, the Board were especially impressed by Sam’s leadership ability, understanding of technology, people skills, regulatory experience and her huge passion to do the job. Chris leaves Clearcast in great shape and Sam is well placed to both provide continuity and lead the company and team in the next stage of its development.”

The team at Clearcast look forward to welcoming Sam in the Spring.

For queries please email communications@clearcast.co.uk or call 020 7339 4713.