1. Do I need to obtain a ClearAds Number?
All television commercials and infomercials and that are broadcast on a commercial free to air network in Australia must be classified before they can be aired. ClearAds provides a classification and review service and issues a ClearAds number when a TVC or infomercial is approved.
2. How do I submit a TVC for classification/obtain a ClearAds Number?
Applications should be submitted via our ClearAds Online Application System, which is available here. For an overview of using the ClearAds Online Application System, you can watch our Instructional Video.
3. How long does ClearAds approval take?
CAD approval is generally provided 2 working days after an application is submitted for a TVC, or 28 working days for an Infomercial. Please ensure all materials are submitted with your application to avoid delays and allow additional time for any TVCs that require a detailed review. If you require a faster turnaround, you can apply for our Priority and Red-Hot services. More information on these services is available here.
4. How long does a ClearAds Number last?
For most TVCs and Infomercials, a ClearAds Number is valid for a 2-year period, commencing from the date the ClearAds Number is issued.
ClearAds Numbers issued for Government or Statutory Authorities/Agencies expire three months after initial classification. The ClearAds Number can be extended on request for a further three month period up to the full 2 years, where no change has been made to the commercial.
When a ClearAds Number has expired after 2 years, commercials should be submitted to ClearAds as new applications. A new key number will need to be created.
5. What is a key number?
A key number is like a serial number for each TVC which allows both ClearAds and the networks to identify a TVC. ClearAds numbers are assigned to the key number provided. A key number can be up to 13 alphanumeric characters, and should not include any punctuation marks. The key number is provided to ClearAds as part of the Online Application process.
6. What other services does ClearAds offer?
CAD offers a variety of bespoke consulting services and training resources to assist you with the production of TVCs. To find out more about these services, as well as events such as our Annual ClearAds Conference, check out our website.
7. Do I need to continue using the pre-September 2017 Online Application System?
You will need to use the old Online Application System to finalise any applications which were submitted on the old Online Application System on or before 13 November 2017. Any new applications (including applications for revisions) should be submitted using the current Online Application System.
8. What should I do if I submit a revision on the current system, but the original key number is on the old system?
Simply provide us with the original key number and revision details when making an application on the current system.
9. How do I register for the ClearAds Online Application System?
You can register your agency and/or as an individual user here. After clicking 'Register', you will be prompted to fill in some details, read and accept our Terms and Conditions and then you're ready to go. For a step-by-step demonstration of the registration process, you can watch our Instructional Video.
10. I haven't received an activation email and cannot login – what should I do?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (02) 8969 7200.
11. I have forgotten my password – what should I do?
You can follow the prompts to reset your password via the "Forgotten Password" link.
12. What should I do if I am a freelancer that works with several different agencies?
The Online Application System provides you with the ability to copy in your client to receive email notifications relating to a specific job, as well as the ability to select a payment option which is specific to that agency.
13. Can an agency have multiple people registered?
Whilst we recommend agencies use a generic email address, you have the ability to register as many people from your agency as required. Each user should complete an individual registration with their own email address. If the agency is already in the ClearAds Database, then it will appear in the dropdown box at the top of the page. You need to click on the agency name to select it.
14. Can I copy my colleagues into job correspondence?
Yes, the Online Application System allows you to include as many colleagues as required to receive correspondence in relation to a particular job. You will be able to do this at Step 2 of the application process.
15. Who can I contact if I have issues with the registration process?
Please contact us at email@example.com or on (02) 8968 7200.
16. What details will I be asked to provide when submitting an application?
We request the following information for applications:
- The advertiser
- A Key Number for each TVC/infomercial
- The type of TVC/Infomercial application being submitted
- Where the TVC will be airing
- A description of the product/service being advertised
- Details of how you will be supplying us with vision
- A detailed script which accurately matches the vision. A template for scripts can be found in our Classification Handbook.
- Any substantiation materials which can assist us with processing the application
17. I want to submit multiple key numbers on one application, however some are more urgent than others, what date should I select?
In order to ensure that urgent applications are processed quickly, we strongly recommend that these are applied for separately. This will allow you to select either a Priority or Red Hot Service for any key numbers which require it, or a normal turnaround for key numbers which may not be as urgent.
18. What does the 'Required By' date mean?
This is the date on which you require a ClearAds Number. We recommend allowing sufficient time between your 'Required By' and 'On Air' dates to allow for any amendments or substantiation requests. Information on our Pre-Check service, which can assist you with meeting deadlines, is available here.
19. How can I provide vision?
Vision can be supplied via an MPEG on our Online Application System; via Adstream or via IMD. DVDs can be sent in for infomercials to:
44 Avenue Road
Mosman NSW 2088
Please note that we are unfortunately unable to return DVDs. Please ensure the key number of the infomercial is identified on the DVD.
20. Why do I need to submit a script with the application when I am sending vision?
All applications for classification must be accompanied by a full audio/visual script or storyboard which must detail all graphics, disclaimers, lyrics, dialogue etc. The audio/visual script must match the final TVC/Infomercial. ClearAds does not retain vision, and so an accurate audio/visual script or storyboard is required as a record of each TVC/Infomercial which has been submitted.
21. Our vision isn't finalised, does ClearAds need to see the final vision?
We generally require the final vision. Whilst we may be able to provide comments on an offline, we will not be able to issue a ClearAds number without the final vision. If vision is incomplete, we recommend use of our PreCheck service.
22. Are there any specific requirements when uploading scripts?
Each script should be clearly marked with the key number which corresponds with the script. If an application has multiple key numbers, the preference is for these scripts to be contained in separate files, with the key number identified in the filename.
23. How do I submit an application for an infomercial?
You can submit an application for an infomercial in the same way as you would apply for a TVC. Visit our Online Application System, hit 'Create New Job' then 'Apply for Classification' and then click 'Classify Infomercial'.
DVDs can be sent in for infomercials to:
44 Avenue Road
Mosman NSW 2088
Please note that we are unfortunately unable to return DVDs. Please ensure the key number of the infomercial is identified on the DVD.
24. How do I get feedback on a script prior to production?
Producers are encouraged to discuss the content of a TVC at the concept, script, storyboard or offline stage of production, in order to obtain an indication of the likely classification and information regarding any compliance requirements. You can do this by utilising our Pre-Check service, available via our Online
Application System under "Create New Job". If your media schedule dictates that the TVC attain a certain classification, please detail this in your application. Whilst ClearAds will be able to provide feedback on your application, a ClearAds number cannot be issued until a TVC is submitted for review in its final form.
For more information on our Pre-Check service, click here.
25. When can I expect to receive feedback in relation to a pre-check?
You should generally allow around 3 working days for ClearAds to provide feedback in relation to a pre-check.
26. How do I find out the status of my submission?
You can do this via our Online Application System, under the 'My Jobs' dashboard.
27. I have received feedback on my pre-check application, however the script has now been revised – what should I do?
Given our feedback is specific to a particular script, and to ensure accurate feedback is provided, we request that revised scripts are submitted as a new pre-check application.
28. I have received feedback on my pre-check application, what are the next steps?
Once you have actioned any feedback received on your pre-check application, you can proceed to submitting the final TVC for classification. When you submit your final application, you will be prompted to enter the reference number for the corresponding pre-check. This will allow us to more quickly process your final application.
29. What do the Priority and Red-Hot services involve?
For applications which require a faster turnaround, ClearAds is able to provide priority and red-hot services. RedHot services are available for TVCs, and Priority services are available for both TVCs and infomercials.
A Red-Hot service provides a three-hour turnaround for TVC applications, whilst a Priority service for TVCs allows for a 24-hour review (within working days). Priority services for infomercials allow for review within 14 days of all materials being submitted to ClearAds. Please note that our Red-Hot and Priority services are subject to ClearAds receiving all required materials.
If you wish to use our Red-Hot service, simply select this on step 2 of the application process.
To use our Priority service for TVCs, select the same or next working day on the "Required By Date" calendar on step 2 of the application process.
For Infomercials, a Priority fee will be applied to an application for a new infomercial when the Required By
Date on an application falls within 27 days from the date on which the application was submitted.
The Priority service for Infomercials provides classification:
- In 14 days for New Infomercial applications
- In 7 days for Revision applications
- In 5 days for Minor Revision applications
Priority services are conditional upon all materials being submitted to ClearAds upon application.
See examples below:
|Date Submitted||Date Required||Fee Applied|
|1 July 2017||26 July 2017||A Priority fee will apply.|
|1 July 2017||28 July 2017||The regular fee for a new Infomercial will apply.|
30. What are the cut-off times for Red-Hot applications?
The cut-off time for a red-hot application is 2:00PM AEST. Applications received after this time will be reviewed from 9:00AM AEST the following working day.
31. Where can I find a copy of the fees?
A copy of our fees, as well as our Terms and Conditions, are available here.
32. How do I know whether my application falls into a "Simple" or "Complex" category?
You can refer to our Advertising Categories list, which is available under Fees.
33. What is the difference between a National/Metro and Regional fee?
The National/Metro fees apply to television commercials produced for a campaign which is broadcast nationally in a combination of metropolitan and regional markets, e.g. on-air Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle and Wollongong; OR in metropolitan markets only.
The Regional fees apply to television commercials produced for a campaign which is broadcast solely in regional markets, e.g. on-air solely in Canberra.
Where one or more TVCs in a campaign are aired in a Metro area, the National/Metro fees apply to all versions, even if they are submitted on separate applications.
34. How can I check the status of an application?
Login to the Online Application System, and go to the 'My Jobs' dashboard. The filters on the left will indicate what stage an application is at.
35. How do I view all applications for an agency?
If your individual registration is connected to a particular agency, then you will be able to view all applications for an agency in the 'My Jobs' dashboard on the Online Application System.
36. Do you have any information available on the relevant rules which might apply to my TVC?
Our Classification Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the various requirements applicable to TVCs.
You can also utilise our Pre-Check or Consulting services. Contact us for more information.
Keep an eye out for our training videos, and ClearAds hosting events for the industry which cover a range of advertising topics. This information will appear on our website.
37. I have been asked to provide substantiation for a claim – what does that mean?
There are various laws, codes and rules which govern advertising, including the consumer protection provisions of the Australian Consumer Law, which require advertising to be truthful and not misleading. To facilitate the classification of commercials which contain claims or representations, advertisers may be asked to provide adequate substantiation in support of those claims and representations.
For further information, refer to the Substantiation section of our Classification Handbook.
38. I have been asked to provide substantiation for a job, however I have previously supplied this information to ClearAds as part of a different application – what should I do?
Where substantiation has previously been provided, you can either re-supply the substantiation OR quote the original key number and/or ClearAds number on your new application. Any reliance on previous substantiation is subject to a review by ClearAds for currency and relevance.
39. How do I find out what rating/placement code the TVC has received?
The first letter of the ClearAds number is the placement code or TVC rating, e.g. G = G, P= PG. The placement code provides advice to stations regarding placement of the commercial in the appropriate time zone under the requirements of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. For further information on placement codes click here.
40. My TVC has been classified, but I require a lower rating – what should I do?
If you require a lower TVC rating, please submit a new application, including a reference to the original key number. When submitting applications in the first instance, it is a good idea to indicate on the application what rating is required, so that the TVC can be reviewed on that basis. Please note that amendments may be required to a TVC in order to receive a lower rating.
41. My client has made a slight revision on their commercial, can I use the same ClearAds number?
You will need a new ClearAds number where a revision has been made to a television commercial. Depending on the extent of the revision, this can be processed either as a Revision or a Minor Revision.
42. Can I receive an SMS notification once a ClearAds Number has been assigned?
ClearAds is continuing development on the Online Application System, and as part of the next release, will be introducing the ability for SMS notifications to be sent to individuals once a ClearAds number has been assigned.
Once the capability for this feature has been developed, this will be communicated to users.
44. I need to change some details regarding my agency – how should I do this?
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 8968 7200.
45. Where can I find information about public holiday deadlines etc.?
This information will be placed on our News page.
46. Who can I contact if I am experiencing issues with the system or if I have any queries?
For any assistance, please contact email@example.com or (02) 8969 7200.