TV Commercial Compliance Update – Broadband Price Claims

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The ASA and Ofcom have today announced the results of their research into the clarity of broadband pricing. You can read their press release here.

The current practice, in place since a 2012 ruling, allows a line rental price to appear alongside, but separate from, the ‘headline price’ for broadband.  Any further one-off costs, like set-up fees, may be included in the supers. Similarly the contract length can be included in the supers.

The Advertising Standards Authority

Although the ASA have yet to offer a definitive stance for how pricing should appear in future, the recommendation for now is:

  • line rental should no longer be separated out – up-front and monthly costs should be all-inclusive
  • greater prominence should be given to contract length and post-discount pricing
  • greater prominence should be given to up-front costs

These changes will come into place as of Monday 30th May. For the time being keep your eyes peeled on the ASA website for further recommendations. Clearcast will be working with advertisers and agencies to ensure ads they clear for transmission after 30th May comply with the new recommendations.

How can you find out what rules and regulation could have an affect on your TV Advertising Copy?

Concept TV have specialised over the last 12 years in taking on challenging TV Commercial compliance cases.  We regularly produce in-depth reports that back up advertisers claims, when even their own research have failed to generate the required information.  For instance, we undertook a large case involving HG – a consumer chemicals company.  By carrying out controlled tests on their product based on “in-situ” consumer conditions, we were able to obtain broadcast approval for their Mould Spray, Drain Unblocker and Scale Away products.

If you need advice on how to best present a case to Clearcast, or if you need advice on the claims that you wish to make, call our experts now on 0203 002 92 42.

To read the original article, please see the Clearcast News Update on Broadband Pricing here –


New rules for Gambling TV Advertising

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11th January 2016 by Clearcast.

Gambling advertising on TV continues to be one of the most contentious sectors, and as such comes with a host of regulations. As well as the having to follow the BCAP code and its specific gambling section, the gambling industry also has its own code. Last year the Industry Group Responsible for Gambling (IGRG) announced a number of amendments to their code, which will be coming into play on the 20th February.

The most important change for TV ads is that sign-up offers for new customers will no longer be allowed pre-watershed. The last IGRG code required all gambling ads to be scheduled after the 9pm watershed, with the exception of bingo and sports betting ads shown around televised sporting events. This latest change means that these kinds of ads will also be restricted to post 9pm if they include a sign-up offer. This could be something like “Free bet for new players” or “Money back for new players if your horse loses.”


There are other changes as well, many of which are already standard practice for the majority of advertisers:


  • All broadcast ads (both TV and radio) should end with a socially responsible gambling message
  • Pre-watershed television advertising cannot make reference to other gambling products that would not normally qualify for pre-9pm exemption
  • The Gambleaware website should be given greater prominence
  • ‘18+’ or similar must appear clearly in both TV and print ads

There are also a number of requirements focused on social media marketing messages.


Due to the fact that this is a change to the industry’s code rather than the BCAP code, and the sheer volume of ads we deal with, we will not be rescinding approval or changing restrictions of gambling ads we have approved in the past. We will expect ads submitted to air from the 20th Feb onwards to meet these requirements. A failure to comply with the industry’s code will not be a reason for Clearcast to reject an ad but, in agreement with our broadcasters, we will be working with agencies to assist with compliance and will advising broadcasters which ads should be scheduled after 9.00pm.

The original article can be found here :

Its TV Commercial Substantiation Day at Concept TV!

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It’s “Substantiation Day” at Concept TV today!  So below, our expert shares some of our techniques and explains how it all works.

So, we’re busy pulling together all the research collected over the last few months into a full television advertising script report, and we thought you might like to know how broadcast compliance works.  So below, our Clearcast TV Advertising Compliance expert explains how we navigate the UK’s most regulated advertising medium.

Can you make a TV Commercial and broadcast it, similar to press advertising? Or do TV Adverts have to be approved before they are transmitted?

Unless the TV Channel handles their own compliance (none of the major ones do – in fact only a small handful do), every TV Commercial must be pre-approved for broadcast.

With every TV Commercial that is broadcast on TV in the UK, it has to be supported with a complete set of documentation proving each and every claim or visual.  If Clearcast, (the clearance authority) and their consultants, agree that the substantiation proves the claims you want to make in your TV Commercial, then your “clock number” is approved for broadcast.

Here’s a list of typical TV Advertising Script Claims that are more complicated than they seem:

“We’re number 1”

“(anything) FREE!”

“We’re the cheapest”

“We’re the best” or “We’re better than the rest”

“Lifetime Guarantee”

“A Quick Spray to Remove Mould”


Whilst those claims seem fairly standard in print or on a shop-front display, TV’s influential nature means broadcasters have to be very careful.  Likewise, two TV Advertising Clients couldn’t claim to both be “Number 1”, it would undermine consumer confidence in TV Commercial Advertising.

Here’s some free script / copywriting advice for you.  Instead of the unattainable claim “we are the cheapest”, you could instead run with “…the lowest price, we’ll give you the difference back!”.  Now, so long as you can prove you have reasonable grounds to assume you are the cheapest (competitor references, identical offering), and you have the where-with-all to back up your money-back guarantee, you should achieve Clearcast Approval.

Why is it essential to have a Clearcast Approved Clock Number before broadcasting?

Clearcast represent the broadcasters – who in turn have an obligation under their broadcasting license (issued by OFCOM) to ensure that anything they transmit is legal, decent, honest and does not mislead the consumer.  Broadcasters stand to lose badly if the don’t fully comply with these rules.  Penalties for non compliance include being fined substantial sums of money and they even risk losing their license to broadcast all together.  Why is compliance so important?  Because TV is considered to be one of the most powerful and influential mediums in the world!

What are some of the aspects of Concept TV’s Broadcast Compliance work?

  • Conduct further detailed research into the products performance, consumer reviews and competitor products (and their advertising copywriting),
  • Designing, Commissioning of controlled Product Tests, with final Report Generation,
  • Contacting industry peers for review,
  • Linking up the details the client is able to provide to us (in some cases this is highly commercially confidential) and then filling the gap to satisfy Clearcast’s agenda.
  • Conducting product demonstration photographs and videos.
  • Conducting consumer surveys.
  • Generating a compelling report with all of the above to convince the consultants

If Clearcast has further questions about the claims, it’s sent back to the agency and we then have the substantial task of gathering sufficient evidence that the claims are valid.

What happens if a TV Commercial claim is rejected?

Sometimes a compromise between broadcast compliance and the advertisers ideal script is required.  Again, that’s where Concept TV come in as an experienced TV Agency.  Our copywriter will work to identify powerful words and phrases that are compliant, but also say what the client wants (as far as possible!).  If you’d like to know more about this aspect, ask us about our Solid Wood vs. Real Wood submissions.

Its important to choose a Full Service TV Advertising Agency, not just a production company.

As a full service TV Advertising Agency, it’s our job to liaise with our client and Clearcast (the compliance agency) to ensure the ads we broadcast are legal, decent and honest.  As a rule of thumb, we won’t pick up the camera until we have a Clearcast approved TV Commercial Script.  Any production company that does is risking it’s clients money.  What if you’ve filmed £60,000 worth of TV Commercial, but then it’s rejected and you need to re-shoot?  We’ve had a number of clients come to us with exactly that problem – and we’ve had to help them pick up the pieces!

Not only will we help deal and mitigate the compliance aspect, but we’ll also work with you and explain how Clearcast and their consultants are likely to interpret the BCAP (Broadcast Code Of Practice) guidelines when looking at your intended claims.  After all, you don’t want to broadcast a TV Commercial that ends up being pulled off-air, resulting in expensive loss of airtime budget.

Are you having problems with Clearcast / Broadcast Copy Compliance?

Give us a call now on 0203 002 92 42.  We’ve got 12 years of experience obtaining Clearcast approval for all manner of products and services.  From HG Mould Spray and Drain Unblocker chemicals through to domestic appliances by Morphy Richards, Kitchens to safety devices.  We’ve achieved approval for every single product that we’ve been presented with – and thats something we’re really proud of!

Want to know more about TV Advertising Compliance? Call us now – 0203 002 92 42.