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.
Applications should be submitted via our ClearAds Online Application System. For an overview of using the ClearAds Online Application System, you can see below in the FAQ’s ‘Submitting an Application’.
The ClearAds Handbook is available to download from our online submission portal Oasis.
Please either create or log into your account and see the top of the page for the button to download the file.
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 one of our Fast Track services. Find out more information.
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.
A key number is like a serial number for each advertisement which allows both ClearAds and the networks to identify an advertisement. ClearAds numbers are assigned to the key number provided. A key number can be up to 13 alphanumeric characters, and should not include any spaces or special characters. The key number is provided to ClearAds as part of the Online Application process.
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).
Our experts and systems allow us to provide the best value and accelerate your ad clearance process.
- 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
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:
- 24 hour Priority service
- 48 hour Standard service,
- our 3 hour Red Hot service for your revision applications
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.
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
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.
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.
You can submit your multimedia campaigns for our review. We can review radio, print, digital, social media ads and of course TVCs.
Use of our TGR service will not extinguish liability but it will be taken into account by the TGA when determining appropriate penalties and sanctions.
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.
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.
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.
Simply go to 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.
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 Fast Track service, for any key number which requires it.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
A testimonial is a statement about a therapeutic good made by a person who claims to have used that good or to have used it while caring for someone.
You will need to provide a document signed by a person in the organisation with the relevant authority confirming that:
- They have verified the testimonial maker’s identity.
- The testimonial maker has used the goods for their intended purpose.
- The testimonial maker is not:
- engaged with the production, marketing or supply of the advertised therapeutic goods (‘relevant person’);
- an immediate family of a ‘relevant person’;
- an employee or contractor of a government, government authority, hospital or health care facility;
- a current or former health practitioner, health professional or medical research;
- someone who has or will receive valuable consideration for their testimonial
You can register your agency and/or as an individual user here. After clicking ‘Register’, you will be prompted to fill in some details. If you type the name of your organisation into the search bar and nothing appears, you will need to register your organisation first.
Please then read and accept our Terms and Conditions and then you’re ready to go.
Please contact us at email@example.com or on (02) 8968 7200.
You can follow the prompts to reset your password via the “Forgotten Password” link on OASIS login page.
OASIS provides you with the ability to copy in your client to receive email notifications relating to a specific application, and the ability to select a payment option which is specific to that agency.
You can register as many people from your agency as required.
Yes, OASIS allows you to include as many colleagues as required to receive correspondence by adding their email. You will be able to do this at Step 2 of the application process
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (02) 8968 7200.
Oasis: Submitting an Application
This is a unique alphanumeric code that identifies your ad and is referenced by many stakeholders in the advertising industry including the commercial networks and booking agencies.
Key numbers are created by you and should be:
- no more than 13 characters, and
should not include underscores, dashes or full stops.
To ensure that urgent applications are reviewed and cleared quickly, we strongly recommend that these are applied for separately. This will allow you to select one of our Fast Track Services for any key numbers requiring a quick turnaround in as little as 30 minutes with our Pronto service.
A PO Number is a Purchase Order Number. This is a unique number assigned to a purchase order and may be required by your Accounts team.
If you do not require a PO Number, that’s absolutely fine! Please simply enter ‘N/A’ in this field as it cannot be left blank.
Please enter the Job Reference Number for the Precheck application when prompted – this is not the Key Number!
If there is more than 1, please only enter 1 in this field and you can enter the other Job reference numbers in the comment box at the bottom of page 1.
Informing us of the Pre-check Job Reference Number will ensure your final application fees receives a 50% discount!
Your vision must be in either MP4 or MPEG format. We cannot accept MOV files.
A template for the Vision Script we require can be found in the ClearAds Handbook.
Each script should be clearly marked with the key number. If an application has multiple key numbers, please ensure a separate script is uploaded and the file name clearly identifies the key number. File names should NOT have spaces, underscores, full stops or other non-alphanumeric characters.
This is the date you require ClearAds approval. 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.
If you are submitting your application for a ClearAds Number, we will require final vision.
We do not require final vision for our Pre-check service and accept scripts and off-lines for review.
ClearAds adheres to Sydney, Australia’s time zone.
If an application is submitted outside of our business hours (9am – 5:30pm), the review time will commence 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.
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 on OASIS. 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.
You can request ClearAds to review the advertisement with a certain classification in mind. Leave a comment on the application which classification you require.
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.
Once you have actioned any feedback received on your pre-check application, you can proceed to submitting the final Advertisement for our review. 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.
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.
Processing Times and Fees
Information can be found on our Fees page: https://clearads.com.au/information-hub/fees/
If you are unsure which of our Fast Track services is the best fit for you, please give us a call (02) 8968 7200.
A table breaking down Simple vs. Complex submissions can be found in the ClearAds Handbook. The Handbook is available to download from Oasis once you are logged into your account.
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.
It is imperative you complete both of the below steps:
- Call (02) 8968 7200
- Email email@example.com
Calling ensures we action this upgrade for you immediately as we understand these are time sensitive. We also require written confirmation of this upgrade either in an email or a comment to your application.
Simply commenting on your application is insufficient and this comment may be missed and therefore, not actioned.
Queries Regarding Applications
Log into your Oasis account. From here, you can search by Advertiser or with a Key or Job Reference Number to locate your application.
Once located, you can open your job, check the status at the top of screen and respond to any comments or requirements on your application.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 approved 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.
Political and Election Advertising
The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) defines “political matter” very broadly as “any political matter”. An advertisement dealing with an issue that falls within this broad definition of political matter must comply with the provisions of the BSA. Even when the advertisements are broadcast outside an election period or are not on behalf on a political party, they may still be deemed political matter.
It is usually advertising by Government, lobby groups and other interest groups that will require consideration under the political matter provisions of the BSA. However, it should be kept in mind that these provisions apply to any ad that contains political matter. Although this would be rare, an ad that is principally about advertising products/services but which contains a political statement would also need to be considered under the political matter provisions.
Election matter is a subset of political matter and applies more specifically during election periods. It includes matters such as those being submitted to the electors at an election or any part of a policy of a candidate or political party.
If your advertisement contains political or election matter it must have an authorisation tag.
The required particulars are the authorisation details that must be included at the end of your advertisement. An “authorisation tag” must appear immediately after the main body of the advertisement. It must be separate from the content of the advertisement but included in the overall length. Authorisation tags must be announced and shown in the language used for the rest of the communication
The content required in an authorisation tag will depend on whether the advertisement has been authorised by a ‘disclosure entity’, an entity that isn’t a disclosure entity, or an individual. A ‘disclosure entity’ is defined in section 321B of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and generally refers to persons or entities that have a clear and obvious interest in the outcome of elections, such as political parties, associated entities, candidates and Senate groups, and persons that are (or will be) required to provide a return to the Australian Electoral Committee related to political expenditure or gifts over certain thresholds.
The longest single line in the authorisation should not extend beyond the standard TV essential width. An authorisation graphic must be held on screen long enough and be large enough for the average viewer to read its contents. After the voice-over, the essential 0.5 seconds of silence at the end is in addition to this period. For further information please refer to Free TV Operational Practice 29, available at www.freetv.com.au
ClearAds recommends allowing a minimum of 0.2 seconds per word or 2 seconds minimum duration if less than 10 words for the authorisation graphic.
As a general guide the acceptable speed for the spoken component of the authorisation graphic should be between 180 to 280 words per minute.
ClearAds will review your advertisement prior to broadcast for the purposes of classification and protecting broadcasters from liability for publishing defamatory material. ClearAds reserves the right to require substantiation relevant to defamation assessment.
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 8968 7200.
For any assistance, please contact email@example.com or (02) 8968 7200.