Connect to us on social media

30th June 2020

As you may know, we are pretty active on social media. You can connect to us on Twitter and/or LinkedIn for all sorts including job vacancies, clearance related blogs, #Clearcasttips, industry news, updates about our services and more.

We also post if any downtime is expected on CopyCentral and the bank holiday Broadcaster copy deadlines – which can be vital to know on a deadline!

If you are not active on social media, you can subscribe to our updates to receive a monthly bulletin of all our latest news here.

Fast Track, one year on

10th June 2020

“The speed and service of Fast Track made a potential week from hell, a massive amount easier!”– Dan, Saatchi & Saatchi – March 2020

It’s been a year since we launched The Fast Track service and to mark the anniversary we wanted to share a few insights that prove, in our industry, sometimes, fast-tracking is essential! The service was introduced in response to demand from agencies. Despite high levels of satisfaction with Clearcast’s core service, there was an appetite for a faster service when deadlines were tight. In response, we set up a Fast Track service, which guarantees feedback on a script or video submission within one working day.

In August we simplified the process by adding new features to our online clearance system, CopyCentral, that means when you submit your script or video you can click on ‘Fast Track script/video’ and it will land straight into the Fast Track inbox.

One year on and Matthew (the Fast Track Manager), has helped lots of agencies hit their air dates in time-sensitive and demanding circumstances. He has cleared more ads than we had ever imagined, and these ads have been submitted by 302 separate agencies with over half of these agencies having used the service more than once. Demonstrating that the demand was there, and we hope, has now been met.

We have seen that the 24-hour turnaround service can be a lifesaver for the advertising industry in unforeseen and adverse conditions as well as in normal working life where setbacks in the production process are sometimes inevitable.

This April has been particularly busy with agencies and advertisers trying to get their ever-changing messages to air during lockdown. We are pleased that the service could support the quick turnaround needed to get often essential Coronavirus messaging to air whether that be public health messages or brands trying to do their bit to connect with their customers at the peak of the pandemic.

Fast Track is a much-needed service in busy times, but we also encourage agencies and advertisers to book onto our award-winning CPD Certified training sessions. The courses give you the essential knowledge you need to prepare for and manage your clearances. The training programme has been adapted into webinars that have proved extremely successful with agency folk working from home or on furlough, they are bookable here. Or, you can email the training team here for more info.

Matthew says:

“Setting up the Fast Track service and seeing it prove to be so popular has been tremendously exciting and rewarding. Clearance staff here at Clearcast deal with a very varied workload and nowhere is this more true than Fast Track with ads from all sorts of sectors coming across my desk; retail, charity, entertainment, utilities, and pretty much everything in between! It’s fitted in really well with the existing Clearcast Plus premium services and I’m glad that it has been received so positively by clients, agencies and broadcasters as a useful aid in exceptional times”.

To learn more about Fast Track, contact the Fast Track Manager, Matthew Stevens, on 020 7339 4777 or email him on fasttrack@clearcast.co.uk.

Join the queue: ‘Awaiting ingest checks’

05th June 2020

‘Your script and substantiation have been approved by Clearcast’ which means you are at stage two of the three-stage process of getting your ad cleared and on air.

With tight deadlines and looming air dates this stage and the next can feel rushed and stressful but we want to help make it as smooth as possible. There are certain lessons you learn only from submitting ads to us for donkey’s years, so to save a little time, we have put together some handy hints and tips below.

When it’s time to upload your ad (rough or final edit), remember:

1. Once you have uploaded either a rough or a clocked ad and it has the status of ‘awaiting ingest checks’, allow a minimum of two hours for a video file to be ingested. This process cannot be fast-tracked and no queue-skipping is available, irrespective of the urgency.

2. Submitting a rough cut or a clocked ad is a new stage of the clearance process so a new submission must be created on CopyCentral; it really helps us if you reference any previous submissions related to your new one.

3. If your edit is airing the same day as you upload, please make sure the relevant broadcaster(s) adds your clock number to their watch list – this way Clearcast can prioritise your ad if we need to.

4. At the ingest stage edits are checked for audio, supers, content and flashing. Calling the ingest team (Mark or Greg) isn’t normally necessary – time taken to answer calls can slow down the ingest-checking process.

Technical stuff:

When submitting a clocked edit to us please remember to include the following:

  • 30 secs of countdown clock at the start of the video file you upload.
  • A clock number that’s clearly displayed on screen whilst the countdown clock counts down.
  • If you’re unsure about how to create a clock number, please click here.
  • Passing our legal text checks requires careful consideration and if a finished ad fails our tests it can’t be transmitted and will need a new clock number.
  • We have two tools on our website that you can use to check your legal text before submitting your ad to us, the Height of Supers Testcard and the Duration of Hold Calculator.

Technical specifications for all rough cuts and completed ads submitted to us can be found on our dedicated help site.

Common Clearcast stage two lingo:

“Flashing test” – Your edits will be automatically checked to determine if they pass the Photosensitive epilepsy flash test.

“Linear” – If your ad is going out on broadcast TV – such as Channel 4.

“VOD”– Non-broadcast video on demand. ITV hub, for example.

“Supers pass/fail” – “Supers” is the term applied to text superimposed onto ads to provide additional information, usually because it is required to be there for legal or regulatory purposes (the “small print” or “legal text”). 

“Clock number” – A clock number is a unique alphanumeric identification number. It identifies an advertisement and its creators or source (usually an advertising agency). It is applied at the last stage of Clearcast by the creator and is made up of several groups of letters or numbers. Each group provides a piece of information e.g. product and duration of the ad.

You can contact our operations team with any questions at help@clearcast.co.uk.