Christmas Copy Advice

10th November 2020

With Christmas just around the corner, we re-visit some key advice from Copy Group Manager, Matthew Bailey, to find out about some of the perennial watch-outs and pitfalls that your Christmas scripts can often get caught by.

OUR TOP 6 WATCH-OUTS

1 SNOWBALLS

Any thrown to the face can likely get an ‘ex kids’ restriction, especially if the recipient isn’t ‘in’ on the game.

2 FATHER CHRISTMAS

Similarly, if your treatment suggests he’s a myth and doesn’t exist, we’d want to keep that away from very young viewers too.

3 FIREPLACES

Popular in scenes and sets for this season. Every year we either reject or ask for amends to any hearths showing hazardous decorations hanging over lit fires. Have a fireguard too if the fire’s lit.

4 ALCOHOL

At Christmas, we see more alcohol ads than at any other time. The rules are detailed, thorough and there’s an entire section dedicated to them. It’s worth reading section 19 at an early stage and if you’ve questions, contact us.

5 CAROLS

In commercials, using a hymn can cause offence. We’d always suggest non-religious carols and popular Christmas music instead. We may approve religious music in ads when we consider them appropriate, like a Christmas charity appeal.

6 TOYS

If your toy costs £30 or more you must state that. Are batteries included? Is it that big? Does it move that way and sound like that? Demonstrate what it can do accurately. We don’t want to let children down on Christmas day by an ad they saw.

This list isn’t exhaustive, it’s the regulars. As always seek guidance from your usual Copy Exec and if you’re at a very early stage and looking for extra help contact our Copy Development Service who can guide you on tricky or controversial script ideas to make sure they work within the code.

For any more questions please contact clearcast_communications@clearcast.co.uk