Revised Notes of Guidance Launched

18th July 2016

We’ve published a revised version of our Notes of Guidance, making it easier than ever to create approval-ready ads before submitting to Clearcast.


The Notes of Guidance are made up of two elements. First up is a copy of the BCAP code – the rules which TV advertising is governed by. Interspersed throughout the Code are Clearcast’s notes, providing commentary and examples alongside the rules.


For example, in the section of the BCAP code that deals with ‘free’ claims (from rule 3.25) the Code rules are shown in full followed by, amongst other snippets, this (free!) guidance:


“If an advertiser offers free samples, Clearcast will require assurances that there is enough stock to meet anticipated demand for the time the ad is on air. Given that demand may be higher than expected ads should state ‘while stocks last’ or ‘limited stocks’. Clearcast will also ask for assurances that advertisements will be removed from air if stocks run out before the end of the planned airtime.”


This means agencies and advertisers intending to make ‘free’ claims can find out in advance of clearance the kind of substantiation we will require, include that with the initial script submission and also be aware of what supers or legals should be present in the script. This could save up to four working days off the clearance time.


Our guidance is based on our knowledge, expertise and experience gained in clearing copy over time. We also base it, where relevant, on ASA rulings, so where possible links to the ASA’s archive have been  provided. In some places this isn’t possible, as the ASA only keeps rulings on its site for five years. Additionally, some guidance is based on rulings that have been taken informally and so hasn’t been published.


Where appropriate the guidance contains links to our Forms page where a number of templates can be found to make the substantiation process simpler and easier to prepare in advance of submission.


The Notes of Guidance can be downloaded whole as a PDF over on our Knowledge Base, and individual sections can be viewed online or downloaded as necessary.


If you’re looking for an overview of particular areas, you could also check out our blog where posts have covered rules around alcohol ads, gambling and youth appeal, retail substantiation and much more.