Clearcast on Lockdown

29th April 2020

By Adam Amini, HR & Office Executive

When we first announced that we would be working remotely for the foreseeable future, we had no doubts that we’d rise to the challenge to provide our usual service to the industry. We’re lucky enough to work from laptops and allow for flexible and remote working, without compromising our standards. 

For a company where collaboration and discussion (especially in our morning viewings) are important and with such an active social calendar, it’s been a huge change for everyone. We’re proud of the members of our team who have gone above and beyond in making sure we’re all staying in touch.

Here’s a quick round-up of what we’ve been getting up to:

Cass Briscoe, our fab Executive Assistant opened (and became the landlady of) The Clearcast Arms — a virtual ‘pub’ for us to catch-up and unwind in together after we finish clearing copy for the week. Last Friday we even had a pub quiz, with Pete Bellas, Senior New Business Exec taking the crown. Also, our Copy Exec Stuart Enver has been hosting the ‘Daily Fail’ viewing showing hilarious and unfortunate video compilations (not always for the faint of heart).

As said in her lovely blog last week, our new MD Sam Smith recently started and invited Jason and Dale from RigFiftyOne along for a Zoom cocktail class — not only was it fun and social, but very educational — we even had a few partners and family members joining in.

With mindfulness and wellness at the front of people’s minds, we’ve continued our weekly advanced and beginner yoga classes with Marcia and Galya — our two beloved instructors. The Clearcast yogis were delighted to keep up their routines and attend the classes virtually.

Our team have been busy outside of work, too: you may have seen on our Twitter (@Clearcast if you’re not following already), Niamh McGuinness, our Head of Copy Clearance sang along with 275 others in London City Voices choir to raise money for Women’s Aid to help the fight against domestic violence at this time. Check it out, here. They’ve already raised their donations target three times and have currently raised over £40,000 — incredible!

We’re also delighted that our local, family-run fruit delivery company, Fresh Fruit Daily have been donating our usual office supply to key workers and the NHS around London.

It’s a strange and difficult time for many and there are countless people feeling the effects of loneliness and isolation. We’ve all tried to do our bit for the team to make things a little easier, and make sure we have all felt involved and stayed connected.

Stay safe and keep in touch!

Welcome to Clearcast, Sam Smith

24th April 2020

By Sam Smith, Managing Director

Hi, I’m Sam, I’m the new MD of Clearcast – I joined in early April.

When I say I “joined” I mean I joined from my spare room on a Clearcast laptop. It was the same spare room that I’d been working in the Friday before from a BBC laptop. To mark the difference, I changed the picture on the wall – so it would look slightly different in a Zoom meeting.

Even if everyone you know is safe and well, everyone has something in their lives that the pandemic and the lockdown has affected. Mine is leaving my old job and starting my new one entirely remotely. In the grand scheme of things, when we come to look back at it, it’s not the biggest issue in the world, is it? And there are plus points to starting in this way. Everyone is very accommodating and supportive and there is a great community spirit here. I’m meeting the Board remotely, and I have one to ones with everyone in the company spread over the next few weeks. I might actually get to know people more quickly this way. Thank goodness for virtual meetings – what on earth would we have done if this situation had happened in 2001?!

Clearcast is now in its sixth week of working remotely.  We’re successfully conducting our daily viewing meeting, continuing to approve scripts and clear ads and to provide our additional services such as Fast Track, TV Admin and Copy Development. This is all from the comfort of our sofas, spare rooms, kitchens etc. And so, we’re continuing to get ads to air, even if there aren’t quite as many of them as usual.

I’ve seen that adversity drives innovation before, and that’s certainly proving to be true now.

Clearcast Training is being taken online for the first time, with our Training Manager, Michael, re-working the Agency and Advertiser Certificate courses so they can be delivered remotely. You can read more on this and check-out available dates in our latest press release.

Advertisers are being very creative within the restrictions that currently exist on filming. Thinkbox have published a great article on this which you can read here.

Some initiatives just warm your heart too. The company that normally deliver fruit to the Clearcast office are delivering it to the NHS and food banks instead, and sending us pictures of delighted key workers – check out our Twitter feed for these.

Our Head of Copy Clearance Niamh McGuinness is in a choir called London City Voices. They remotely recorded a wonderfully uplifting video in aid of Women’s Aid, smashing their original target of £10,000 and just a few days ago beat their second target of £30,000! But obviously, there is still a long way to go for the cause, so if you can, donate here.

And Clearcast opened The Clearcast Arms on the first Friday of the lockdown. It’s a very popular pub, with about half of the company turning up in any given week. There have been pub quizzes, cocktail classes and more. Although I’m a newbie, I’ve felt immediately welcomed into what is clearly a very close-knit team.

Even though every remote meeting I have starts with the phrase “it must be very odd for you starting in these circumstances” (and it is), actually in some ways, I’ve found it quite uplifting.

I hope all is well with you and yours, and I’ll “see you on the other side”.

May Bank Holiday Deadlines

22nd April 2020

We’ve now been given the early and late May Bank Holiday copy deadlines, which were agreed by ITV, Sky Media, Channel 4 and WarnerMedia.

Remember, this year the early May Bank Holiday is Friday 8th May, instead of the usual Monday.

AirdateCopy Instructions By Copy Delivery By Copy Approved By
   
Tuesday 5th May1st May1st May1st May
Wednesday 6th May1st May1st May1st May
Thursday 7th May4th May4th May4th May
**Friday 8th May4th May4th May4th May
Saturday 9th May5th May5th May5th May
Sunday 10th May5th May5th May5th May
Monday 11th May5th May5th May5th May
    
Tuesday 19th May15th May15th May15th May
Wednesday 20th May15th May15th May15th May
Thursday 21st May18th May18th May18th May
Friday 22nd May19th May19th May19th May
Saturday 23rd May20th May20th May20th May
Sunday 24th May20th May20th May20th May
**Monday 25th May20th May20th May20th May
Tuesday 26th May20th May20th May20th May

** Bank Holiday – Clearcast closed

For VoD campaigns running between 8th – 11th May all copy, rotations, tracking tags, copy changes & approval need to be received by 30th April.

For VoD campaigns running between 22nd – 26th May all copy, rotations, tracking tags, copy changes & approval need to be received by 15th May.

Approval should be before or by the delivery date, please be aware that two clear working days are required for video approval, and we always advise you leave at least two weeks for full clearance.

CLEARCAST AGENCY & ADVERTISER TRAINING IS NOW ONLINE

16th April 2020

PRESS RELEASE

Clearcast, the company responsible for clearing ads before they are broadcast in the UK, will continue its award-winning training via webinar.

Clearcast has been providing training to advertisers and agencies for over a decade, sharing their expertise of the ever evolving and rapidly changing world of copy clearance to get ads on air and keep them there. Until this difficult time has passed, the doors are closed to their in-person training. To continue to provide their award-winning service while the industry works from home, they have launched interactive live webinars, inspired by their popular in-person courses.

Michael Haydon, UK & International Training Manager says, ‘I am passionate about continuing to provide this training, explaining all the recent/important changes, watch-outs, hot topics, tips and best practice advice to ensure smooth approvals.’  

By integrating expert speakers, quizzes and plenty of Q&A, Michael is finding innovative ways to keep the course interactive and engaging. They are also planning an event later in the year where all attendees can visit the Clearcast offices, meet the team, network and ‘graduate’ by receiving their certificate.

Book and check out the full Agency syllabus here & Advertiser syllabus here.

For any queries regarding this press release please contact communications@clearcast.co.uk.

Business as usual for Copy Development

03rd April 2020

Our Copy Development service is running remotely and can still offer face to face consultation sessions online. We will assist you in making sure you deliver effective ads, remaining sensitive to current issues, whilst staying within the lines of the BCAP Code.

We’ve created a short video to bring to life the different strands of the service and benefits to agencies and advertisers, you can watch it here.

The service, run by our Copy Development Manager Seb Lynch, has proved popular over the years because it saves time, money and stress by involving us as you shape your concepts, creative and claims so that once your ad is ready, the clearance process is as smooth as possible. 

Contact Seb, Copy Development Manager on 020 7339 4771 or email him with any questions you have.

“Seb was an excellent help during our initial territory exploration with a tricky subject matter. He helped us find the lines where we could be as challenging as we wanted to be but still comply with regulations.”

Jo, Founded

Clearcast Training is Now Online!

02nd April 2020

Spring into Action: Clearcast Training is now online!

Until this difficult time has passed, we are unable to offer our in-person courses. However, as the saying goes if you can’t come to Clearcast Training then Clearcast Training must come to you! So we have brought our training services online.

To ensure you stay up to date with all the need to know Clearcast info, we are now offering our two most popular courses: CPD Certified Agency + Advertiser Certificate Courses as two-part live webinars that you can do from home.

The interactive live webinars are inspired by our popular in-person courses covering the same vital info you need to help get your ads to air + keep them there. We explain all the recent/important changes, watch-outs, hot topics, tips and best practice advice to ensure smooth approvals. Plus, we have integrated expert speakers, quizzes, plenty of Q&A and training materials for you to reference.

Check out our full Agency syllabus here & Advertiser syllabus here

We’re also 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.

Our bespoke training will also be coming online soon. We’ll be back in touch next month when bookings are open for tailored training.

Gambling advertising watch-outs

01st April 2020

By Jennie Demetriou, Senior Copy Group Executive

Although the Grand National and other live sporting events have been called off this year, for gambling advertisers, showing their best odds in their ad is still important. Before going away and making an ad, there are important elements for advertisers to consider. Thanks to our Senior Copy Exec, Jennie, we’ve got you covered:

Live odds:

In the case of live odds being dropped into an ad, an approved template of the ad must be seen by Clearcast beforehand. This will then be delivered to the broadcaster, where the odds will be dropped in for transmission. Once the ad has aired it will need to be supplied to Clearcast with substantiation for the odds that were seen. Live odds are a great way for advertisers to show what they are offering, and perhaps how they compare with others, but remember the substantiation! Just because the ad has been seen and may not go on air again, Clearcast still needs the substantiation to support advertisers in the instance of a complaint.

Advertising your clubs:

Last year the ASA published rulings against a few ads that promoted betting clubs. These clubs were intended for viewers to sign up to advertisers’ websites to receive offers. One advertiser offered free bets if consumers spent a minimum sum over a week. Such offers need to be handled with care; the ASA has considered that in certain cases these offers encourage repetitive participation in gambling. The ASA also raised concern about an ad which, although light-hearted, implied being a part of a gambling club could provide a source of income. It’s imperative that advertisers encourage responsible gambling, including with the offers they have. You can look on the ASA website for the rulings, or relevant examples include Paddy Power and Coral.

Youth appeal:

The BCAP code rule 17.3.5 talks about not appealing to under 18s, however, there are times when the line is not black and white. It’s always advisable to note if an ad goes from ‘general appeal’, to ‘particular appeal’ then to ‘under 18s’. ‘General appeal’ is where adults have a higher proportion of interest, for example, X Factor or Saturday Night Takeaway, these are shows that have featured in gambling ads and the ASA have not upheld based on their BARB figures, among other points. ‘Particular appeal’ to ‘under 18s’, can be things such as Marvel characters and current premier league footballers. Ensuring ads do not appeal to under 18s can also include looking at the type of humour, characters, celebrities, or even music that might have particular appeal to this group. Advertisers should consider this when deciding on any celebrities or game characters featured in ads, in case they are likely to have appeal to children, see this ASA ruling for an example.

Whilst these are just a few points the ASA have ruled on that can help for future ads, it’s worth checking out the BCAP gambling rules for further points to consider, such as glamourizing gambling and sexual success. However, with the right guidance, your ads can be approved to go on-air and stay on-air.

You can also refer to our notes of guidance to help navigate the BCAP rules on gambling.