General Questions
TGR
Use of Previous Online Application System
Oasis: Registration
Oasis: Submitting an Application
Pre-Checks
Processing Times and Fees
Queries Regarding Applications
New Zealand Applications
Contact Us
General Questions

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.

How do I submit a TVC for classification/obtain a ClearAds Number?

Applications should be submitted via our ClearAds Online Application System. For an overview of using the ClearAds Online Application System, you can watch our Instructional Video.

How long does ClearAds approval take?

ClearAds 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. Find out more information.

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.

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.

What other services does ClearAds offer?

ClearAds offers a variety of bespoke consulting services and training resources to assist you with the production of TVCs. Find out more about these services, as well as other ClearAds events.

TGR

What is the TGR service?

The ClearAds TGR services provides an expert review of your ad for compliance with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (TGAC). The service also includes a review for all other advertising requirements relevant to your ad and classification (for TVCs).

Why should I choose ClearAds?

ClearAds are the experts in advertising regulation and compliance, we have a deep understanding of the regulations and codes governing advertising including the (TGAC).

Our experts and systems allow us to provide the best value and accelerate your ad clarence process.

ClearAds are:

  • Experts in reviewing advertisements with a team of highly trained reviewers
  • Competitively priced
  • Well-established and highly reputable
  • A flexible service provider with multiple service levels to respond to advertisers’ timelines

What are the fees?

ClearAds offers competitive prices. Our processes are streamlined and efficient to ensure you receive the best value from our service.

Check out our pricing schedule

How quick will the process be?

ClearAds understands that sometimes you just need it approved! And sometimes you can wait. We have built a pricing schedule which suits your approval timeline.

Choose from our:

  • 1 day priority service
  • 2 days standard service,
  • our 3 hour Red Hot service for your revision applications

It’s as easy as 1,2,3

How have the TGA approval rules changed?

As part of the therapeutic goods advertising reforms that commenced in 2018,

the mandatory requirement for therapeutic goods ads to be approved by a government appointed body will cease. This becomes effective on July 1, 2020

What other changes have happened?

Other changes that took place as part of this review include:

  • higher criminal and civil penalties for non-compliance
  • a more prescriptive Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code
  • the Therapeutic Goods Administration appointed as the sole complaints handling body
  • the establishment of the Therapeutic Goods Consultative Committee (TGACC) of which Free TV/ClearAds is a member

What is the TGAC?

This is the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code. All ads for therapeutic goods directed to consumers must comply with the TGAC. A copy of the TGAC is available here

What is a Therapeutic Good?

Therapeutic goods are broadly defined as products for use in humans in connection with:

  • preventing, diagnosing, curing or alleviating a disease, ailment, defect or injury
  • influencing inhibiting or modifying a physiological process
  • testing the susceptibility of persons to a disease or ailment
  • influencing, controlling or preventing conception
  • testing for pregnancy

Examples of therapeutic goods includes medicines or medical devices we use in our daily lives when we:

  • apply a bandage
  • relieve a headache with items from the supermarket
  • take vitamin tablets
  • receive an injection
  • undertake a prescribed course of treatment to manage a serious illness.

Who should use the TGR service?

The TGR service is available to all advertisers, media agencies and publishers involved in advertising therapeutic goods.

The TGR service will help you ensure your ad complies with the regulatory requirements for advertising therapeutic goods. Noncompliant advertising can risk large fines and sanctions for advertisers, media agencies and publishers.

Is the TGR service available to anyone?

Yes. Whether you’re a product owner, agency or producer of ads, the TGR service is available to assist you.

Does the TGR service cover all types of advertising?

You can submit your multimedia campaigns for our review. We can review radio, print, digital, social media ads and of course TVCs.

Are there any changes to advertising medical devices?

Ads for medical devices were not required to be pre-approved. ClearAds has always provided a review and clearance service for devices.

Our new TGR service builds on our existing expertise and many years of experience in the area of Therapeutic Goods advertising compliance and review. The TGR service is performed by a highly trained team who already provide review for therapeutic devices.

The TGAC is an evolving document and the ClearAds team are always on top of amendments and legislative changes to therapeutic goods advertising requirements.

What advertising does this effect?

Previously the old rules for mandatory pre-approval applied only to specified media including mainstream media, such as magazines and newspapers, broadcast media, such as television and radio, cinema and displays including posters in shopping malls, on public transport and on billboards.

The new rules and obligations apply across the board to all forms of media, including TV, digital, radio, print and social media advertising.

It is important to note all advertising on all media must comply with the TGA Code.

What advertising media must comply with the therapeutic goods advertising requirements?

All advertising directed to consumers must comply with therapeutic goods advertising requirements. This includes advertising on television, radio, cinema, displays in-store, posters, outdoor signage, public transport, on websites and social media sites.

What if I've already recieved mandatory approval prior to the 1 July date? What happens to my existing campaigns?

If you’ve received mandatory approval for a campaign prior to 1 July, it will still be valid for 2 years from the approval date.

Are there penalties of non-compliance with TGA if I don't comply?

If you’ve received mandatory approval for a campaign prior to 1 July, it will still be valid for 2 years from the approval date.

Does the use of the TGR service protect me from any legal action taken against my ad?

Yes. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has the power to use a range of compliance and enforcement tools to address non-compliant advertising of therapeutic goods. These tools depend on the risk associated with the non-compliant advertising and can include warning letters, substantiation notices and directions, infringement notices, enforceable undertakings and criminal prosecution. Infringement notices can incur fines of up to $2,520 for an individual and $12,600 for a company. Criminal prosecution can impose penalties of imprisonment for up to 5 years and fines of up to $840,000 for an individual and $4.2million for a company.

Can I send my ads straight through to ClearAds?

Yes. The ClearAds TGR service can provide a full compliance review and classification. You can submit a pre-check if your campaign is a concept, script, storyboard or offline edit. We can provide helpful information on what you should take into consideration to comply when creating your advertisement. You can also send your final ad us directly for a full review and classification (applicable to TVCs).

How do I submit my application for the TGR service?

Simply go to www.oasis.clearads.com.au and log into your account, and select the service you require, whether it is Pre-check or Final Classification. You will then see in the drop-down menu, our new Therapeutic Goods Advertising Service option. If you don’t have an account with us, simply register your name/agency by clicking ‘Register’. You will then be prompted to fill in some details, read and accept our Terms and Conditions and then you are good to go.

Can I submit multiple key numbers for review?

Yes you can! You will be able to submit multiple key numbers on the one application. We would ask that you ensure that each script and mpeg is marked with the key number which corresponds with the script.

I want to submit multiple keys on the same application; however some are more urgent than others, what date should I select?

In order to ensure that we prioritise urgent applications, so they are processed quickly, we strongly recommend that these are applied for separately. This will allow you to simply select the required Priority or Red Hot service, for any key number which requires it.

What am I required to provide in order to submit a Pre-Check?

Please ensure that you provide with a script and/or storyboard, as well as the copy of the ARTG Certificate, and copy of the label of the goods showing the health warnings. We can then proceed with the review of the product you want to advertise and advise on the requirements that need to be fulfilled under the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code, so your ad is compliant.

What if I submit my application after hours?

The review time will then start from 9am the next business day.

If you require our services outside of business hours, we have a range of After Hours services available so please contact us to find out more.

My vision is not yet finalised, can I submit an offline and still receive ClearAds number?

We generally require final vision, and will not be able to issue ClearAds number without it. If vision is incomplete, we recommend use of our Precheck Service.

How can I check the status of my application?

Log in to the Online Application System and go to the ‘My Jobs’ dashboard. You will then be able to see all the requirements that had been posted on your application, as well as which ones are satisfied, or which still require response. The filters on the left will also indicate what stage an application is at.

Can I have my key numbers that are on one application approved separately?

Yes you can! Provided that the requirements have been satisfied on those key numbers, we can approve them separately, rather than the entire application, you can meet your deadlines.

Can I use my pre-check discount for multiple applications?

This is dependent on how many key numbers have been pre-checked. Each key number on the pre-check has to correspond with a key number on the final application. For example, if you have pre-checked 2 key numbers, you can only use this discount for 2 key numbers on final application.

How do I submit an ad that is not for television?

Simply select the ‘pre-check’ service in Oasis (our online application system) and upload your ad with the required documents/information as specified in the application.

Will I receive a ClearAds number if my ad is not for television?

If your ad is for radio, print, social media or any other ad not for television, you will receive a ClearAds job reference number as the unique identifier for your application.

Do I need a Key Number for my ad?

All ads require a key number, this is created by you and is unique to your ad. It ensures all ads created are identifiable and no 2 key numbers can be the same.

If you do need to reuse a key number, please let us know and we can arrange to purge an existing key number.

What documents do I need to upload with my TGR application?

  • Vision file
  • A copy of the script
  • A copy of the ARTG certificate
  • A copy of the regulatory documentation, for example, the label for the goods showing health warnings and directions for use where applicable
  • Supporting documentation for claims and testimonials where applicable

What is a vision script?

A vision script is a document that matches what is included in the TVC exactly. It describes the vision/action in detail, all voiceover, sound bytes and lyrics and any supers and disclaimers that may appear on-screen.

What is an ARTG certificate?

The Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) is a register of therapeutic goods that can be lawfully supplied in Australia. An ARTG certificate is a documented record of contents and classification details of therapeutic goods.

How do I know if the product I am advertising has Health Warnings?

Some medicines have important Health Warnings that are required to be included on their label/packaging. If the product your advertising has Health Warnings, the type of which requires certain disclosures to be made on the TVC, that information can be found on the product’s label.

What do I need to provide if I have testimonials in my TVC?

A testimonial is a positive statement about a product made by a person who claims to have used it. If your advertisement contains testimonials, you will need to provide:

A document, signed by the person testifying to the claims, that:

  • they have used the goods for their intended purpose
  • they are not an employee or officer of a company that is involved with the production, sale or supply of the goods.

A document, signed by the sponsor, advertiser or agency that:

  • they have verified the use of the goods and the claims made by the person
  • the results shown in the TVC and represented by the person providing the testimonial are typical of the results to be expected from the use of the goods in accordance with the directions for use or purpose of the goods
  • confirms if any valuable consideration (such as payment) has been given to the person providing the testimonial

What do I need to provide if I have claims in my ad?

All claims in advertisements need to be adequately supported by substantiation. All of this information need to be uploaded at the time of submission. Therapeutic use claims will need to be supported by appropriate information within the ARTG Certificate for the product(s). Other claims, such as clinical and scientific claims will need to be substantiated by appropriate substantiation. For example, if making the claim, ‘clinically proven to relieve headaches’, it is expected that at minimum, unequivocally supported, robustly designed, published and peer reviewed trials would substantiate this claim.

What are the fees for the TGA service?

The fees for the TGR service depends on the type of service you require. All fees can be found here

Can I get training on these new requirements for me and/or my team or client?

Yes. ClearAds can provide therapeutic goods advertising training for you, your team and/or your client(s), based on your needs. Please get in contact with us by emailing: hello@clearads.com.au for more information on our training services.

Use of Previous Online Application System

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.

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.

Oasis: Registration

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.

I haven't received an activation email and cannot login – what should I do?

Please contact us at hello@clearads.com.au or on (02) 8968 7200.

I have forgotten my password – what should I do?

You can follow the prompts to reset your password via the “Forgotten Password” link.

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.

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.

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.

Who can I contact if I have issues with the registration process?

Please contact us at hello@clearads.com.au or on (02) 8968 7200.

Oasis: Submitting an Application

What details will I be asked to provide when submitting an application?

We request the following information for applications:

  • The name of 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

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.

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.

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:

ClearAds
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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

ClearAds
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.

Pre-Checks

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.

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.

How do I find out the status of my submission?

You can do this via our Online Application System, under the ‘My Jobs’ dashboard.

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.

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.

Processing Times and Fees

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. Red Hot services are available for TVCs, and Priority services are available for both TVCs and infomercials.

A Red Hot service provides a 3 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.

Infomercials

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

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.

Where can I find a copy of the fees?

A copy of our fees, as well as our Terms and Conditions, are available here.

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.

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.

What if my payment fails?

If we have been unsuccessful in charging your nominated credit card  you will receive an email notifying you of the payment fail. You can make payment via the following way:

 

  1. Go to https://www.payway.com.au/core/MakePaymentView
    2. Enter the Biller Code 187179 and select ‘Make Payment’
    3. Enter your ClearAds Reference Number (this appears on your Order Confirmation as ‘Reference No’)
    4. Fill in your credit card details
    5. Confirm Payment

 

Please also log into your OASIS account and check the credit card details in the Manage Team section are correct for future payments.

Queries Regarding Applications

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.

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.

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.

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 Handbook.

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.

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 please refer to the ClearAds Handbook.

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.

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.

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.

New Zealand Applications

I want to air a TVC/Infomercial in New Zealand

For approvals in New Zealand, please contact the Commercials Advice Bureau by visiting: www.commercialapprovals.co.nz

Contact Us

I need to change some details regarding my agency – how should I do this?

Get in touch with us at cad@freetv.com.au or (02) 8968 7200.

Where can I find information about public holiday deadlines etc.?

This information will be placed on our News page.

Who can I contact if I am experiencing issues with the system or if I have any queries?

For any assistance, please contact cad@freetv.com.au or (02) 8969 7200.