Clearcast Myth Buster

01st April 2021

This blog was originally published in our 2020 Summer Newsletter.

Myth buster: fact, fiction and why you should move when lightning strikes.

There are some facts that we know to be true – MSG is bad for you; Ancient Greek and Roman statues were always in white marble and lightning never strikes in the spot twice. But what if I was to tell you these are all in-fact false. A mixture of bias, misunderstanding and even a touch of deliberate misinformation has turned these falsehoods into commonly held beliefs.

With this in mind, I wanted to look at some of the myths about Clearcast and see if we can delve in and unpick some commonly held misconceptions and hopefully clear up what is true and what is false. After all, isn’t it a relief to know you can enjoy your MSG packed savoury snacks guilt-free!

True or False

Clearcast is the regulator

False. Clearcast isn’t the regulator, our role is to check ads before they go on air to see if they meet the requirements set out in the BCAP Code. The ASA is the regulator – assessing complaints and monitoring ads after they have appeared. If it thinks it’s necessary, the ASA bans ads making sure they do not appear again in their current form.

Clearcast employees can often be found at the pub on a Friday evening

True. This remains true even in these more physically distanced times thanks to one clever employee who took it upon themselves to start a virtual pub. The drinks are cheaper and the late-night commute home more pleasant. We are looking forward to resuming normal practice soon.

Our main role is to protect the consumer

False: We polled attendees at our agency training session ( July 2020) and found that 50% thought our main aim was to protect consumers and the other 50% thought our primary purpose was to protect the advertiser. By ensuring that claims are verified and that ads adhere to the codes and rules, we do protect the consumer and the advertiser, but our main aim is to protect the broadcasters we are owned by. Advertising is covered by regulation and the broadcaster must comply with that regulation to keep its licence and continue to air our favourite telly.

If an ad is complained about it will be banned

False: Another common myth is that our aim is to clear ads that won’t attract any controversy or complaints. This also isn’t true. Some of the most exciting campaigns of the last few years have attracted complaints and have stayed on air. This is because they don’t break any of the rules set out in the BCAP Code.

Clearcast kill creativity

FALSE: When a brand wants to do something new and exciting, we must consider how this will fit with the rules and guidelines. A great example of us not ‘killing creativity’ is Bodyform’s Viva La Vulva campaign in 2019. The intention was to show different representations of vulvas to positively reinforce that there is no such thing as a perfect vulva. By working with Seb Lynch and his Copy Development service, the agency was able to aid this innovative and ground-breaking campaign to adhere to the rules and get on air!

Hopefully, we’ve busted some myths about Clearcast. And in case you’re still wondering: MSG is perfectly safe in small doses; Ancient Roman and Greek statues were often painted in bright colours and lightening is just as, if not more likely to hit the same spot twice.

If you have any questions about this blog or anything else please email us here.