From time to time, I like to remind clients about the simple things they can do to help facilitate the network clearance process.

A few years ago, we published a list of helpful tips advertisers and agencies should keep in mind when clearing commercials with the networks.  Below is an updated version of the previous list adapted for today’s standards:

  1. Be sure to send supporting documents (e.g., claim substantiation, product labeling, date of national distribution, etc.) in one packet whenever possible.  The network editors prefer to review all supporting documents at once rather than in piecemeal.  This also helps expedite the clearance process.
  2. Be sure to include scripts when clearing rough-cuts.  The editors need to see the copy when reviewing rough-cuts.
  3. Ensure final commercials are properly slated with an ISCI/Ad-ID Code.
  4. Be sure to clear 15-second versions of approved 30-second spots. 
  5. If you will be running both the standard (SD) and high definition (HD) versions of the same commercial, you only need to submit the HD version for final network approval.
  6. Avoid sending compressed video files for clearance via e-mail.  While they may be easy to send, they are usually poor quality, thus making legal disclaimers/supers difficult to read.  It is best to send a link to an FTP site where a large video file can be downloaded and viewed.
  7. Be sure to clear “non-new” versions of approved “new” spots.
  8. Be sure to pre-clear substantive revisions to existing spots. 
  9. Ensure as-produced scripts include the name of the advertiser and the product being advertised, as well as the title, ISCI/Ad-ID Code, length and date of the commercial.  They should also include all legal disclaimers/supers appearing in the commercial. 
  10. When in doubt, ask questions.  This can save a lot of time and effort down the road.

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