Q&As

How do I clear an advertisement through Clearcast?

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Last updated on 14/02/2014

The following Commercial Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How do I clear an advertisement through Clearcast?
  • What is Clearcast and what does it do?
  • If an advertisement is cleared by Clearcast, what does this mean?
  • How do my advertisements need to be cleared by Clearcast?
  • What do I need to do before contacting Clearcast for approval?
  • Are all broadcast advertisements cleared by Clearcast?
  • Can Clearcast place timing restrictions on any advertisements?

How do I clear an advertisement through Clearcast?

What is Clearcast and what does it do?

Broadcasters in the UK need to ensure that any advertisements broadcast by them comply with the Code of Broadcast Advertising (the BCAP Code) (see Practice Note: Advertising law and regulation).

Clearcast is owned by six of the UK's largest commercial broadcasters, including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BSkyB. These broadcasters and others (but not all broadcasters) entrust the task of complying with the BCAP Code to Clearcast. Clearcast provides advice on, and pre-approves, advertisements to comply with BCAP Code. If the channel on which an advertisement is to appear falls within the purview of Clearcast, then the advertisement must be submitted to Clearcast for its approval.

Each year Clearcast sees around 35,500 scripts and watches over 61,000 filmed advertisements.

Clearcast is not a regulator (like Ofcom or the ASA), nor does it create rules.

If an advertisement is cleared by Clearcast, what does this mean?

It is important to note that even if an advertisement is cleared by Clearcast, this does not mean that it automatically complies with the BCAP Code. In 2012, Clearcast cleared 67 advertisements which were subsequently found to be in breach of the BCAP Code (ie 0.1% of the advertisements which it watched).

How do my advertisements need to be cleared by

Related documents:
Key definition:
Broadcast definition
What does Broadcast mean?

A broadcast is a copyright work which is electronic transmission of visual images, sounds or other information which is transmitted for simultaneous reception by members of the public and is capable of being lawfully received by them or is transmitted at a time determined solely by the person making the presentation to members of the public.

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