clearcast frequently asked questions

12 mins read

Understanding Clearcast and Its Role in Advertising

Clearcast holds a pivotal role as the UK’s advertising clearance authority, ensuring that TV and VoD advertisements adhere to the highest standards. This co-regulation with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Ofcom is not just about ticking boxes; it’s about maintaining the integrity of advertising content that reaches consumers. For marketing agencies like yours, comprehending Clearcast’s services is not just beneficialit’s essential. It’s the difference between a campaign that flourishes on air and one that never makes it past the compliance check.

The Ad Clearance Process Explained

The journey to getting an ad on air is meticulous and structured. Clearcast’s ad clearance process is a three-stage path that begins with script submission and ends with the final clocked ad. Each stage is designed to ensure preemptive compliance with advertising standards, thus saving time and resources in the long run.

Key Stages in the Clearcast Ad Clearance Process

  1. Script Submission: Your first encounter with Clearcast will involve submitting your ad’s script via CopyCentral. Expect feedback within three days, complete with guidance on substantiation if needed.
  2. Rough Cut Review: Next, a pre-clocked rough cut of your ad is assessed. This stage is optional but recommended for additional consultant input.
  3. Final Clocked Ad: The last step is submitting the final clocked ad to The Library for Quality Control and ensuring it meets the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) Delivery Standards.

Why Marketing Agencies Must Understand Clearcast Services

For marketing agencies, navigating the Clearcast landscape is a strategic advantage. It’s not just about creating compelling content; it’s about ensuring that content can be broadcast without legal or regulatory hiccups. At Hightower Video, we specialize in aligning your creative vision with regulatory demands, ensuring your ads not only resonate with audiences but also pass the stringent Clearcast compliance checks.

Understanding the Ad Clearance Process

Navigating the Clearcast ad clearance process can seem daunting, but with our expertise at Hightower Video, we’ll guide you through each step. Clearcast’s meticulous three-stage process ensures that your advertisement aligns with UK standards, and we’re here to help you understand what’s expected at every juncture.

Stage 1: Script Submission

Initially, you’ll submit your script via CopyCentral, where it will undergo a preliminary review. Expect feedback within three days, including any requests for substantiation of claims made in the ad. This stage is critical for setting the foundation of a compliant advertisement.

Stage 2: Rough Cut Review

Next, a rough cut of your ad, pre-clocked, should be uploaded to CopyCentral. At this point, Clearcast consultants may provide input, and while this stage is optional, it’s a valuable opportunity for preemptive compliance checks.

Stage 3: Final Clearance

The final stage involves submitting your clocked ad to The Library for Quality Control (QC) and ensuring it meets the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) Delivery Standards. Once your ad passes QC, no further changes are allowed without a new clock number.

Ensuring a Smooth Clearance Process

To expedite the clearance process, we recommend:

  • Adhering to the provided substantiation templates.
  • Utilizing the feedback given at each stage.
  • Meeting all technical and legal requirements.

By partnering with Hightower Video, you’re leveraging our decade-long experience to ensure your ad moves through Clearcast’s process efficiently and effectively.

Why Choose Hightower Video for Clearcast Compliance

At Hightower Video, we understand that navigating the Clearcast compliance process can be complex. Our role is to make this journey as smooth as possible for you, ensuring that your creative vision meets regulatory demands without compromise.

Streamlining the Compliance Process

Our approach to streamlining Clearcast compliance involves a blend of advanced video editing and versioning techniques. We meticulously align your ad’s content with the BCAP Code, ensuring every aspect of your creative work adheres to UK standards. By managing clock numbers and handling the entire clearance process, we save you time and resources.

Expertise in Clearcast Regulations

With a decade of experience, our team has developed an in-depth understanding of Clearcast’s regulations. We offer localized cutdowns and adjustments to UK standards, which are crucial for agencies looking to convert foreign content or YouTube ads for the UK market.

Preemptive Compliance Assistance

We believe in preemptive compliance. Our Account Managers act as liaisons with Clearcast, providing expert advice on script and video stages to avoid potential pitfalls. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of delays in the clearance process.

Benefit to Marketing Agencies

For marketing agencies, our expertise translates into a competitive edge. We ensure that your ads are not only compliant but also retain their creative impact, maximizing the chances of approval and broadcast success. With Hightower Video, you’re choosing a partner that understands both the art of advertising and the science of compliance.

Navigating Clearcast’s Registration and Onboarding

Understanding the registration and onboarding process with Clearcast is essential for ensuring your agency can submit advertisements without delay. As the deadline for mandatory registration approaches, it’s crucial to be aware of the requirements and benefits associated with this process.

Importance of Mandatory Registration

The deadline for mandatory registration with Clearcast is set for 30th March 2023. Registering by this date is crucial as it grants you access to Clearcast’s services, including ad clearance. Missing this deadline could result in an inability to submit ads for clearance, potentially causing significant disruptions to your campaigns.

Staggered Agency Onboarding Process

Clearcast has implemented a staggered onboarding process to facilitate a smooth transition for agencies. This approach allows you to become familiar with Clearcast’s systems and processes in a structured manner, ensuring that you’re well-prepared to navigate the ad clearance landscape.

Becoming a Super-User

As a super-user, you’ll have enhanced access and capabilities within Clearcast’s systems. This status enables you to manage multiple client accounts and oversee the submission process more effectively, providing a strategic advantage in ad clearance management.

Hightower Video’s Assistance with Registration

At Hightower Video, we’re committed to assisting you with the registration process. Our team can guide you through each step, ensuring that you meet all requirements and deadlines. By leveraging our expertise, you can focus on creating impactful ads while we handle the intricacies of compliance and clearance.

Leveraging Clearcast’s Digital Tools for Efficiency

In the dynamic world of advertising, efficiency is key. Clearcast’s digital tools, CopyCentral and The Library, are designed to streamline the ad clearance process, ensuring that your submissions are managed effectively and in compliance with industry standards.

Utilizing CopyCentral for Submissions

CopyCentral is Clearcast’s online platform where you can submit your scripts and rough cuts for review. It serves as a centralized hub for all your clearance documentation and correspondence. As our client, we’ll help you navigate this system, ensuring that your submissions are complete and in line with Clearcast’s requirements.

The Library: A Centralized Ad Repository

The Library is Clearcast’s repository for finalized, clocked advertisements. Once your ad has passed the Quality Control (QC) checks and is fully compliant, it’s stored here. This centralized system ensures that your ad, once cleared, can be easily accessed and distributed to broadcasters, saving you the hassle of multiple submissions.

Tracking Ad Clearance Progress

With these digital tools, you can track the progress of your ad clearance in real-time. This transparency allows us to keep you informed at every stage, providing peace of mind and the ability to plan your campaign launches with confidence.

Ensuring Compliance Through Digital Infrastructure

Clearcast’s digital infrastructure plays a pivotal role in maintaining compliance. By using these tools, we ensure that your ads meet all necessary standards, from technical specifications to legal requirements, safeguarding your campaign’s success.

Adhering to Technical and Legal Ad Specifications

When preparing your advertisement for Clearcast submission, understanding and adhering to the specific technical and legal requirements is paramount. At Hightower Video, we ensure that every ad we handle meets these stringent standards.

Technical Specifications for Submission

Clearcast requires that all ads be submitted with precise technical specifications. This includes the rough cut and final TV commercial (TVC) formats, along with specific legal text and flashing guidelines. The technical specifications also dictate the size and duration of the legal text displayed within the ad, ensuring clarity and legibility for viewers.

Legal Text Size and Hold Time

The legal text in your advertisement must be of a size that is easily readable and must be held on screen for a sufficient duration to be comprehensible to the average viewer. These requirements are not just legal formalities; they significantly impact the design and timing of your ad, ensuring that all information is transparent and accessible.

Flashing Guidelines and Harding Test Compliance

To protect viewers, particularly those susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy, Clearcast enforces guidelines on the use of flashing images and patterns. Compliance with the Harding Test is mandatory, and we at Hightower Video have the expertise to ensure your ad passes this assessment, avoiding potential health risks to viewers.

Ensuring Full Compliance with Hightower Video

Our team at Hightower Video is adept at navigating these complex requirements. We provide comprehensive services to ensure that your ad not only meets Clearcast’s technical and legal standards but also retains its creative essence. Trust us to manage the details, so you can focus on making an impact with your audience.

Navigating Timing and Content Restrictions in Advertising

Understanding Clearcast’s timing and content restrictions is crucial for ensuring your advertisement reaches the intended audience without breaching regulations. At Hightower Video, we specialize in aligning your ad’s broadcast time with its content and audience suitability, ensuring full compliance with Clearcast’s standards.

Clearcast’s Timing Restrictions

Clearcast imposes timing restrictions to ensure that advertisements are shown at appropriate times, corresponding to the content’s nature and the likely audience. These restrictions are designed to protect younger or more sensitive viewers from unsuitable content.

  • ‘Post 1930’ Timing: This term refers to ads that are only permitted to be broadcast after 7:30 pm, typically due to their mature content.
  • ‘Ex-kids’ Restriction: Ads with this label are excluded from times when a significant number of children are expected to be watching.

Ensuring Content and Audience Suitability

The content of your advertisement and its intended audience are key factors in determining when it can be aired. Clearcast reviews the content to assess its suitability for certain times of the day and specific audiences. This is where our expertise at Hightower Video becomes invaluable:

  • We guide you in creating content that is appropriate for your target demographic.
  • We advise on scheduling strategies to maximize ad reach while adhering to restrictions.

Effectively Managing Restrictions

To effectively navigate these restrictions, we recommend:

  • Planning Ahead: Consider the content restrictions early in the creative process to avoid costly revisions.
  • Consulting Experts: Utilize our knowledge at Hightower Video to interpret Clearcast’s guidelines for your specific ad content.

By partnering with us, you ensure that your advertisement not only resonates with your audience but also complies with all broadcasting standards.

Clearcast’s Role in VoD Advertising Standards

As the landscape of advertising evolves, so do the standards and regulations governing it. Clearcast’s role extends beyond traditional TV commercials to encompass the burgeoning realm of Video on Demand (VoD) advertising, ensuring that all content meets the high standards expected by UK audiences and regulators.

VoD vs. TV Advertising Regulations

VoD advertising, while similar to TV in content, is subject to its own set of regulations under Clearcast’s guidance. The key differences lie in the delivery and consumption patterns of VoD content, which can be more targeted and on-demand. This necessitates a tailored approach to compliance, one that considers the unique nature of digital platforms.

  • ASA Regulation Intersection: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) works in tandem with Clearcast to regulate VoD advertising, ensuring that ads are responsible and do not mislead, harm, or offend.
  • Clearcast Standards for VoD: Clearcast applies its standards to VoD ads, focusing on issues like content appropriateness, targeting accuracy, and claims substantiation.

Addressing VoD Advertising Challenges

VoD advertising presents specific challenges, such as the need for precise audience targeting and content suitability. At Hightower Video, we specialize in navigating these complexities by:

  • Providing expert guidance on Clearcast and ASA regulations for VoD.
  • Assisting with the creation and submission of VoD ads that comply with all necessary standards.
  • Offering advanced editing and localization services to tailor ads for the UK market.

By partnering with us, you ensure that your VoD advertisements are not only compelling but also fully compliant with the latest standards set by Clearcast and the ASA.

The Financial Aspects of Clearcast Clearance

Navigating the financial landscape of Clearcast’s ad clearance services is an important aspect for marketing agencies and advertisers. Understanding which services are complimentary and which incur charges can significantly impact your campaign’s budgeting and planning.

Complimentary Services and Chargeable Extras

Clearcast offers a range of services, many of which come at no cost to you. The core clearance process, including the review of your TV and VoD advertisements, is typically free. However, there are specific services that may require payment, such as expedited clearance or additional consultancy. It’s important to review Clearcast’s fee structure to anticipate any potential costs.

Maintaining Service Levels

Clearcast is committed to maintaining high service levels, aiming to complete the clearance process within 2-3 weeks. However, the time frame can vary depending on the complexity of the ad and the volume of submissions. To ensure timely clearance, we at Hightower Video recommend submitting your materials well in advance of your campaign start date.

Factors Affecting Clearance Cost and Time

Several factors can influence the cost and duration of the ad clearance process, including the need for extensive legal consultations or additional testing for compliance. Our role at Hightower Video is to help you navigate these factors efficiently, providing cost-effective solutions and expert guidance to streamline the clearance process.

By partnering with us, you leverage our expertise to minimize unexpected costs and delays, ensuring your advertisement is cleared in a timely and budget-friendly manner.

Clearcast’s Consultation and Appeals Processes

Navigating the consultation and appeals processes of Clearcast is a critical step in ensuring your advertisement reaches the airwaves. At Hightower Video, we’re well-versed in these procedures and are here to guide you through each phase.

Consultation Throughout the Clearance Stages

Clearcast offers consultation at every stage of the ad clearance process. From the initial script submission to the final clocked ad, their team provides feedback and guidance to ensure your content meets all necessary standards. We assist by interpreting this feedback and implementing the required changes efficiently.

The Role of the Copy Committee in Appeals

Should your ad face non-compliance issues, the Copy Committee is your next step. This body reviews appeals and provides a final verdict on ad clearance decisions. Our experience with the Copy Committee’s procedures can help you present a strong case for your advertisement.

Performance Clearcast Metric (PCM) in Appeals

The PCM plays a significant role in the appeals process, offering a quantitative measure of your ad’s compliance. Understanding how to leverage PCM data can be pivotal in an appeal, and we provide insights into optimizing your ad’s performance against these metrics.

Leveraging Hightower Video’s Expertise

Our expertise in Clearcast’s processes can be invaluable, especially when navigating the complexities of appeals. We offer strategic advice and support to ensure your ad achieves compliance, helping you avoid the common pitfalls that can lead to rejection. With Hightower Video, you have a partner who understands the nuances of Clearcast’s requirements and stands ready to advocate on your behalf.

Ensuring Compliance with Industry Codes and Guidelines

Navigating the complex landscape of advertising regulations requires a keen understanding of the industry’s codes and guidelines. At Hightower Video, we pride ourselves on our ability to ensure that your advertisements are not only creative but also fully compliant with the BCAP and CAP Codes.

Adherence to BCAP and CAP Codes

The Broadcasting Code of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP) serve as the cornerstone for advertisement compliance in the UK. These codes provide criteria that protect consumers and ensure fair competition. As your partner, we meticulously review your advertisements to ensure they align with these codes, thus safeguarding your campaign’s integrity.

Clearcast’s Industry Sector Guidelines

Clearcast offers specific guidelines tailored to different industry sectors, addressing common issues and providing clarity on acceptable practices. Whether your ad falls within the realm of food, alcohol, or financial services, we help you navigate these sector-specific regulations, ensuring your content is appropriate and compliant.

The Advantage of Complaint Immunity

One of the significant benefits of Clearcast’s approval is the complaint immunity it offers. Ads that have been cleared by Clearcast are less likely to face sanctions from the ASA. We leverage this immunity to provide you with a smoother, more secure advertising experience.

Partnering with Hightower Video for Compliance

Ensuring adherence to these codes can be a complex task, but with Hightower Video’s expertise, it becomes seamless. We offer comprehensive support, from initial concept to final clearance, making sure every aspect of your ad meets the high standards set by Clearcast and the regulatory bodies. Trust us to handle the details, so you can focus on your campaign’s success.

Connect With Hightower Video for Clearcast Clearance Support

Navigating the Clearcast ad clearance process is a critical step in your campaign’s journey to the screen. At Hightower Video, we specialize in making this process as seamless as possible for marketing agencies like yours.

Reaching Out to Our Team

For personalized assistance with Clearcast-related services, you can easily reach out to us:

  • Email: Send your inquiries to, and we’ll respond promptly with the information and support you need.
  • Phone: Call us at 020 7339 4700 for business inquiries or 020 7339 4780 for registration support. Our dedicated team is ready to assist you.

Support for New Agencies

If you’re new to the Clearcast process, we offer a comprehensive support system:

  • Staggered Onboarding: We guide you through Clearcast’s staggered agency onboarding, ensuring a smooth transition.
  • Super-User Registration: We assist in setting up super-user accounts, giving you greater control and oversight over your submissions.

Simplifying the Ad Clearance Process

Contacting Hightower Video simplifies the ad clearance process by providing:

  • Expert Guidance: Our decade-long experience with Clearcast means we can offer expert advice at every stage.
  • Preemptive Compliance Checks: We help you preempt potential issues, saving you time and resources.

Why Choose Hightower Video

We are the preferred partner for marketing agencies dealing with Clearcast because:

  • Experience: Our extensive experience with Clearcast’s processes ensures your ads are cleared efficiently.
  • Comprehensive Services: From script to screen, we handle every aspect of the clearance process.

For expert Clearcast clearance support, contact Hightower Video today and take the first step towards a successful ad campaign.

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