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Clearcast is responsible for the
pre-transmission examination and clearance of television advertisements.

As part of their licensing agreements with Ofcom, broadcasters are required to ensure their advertising is not misleading or harmful to viewers.

They do this by ensuring advertising is cleared before it is transmitted. Commercials transmitted on UK terrestrial and satellite channels can be submitted to Clearcast for approval.

Clearcast is owned and funded by the eight largest commercial broadcasters, which include ITV, Channel Four, five, GMTV, Sky, Virgin Media and Turner all of whom are represented on Clearcast’s board.

Other broadcasters using Clearcast for clearance pay individually for Clearcast’s services. Pre-production scripts and finished commercials are considered against the BCAP Television Advertising Standards Code (a copy of the BCAP guide can be downloaded here) and Clearcast’s own Notes of Guidance.

Clearcast also manages the attribution service which standardises and validates attribution data for all BARB reported commercial copy transmitted on TV in the UK and reports attribution for transmission by UK broadcasters in the Republic of Ireland.

The six steps to Clearcast

  1. Submit the ad script to Clearcast
  2. Receive feedback from Clearcast
  3. Pre-production approval from Clearcast
  4. Send in clocked video to Clearcast
  5. Ad goes to viewing
  6. Approval

Each script has to be fully substantiated and Clearcast may request extra information through out the clearance process.