On-set guidance 

By Seb Lynch, Copy Development Manager


In an ideal world the filming of all television ads would follow the exact wording of an approved pre-production script. Knowing copy has been accepted by Clearcast in advance gives agencies and advertisers peace of mind. But of course we don’t live in an ideal world. Very often a precise pre-production script cannot be written because elements of the ad will be created on the day of filming. For example, you might be filming debates between journalists like in a recent campaign for The Times. Or you might be interviewing dementia carers describing their experiences like a recent Alzheimer’s Research UK campaign. In instances like this, the content cannot be scripted and pre-approved by Clearcast, so it’s good to know that Clearcast is available to provide advice and guidance on set.


As Copy Development Manager, one of the things I can do to help ensure ads get to air smoothly is to go to shoots and provide advice as the ads are being shot. Which is exactly what happened in the case of the two campaigns mentioned above. When an agency knows there will be improvising or ad-libbing or that there are sections of the ads that can’t be scripted, then it makes a lot of sense to get Clearcast’s view as the ad is being filmed. Any compliance issues will be raised then and there so the agency knows what to leave out of their edit and whether they’ll need another take. Clearance is not given at this stage but clear guidance is, so the agency can put their edit together from a well-informed position, which makes getting the final ad approved much easier.


The aim of the Copy Development service is to save time, money and stress by getting advice and guidance early in the development process. Having on-set help has the same benefits and is an important service in helping Clearcast to fulfil its mantra of helping get ads to air.


If you have any questions about this service or any of the other Copy Development services, please email

20th March 2018