The networks require that all revisions to existing commercials be submitted for review and approval prior to airing.
Substantive changes, such as those involving claims, will need to be submitted in storyboard or script form for preliminary clearance, followed by a final, slated version and as-produced script for final approval.
Minor revisions need only be cleared in final form. Examples of minor revisions include non-new versions of commercials that contain the word "new"; cosmetic changes (such as color corrections or audio adjustments); and :15 second lifts of :30 second spots. These types of revisions are generally non-problematic. However, because the revised commercial will have a new ISCI or Ad ID code, the editors will need to review the spot and enter the new ISCI/Ad ID code into the system as approved. This is why revised final versions need to be submitted for approval prior to airing.
When submitting a revised commercial to the networks, it’s a good idea to include the title, ISCI or Ad ID code and as-produced script of the original spot, as this often helps expedite the review process.
Sometimes clients are unsure whether or not a revised commercial needs to be submitted to the networks. In these instances, I advise clients that it’s really quite simple. Just remember, if the spot is assigned a new ISCI or Ad ID code, it must be submitted to the networks for final approval.
Marilyn Colaninno is Director of Rights and Clearances for Reed Smith and is responsible for clearing commercials for the firm’s many clients in the advertising industry. If you have specific questions, please contact Marilyn directly at 212-549-0347 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.