clearcast automated quality control checks

11 mins read

Clearcast’s Role in UK Advertising Compliance

Clearcast holds a pivotal role in the UK advertising landscape, functioning as a non-regulatory body responsible for the pre-clearance of TV advertisements. Our platform ensures that commercials adhere to the stringent standards set by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Ofcom, and the various codes of practice, including the BCAP Code. This pre-clearance process is crucial for broadcasters, as it helps maintain the integrity of content before it reaches the viewing public.

The Essence of Automated Quality Control Checks

Automated Quality Control (QC) checks are integral to Clearcast’s clearance process. These checks are designed to scrutinize every aspect of an advertisement, from video and audio quality to compliance with broadcast specifications. By automating this process, Clearcast offers a streamlined and efficient method for ensuring that all ads meet the high standards required for UK television.

Benefits of Automated QC in Ad Clearance

The use of automated QC checks offers numerous advantages. For you, the marketer, it means faster feedback and a more efficient clearance process. Ads are assessed against predefined criteria, ensuring consistency and objectivity. This automation also allows for a more rapid turnaround, providing you with the ability to align creative visions with regulatory demands without unnecessary delays.

Ensuring Technical and Broadcast Standards

Our automated QC checks are rigorous, covering everything from the technical specifications of the video to the subtleties of audio levels. By employing automated systems like Vidchecker, we ensure that your advertisements are not only compliant with the BCAP Code but also meet the technical broadcasting standards. This meticulous process guarantees that when your ad goes live, it delivers the intended message without any technical hiccups that could detract from its impact.

Understanding the Clearance Process

Navigating the ad clearance process can be intricate, but understanding the three key stages can help you streamline your submissions. At HighTower Video, we’re well-versed in these stages and can guide you through each one, ensuring your ads are compliant and aired without delay.

Stage 1: Script Submission and Initial Review

The journey begins with script submission. You’ll upload your script to CopyCentral, where it will undergo a thorough review. This includes claim substantiation and, if necessary, a storyboard evaluation. If your ad contains complex claims, a consultant will scrutinize these, providing feedback within three working days. For more advanced claims, a longer response time may be required. It’s also at this stage that timing restrictions are considered, and our HighTower Video Account Managers will liaise with you to ensure everything is on track.

Stage 2: Rough Cut Review and Adjustments

Next is the rough cut review. Although optional, this step can save you time and costs in the long run. By checking supers compliance and ensuring pre-production script approval efficiency, you’re less likely to face setbacks later. Daily viewing meetings are held for compliance assessment, allowing for localization and adjustments to meet UK standards.

Stage 3: Finalization and Clearance

Finally, your ad reaches the clocked ad finalization stage. Here, the ad is uploaded to The Library for final clearance, undergoing technical QC checks. You’ll receive a final approval notification, or if there are issues, a report with amendment instructions. Once approved, your ad is ready for delivery, converted if necessary from non-standard formats.

Throughout these stages, automated QC checks are integrated to validate compliance at each step, ensuring a smooth transition from script to broadcast. Provisional or temporary approvals are available, offering flexibility for ads still in production. With our expertise, you can navigate this process confidently, knowing that your creative vision aligns with regulatory demands.

The Role of Quality Control in Ad Compliance

Ensuring your advertisement meets the stringent standards of the UK’s broadcasting regulations is paramount. At HighTower Video, we understand that the automated Quality Control (QC) checks performed by Clearcast are a critical component in this process.

Automated QC Checks: Ensuring Adherence to Standards

Clearcast’s automated system conducts a series of QC checks to ensure every advertisement aligns with the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) Code. These checks include:

  • Video and Audio Quality: Assessing the clarity and consistency of the visual and auditory elements.
  • Format and Broadcast Specifications: Verifying that the ad meets the technical requirements for airing.
  • Compliance with BCAP Code: Ensuring all content is in line with regulatory standards, including the avoidance of harmful patterns and maintaining correct audio levels as per EBU R128.

Navigating QC Failures

When an ad fails these automated checks, Clearcast provides a detailed report outlining the specific issues. It’s then over to you to make the necessary amendments. Our team at HighTower Video can assist you in addressing these issues promptly, ensuring your ad meets all compliance requirements upon resubmission.

Leveraging Automated QC for Efficiency

By understanding and preparing for these QC checks, marketing agencies can significantly streamline the ad clearance process. With our expertise, you can preempt potential issues, reducing the likelihood of failed checks and speeding up the path to approval.

Technical Aspects of Automated QC Checks

When you’re preparing your advertisement for submission, it’s crucial to understand the technical specifications that Clearcast’s automated Quality Control (QC) system will assess. At HighTower Video, we ensure your ad meets these specifications to facilitate a smooth clearance process.

Assessing Video and Audio Quality

Clearcast’s automated QC system meticulously evaluates:

  • Video Quality: Checking for clarity, color grading, and the absence of black frames at the start or end of the ad.
  • Audio Quality: Ensuring there is no missing audio silence and that the loudness is normalized according to the EBU R128 standard.

Format and Broadcast Specifications Compliance

Your advertisement must adhere to specific format and broadcast specifications:

  • Format: The ad must be in a compatible format for broadcast.
  • Broadcast Specs: It must meet the technical requirements, including the correct aspect ratio and resolution.

Addressing Common Technical Failures

The automated system is designed to flag common technical issues, such as:

  • Luma/Chroma Levels: Ensuring the brightness and color saturation are within acceptable ranges.
  • RGB Gamut: Checking that colors fall within the broadcast-safe spectrum.
  • Flashing and Harmful Patterns: Verifying compliance with Ofcom’s guidelines to prevent photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) triggers.

Should your ad encounter any of these issues, our team at HighTower Video is equipped to guide you through the necessary adjustments, ensuring your content is cleared for broadcast without further complications.

The Significance of Clock Numbers in Quality Control

Understanding the clock number system is essential for ensuring your advertisement’s smooth progression through Clearcast’s quality control (QC) process. At HighTower Video, we prioritize helping you comprehend and utilize this unique identifier to its fullest potential.

Clock Numbers: The Backbone of Ad Identification

A clock number is a unique code assigned to each advertisement, serving as its definitive identifier throughout the QC process. This number is crucial because:

  • It ensures that the correct version of your ad is being reviewed and broadcasted.
  • It helps track the ad’s progress and compliance status within Clearcast’s systems.

Generating and Assigning Clock Numbers

The process of generating a clock number is straightforward but vital:

  1. Creation: The number is created by the agency or advertiser responsible for the ad.
  2. Allocation: Clearcast allocates an agency-specific code that forms part of the clock number.
  3. Structure: The number’s structure includes a combination of the agency code and a chronological numbering system, influenced by the ad’s duration.

Organizational Efficiency Through Clock Numbers

Clock numbers are not just identifiers; they are organizational tools that:

  • Facilitate the efficient sorting and retrieval of ads within Clearcast’s systems.
  • Ensure that any amendments to ads are accurately tracked and implemented.

By understanding and correctly using clock numbers, you can enhance the organization and clearance of your ads, making the QC process as seamless as possible. Our team at HighTower Video is here to assist you every step of the way, ensuring that your clock numbers are accurately generated and applied.

Navigating QC Failures and Resubmissions

When your advertisement faces a setback in the form of a Quality Control (QC) failure, understanding the common pitfalls and the path to resolution is crucial. At HighTower Video, we’re committed to guiding you through this process with precision and care.

Common Reasons for QC Check Failures

QC failures often stem from a few typical issues:

  • Technical Specifications: Ads may fail due to incorrect video format, duration, or audio levels.
  • Broadcast Standards: Non-compliance with broadcast specs, such as luma/chroma levels or RGB gamut, can trigger a failure.
  • Content Compliance: Issues like black frames at the start/end or non-normalized audio loudness are common culprits.

Responding to a Failed QC Report

Upon receiving a failed QC report, it’s important to:

  1. Review: Carefully examine the report to understand the specific reasons for failure.
  2. Consult: Reach out to us at HighTower Video for expert advice on addressing the issues.

Steps for Amending and Reuploading Ads

To amend and reupload your ad:

  1. Correct: Make the necessary changes as outlined in the QC report.
  2. Reupload: Submit the revised ad through the same Clearcast system, ensuring all corrections are in place.

Clearcast’s Support During Resolution

Clearcast offers robust support throughout this process:

  • Guidance: Detailed instructions for amendments are provided in the QC report.
  • Assistance: Clearcast’s helpdesk and ticket system are available for additional support.

Remember, our team at HighTower Video is here to assist you every step of the way, ensuring your ad returns to the clearance track swiftly and successfully.

Clearcast’s Support and Resources for Agencies

Navigating the complexities of ad clearance can be daunting, but Clearcast offers a robust support system to assist you through any Quality Control (QC) issues. At HighTower Video, we’re here to help you make the most of these resources.

Accessing Clearcast’s Ticket System

When you encounter QC challenges, Clearcast’s ticket system is your first port of call:

  • Submit a Ticket: Easily report any issues you’re facing directly through CopyCentral.
  • Track Progress: Monitor the status of your query from submission to resolution.

Utilizing Clearcast’s Resources

Clearcast provides a wealth of resources to deepen your understanding of QC requirements:

  • CopyCentral Help: Access detailed guides and FAQs for immediate assistance.
  • Training Materials: Leverage online resources like for proactive learning.

Resolving Technical Issues

For technical hiccups such as password and email troubles, Clearcast streamlines the resolution process:

  • IT Whitelist Requests: Ensure Clearcast’s emails reach you without being caught in spam filters.
  • Helpdesk Support: Contact Clearcast directly for swift resolution of persistent issues.

Remember, our team at HighTower Video is always ready to assist you in navigating Clearcast’s compliance landscape, ensuring your ads are cleared efficiently and effectively.

HighTower Video’s Expertise in Clearcast Compliance

Navigating Clearcast’s Quality Control (QC) process requires a keen understanding of the advertising industry’s regulatory landscape. At HighTower Video, we specialize in guiding you through this intricate process, ensuring your creative output meets all compliance standards without compromising your vision.

Specialized Services for QC Compliance

Our suite of services is designed to address every aspect of QC compliance:

  • Pre-Submission Review: We meticulously review your content before submission to Clearcast, identifying potential compliance issues.
  • Technical Specification Guidance: Our team provides expert advice on meeting the technical requirements for your advertisements, from video formats to audio levels.

Streamlining the Ad Clearance Process

We leverage our expertise to make the clearance process as efficient as possible:

  • Liaison with Clearcast: Our established relationship with Clearcast allows for smoother communication and quicker resolution of any issues.
  • Advanced Editing and Versioning: We offer advanced video editing services, ensuring that your ad not only complies with regulations but also resonates with your target audience.

Aligning Creative Visions with Regulatory Demands

Our commitment is to your creative vision:

  • Creative Consultation: We work closely with you to understand your creative goals and how they can be achieved within the regulatory framework.
  • Regulatory Navigation: Our deep knowledge of the BCAP Code and Clearcast’s guidelines ensures that your ads are not only compliant but also impactful.

With HighTower Video, you’re not just getting a service provider; you’re gaining a partner dedicated to the success of your advertising campaigns.

Preparing for Clearcast’s Automated QC Checks

Ensuring your advertisement sails through Clearcast’s automated Quality Control (QC) checks requires meticulous preparation. At HighTower Video, we’re committed to equipping you with the knowledge and support to navigate this process with confidence.

Script and Storyboard Submissions: Laying the Groundwork

Your first step is to prepare your script and storyboard for submission:

  • Substantiate Claims: Ensure all claims in your script are backed by evidence, which may require additional documentation.
  • Visualize Clearly: Develop a storyboard that accurately represents the final ad, as this will be used in the initial review process.

Rough Cut Compliance: Fine-Tuning Your Ad

When it comes to rough cuts, attention to detail is key:

  • Technical Specs: Verify that your rough cut adheres to the technical specifications, including video and audio quality standards.
  • BCAP Code: Review your content against the BCAP Code to preempt any compliance issues.

HighTower Video: Your Partner in QC Preparation

As your partner, we play a pivotal role in preparing your ad for QC checks:

  • Expert Review: Our team provides a thorough pre-submission review, identifying any potential compliance issues.
  • Guidance and Support: We offer guidance on technical specifications and the BCAP Code, ensuring your ad is up to standard before submission.

By following these steps and leveraging our expertise, you’re setting your advertisement up for a successful QC pass, keeping your campaign on track and on schedule.

The Evolution of Clearcast’s Automated QC System

In response to the ever-changing landscape of the advertising industry, Clearcast’s automated Quality Control (QC) system is continuously evolving. Our team at HighTower Video stays abreast of these advancements, ensuring that your advertisements benefit from the latest in QC technology.

Embracing New Initiatives

Clearcast is proactive in enhancing the ad clearance process:

  • Technological Integration: Leveraging new software and algorithms to increase the accuracy and efficiency of QC checks.
  • Process Optimization: Streamlining workflows to reduce turnaround times for ad clearance.

Impact on the Future of Advertising

Clearcast’s innovative approach to QC checks is shaping the future of TV and Video on Demand (VoD) advertising by:

  • Setting Industry Standards: Establishing benchmarks for quality and compliance that influence the entire sector.
  • Promoting Transparency: Offering greater insight into the clearance process for advertisers and agencies alike.

The Role of Technology in QC Advancements

Technology is the cornerstone of Clearcast’s QC processes, playing a pivotal role in:

  • Automated Checks: Utilizing advanced systems for more thorough and rapid assessments of advertisements.
  • Data Analytics: Employing data-driven insights to refine QC criteria and enhance ad performance.

At HighTower Video, we integrate these technological advancements into our services, ensuring that your ads are not only compliant but also positioned for success in an evolving digital marketplace.

Enhancing Ad Campaigns with Clearcast QC Checks

In the competitive realm of advertising, Clearcast’s Quality Control (QC) checks are not just a regulatory hurdle but a valuable asset to the overall success of your ad campaign. At HighTower Video, we help you harness the full potential of these services to maximize your ad’s impact.

The Benefits of Clearcast’s QC Services

Clearcast’s QC checks offer several advantages:

  • Quality Assurance: They ensure your ad meets the highest standards of audio and visual quality, which is crucial for audience engagement.
  • Regulatory Compliance: By adhering to Clearcast’s standards, your ad avoids potential legal issues, saving you time and resources in the long run.

Leveraging Clearcast’s Feedback

Clearcast’s feedback is a goldmine for improving ad performance:

  • Constructive Insights: Use the detailed reports to refine your ad, enhancing its effectiveness and compliance.
  • Proactive Adjustments: Addressing feedback promptly can prevent future QC failures, keeping your campaign on schedule.

Strategies to Streamline Clearance

To avoid QC failures and expedite the clearance process:

  • Pre-Submission Review: Utilize our pre-submission review service to catch potential issues before they reach Clearcast.
  • Technical Compliance: Ensure your ad meets all technical specifications from the outset to avoid common pitfalls.

By implementing these strategies and taking advantage of Clearcast’s optional services, you can ensure a smoother clearance process and a more successful ad campaign.

Reach Out to HighTower Video for Clearcast QC Support

When you’re ready to navigate the complexities of Clearcast’s Quality Control (QC) checks, HighTower Video is here to provide the support and expertise you need. Our dedicated team is equipped to assist marketing agencies with every aspect of the QC process.

Initiating Contact with Our Team

To get started with our QC support services:

  • Email Us: Reach out to our support team at with any questions or requests for assistance.
  • Provide Essential Details: Include your agency’s name, the specific QC issue you’re facing, and any relevant ad details to help us understand your needs.

Tailored Services for Your Agency

At HighTower Video, we understand that each agency has unique requirements:

  • Customized Assistance: We analyze your specific situation and provide tailored solutions to meet your QC and compliance needs.
  • Direct Support: Our experts are on hand to guide you through the QC process, from initial submission to final clearance.

Choosing HighTower Video for QC Excellence

Selecting HighTower Video for your Clearcast QC needs ensures:

  • Expertise: Our deep understanding of Clearcast’s requirements means we can navigate the QC process efficiently.
  • Commitment: We are committed to aligning your creative vision with regulatory demands, ensuring your ads make an impact while remaining compliant.

For comprehensive support and expert guidance through the Clearcast QC process, HighTower Video is your trusted partner.

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