TV Advert Legal Clearance

A quick video from our MD chatting about TV advert legal clearance in the UK.


“Understanding the Legal Clearance Process for UK TV Advertising”

TV advertising in the UK requires a legal clearance process that’s unique compared to other advertising forms. The process begins with the creation of an advertising idea. Once you have your concept, the script must pass through Clearcast, an organization that reviews your proposed content and provides feedback on any potential issues.

At Lulu Animation, we often pre-clear scripts on our own first before submitting to Clearcast. We scrutinize the claims made in the advertisement, as each statement must be substantiated for TV. For instance, if you claim a product will save users 30%, you need to demonstrate this saving. Similarly, if a price reduction or a customer testimonial is featured, proof must be provided that these are genuine and accurate.

A crucial aspect to consider is whether any aspect of the ad could potentially be misleading. If Clearcast finds something questionable, they’ll return your script with recommended alterations. It’s essential to provide as much information as possible when submitting your script. Once suggestions are implemented and additional substantiation added if needed, you’ll receive script approval. However, this doesn’t mean your advertisement is approved.

Clearcast logo

Next, the approved script is used to produce the advert. The final or rough cut is then submitted to Clearcast for review. If the video aligns with the script, there should be no issues. However, Clearcast can still request changes if they identify a missed issue at the video stage. This doesn’t occur often, as most discrepancies are caught during the script review.

It’s crucial to follow the approved script closely when creating the advert. Any changes made after approval could lead to complications. I would advise against starting any production without a cleared script. Once the final approval is granted, you’re ready to advertise on TV.

This legal process protects broadcasters from airing inaccurate ads and safeguards your reputation. It’s a collaborative effort with Clearcast, and effective communication can make the process smoother. The clearance duration can range from a week to six weeks, depending on your script and the claims you make.

Clearcast does offer a fast-track service for quicker feedback, but generally, I’d recommend allowing approximately two weeks for script approval. Once you’ve had a script approved, updates or slight changes to the advert can be much quicker. It’s crucial to avoid misleading viewers in your adverts. While the clearance process may seem daunting initially, it becomes more straightforward with time and experience.

At Lulu we’re quite the experts now having cleared several hundred if not thousand adverts since we started, so you’re in safe hands with us.

Here is a link to the BCAP code, the UK code for broadcast advertising, its worth a read! The BCAP Code.

Want to learn more about the production process read our blog on how to make a video or animated content. How to make a video or animated production.

Written by

Anthony O'Neill


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