Welcome to the fourth issue of ‘p3 news’ this year. In this edition we’re looking at FACTS – the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations. You may have noticed FACTS on your agency television production estimate. In this issue we discuss the role they play and the costs involved in obtaining their essential clearance.p3 – helping people achieve commercial purpose through creative processAdd a colleague to the ‘p3 news’ mailing list, by emailing their details to email@example.com
CAD, CTV-A and all the FACTSFACTS, which stood for Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations, changed its name to Commercial Television Australia (CTV-A) on January 1 this year. No commercial television station can air a television commercial (TVC) without clearance and a clearance number issued by the Commercial Acceptance Division (CAD). But what role does the CTV-A play and what does it cost? www.ctva.com.auThe cost
A sliding scale of fees is charged for the issue of the CTV-A number depending upon the length of the TVC, whether it is a revision of an existing TVC, metro or regional, or submitted in bulk. Even if the TVC is rejected by CAD, a fee is still charged. But these fees are quite modest when compared with other costs involved with the production of a TVC.The ratesMetro (excl GST)
Re submissions $18.18
Bulk revisions $18.18
Bulk Tags $12.27Regional (excl GST)
(Effective February 4 2002)To minimize CTV-A costs make sure your agency explores the discount rates for revision, resubmissions and, especially in the case of retailers and franchises, bulk submission and tag rates. P3 can provide advertisers with a range of industry benchmark rates for a comprehensive range of production costs.Providing ratings
The CTV-A has two main charters. The first is the issuing of ratings to TVCs based upon the content and the product being advertised. Based on observation and experience it appears that the rating criteria for TVCs is stricter than that applied to cinema release feature films. But one has to consider the pervasive role television plays in our every day lives and the opportunity minors have to unsupervised access
to television within the home. Needless to say, CTV-A are not draconian censors. Far from it, virtually anything can be advertised on Australian television, it’s just that your particular commercial may only be allowed on air between midnight and 6 am. Have you ever noticed that flood (excuse the pun) of alcohol commercials after 8.30 pm? That’s when children are expected to be safely in bed.
Rating the ratings
application of ratings can be particularly perplexing for some advertisers. Take for example advertising for products that have a rating in their own right like videos and DVDs. While they may want to be on air in ‘zone one’ family viewing time, many of the movies promoted have cinema ratings that preclude them from that time slot, even though all the advertiser may wish to show is the cover of a “R” rated DVD.
Protecting their membership
CTV-A’s other main
charter is to protect their membership, being the television stations, from legal action that may arise from advertising shown on the networks. CAD can ask a lot of questions regarding any claim made within a TVC, and can ask for written validation or substantiation of that claim before issuing a clearance number.
CAD will also insist that any disclaimer that accompanies a TVC is on screen long enough to be read. There is a
hypothetical formula for this, which in some cases would mean that a TVC with many disclaimers would have to be on air for more than 30 seconds to be approved. This is a point that the legal advisers who write the disclaimers fail to grasp. However, as recent prosecutions under the Trade Practices Act for misleading and deceptive practices has highlighted, CAD clearance does not mean that a TVC is necessarily compliant with the Trade Practices Act. It is important that both the
advertiser and the agency obtain legal advice to ensure the TVC is compliant rather than rely on the CTV-A.
In association with Minter Ellison lawyers, P3 offers an interactive workshop on TPA compliance for marketers and their agencies to facilitate commercials being created inside a context of legal compliance rather than being enforced on the concept. For more information, see our
website at www.p3biz.com.au
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