CAA Copy Clearance FAQ’s

We endeavour to meet a turnaround time of 24 hours on clearance after payment and uploading your content. In certain exceptional circumstances, the 24-hour turnaround time may not be possible. In that instance, this will be flagged, and the 48-hour turnaround will be guaranteed. If an advertisement is considered contentious it will be referred to the weekly Copy Panel meeting, held on Thursday mornings and chaired by the copy consultant. In this event it will be reviewed, and you will be contacted with a copy response. The 24-hour turnaround does not cover advertisements that require amendments for code compliancy.
The CAA charge a flat fee for an initial submission of £150 + VAT for a UK only advertisement, €150 for a ROI advertisement or £150 + VAT for a UK & ROI advertisement. You may wish to submit a Script/storyboard, rough cut and then a final cut. It is not mandatory to do so although the final cut must be submitted for final approval before an advertisement can be exhibited in cinemas. Please note if you submit a cutdown and extended version of a previously cleared advertisement, you will be charged the full fee as this is deemed a new item.

We accept video files up to a maximum (absolute) size of 100MB.

File Formats Accepted: MP4, MOV, AVI

Video Codecs Accepted: H264, H265

Audio Codecs Accepted: AAC, PCM, mp3

The BBFC deregulated from cinema advertising in 2016 meaning not every advertisement needs to be submitted for BBFC classification. All cinema advertisements must be approved by The CAA.

The BBFC do still classify the following criteria of cinema advertisement:

  • Registered charities
  • Government advertisements (local councils, NHS, TFL, Police Federation adverts and this also includes government tourist boards for other countries)

Or an advertisement that features clips from or is a trailer for:

  • Streaming service content; drama/film (Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Now TV etc)
  • Theatrical film release
  • Television drama/series

Still unclear whether your advert meets criteria for dual classification? Please see our policies page or alternatively, contact submissions@cinemaadvertisingassociation or [email protected]

Payment is required to both The CAA & BBFC if the advert contains any scenes from streaming services, movies or any other theatrical release. If you are submitting a charity and/or public information advertisement, The CAA do not require payment – but the BBFC do. Please contact them directly for their fees at [email protected].

The CAA and the BBFC are separate regulatory bodies following different guidelines and regulations therefore, on occasion their age-restrictions may not match. When this occurs, the higher restriction is the restriction the advertisement must run with. CAA and BBFC age-restrictions/classifications are irrespective of the other.

Please note the BBFC only classify certain criteria of cinema advertisement. For further information on BBFC submission please see further down on this FAQ page for the BBFC section.

For more info on the CAA and BBFC dual classification system, please see relevant information here: https://cinemaadvertisingassociation.co.uk/the-bbfc-and-caa-relationship/.

Still unsure? Please contact [email protected] directly and we will be happy to advise you.

Final approval is given for a finished edit; by that we mean all moving image, legals, supers, onscreen text, audio/ VO is finalised, submitted and paid for. We do not accept DCP or the cinema ready files you will upload to cinema advertisers. Please adhere to our video submission upload spec. Provisional approval can only be given for scripts/storyboards pending the final cut. Provisional approval allows for a steer on an age-related exhibition restriction on an unfinished advertisement. Please note, if major changes are made from the provisional edit to the final this may change the restriction flagged from your provisional approval letter.
All changes must be resubmitted and uploaded via your CAA account. Small static non-moving changes such as onscreen text, logos & legals do not require a further charge and should be submitted as a ‘revision of a previously submitted item’. Any moving image/running time/audio changes should be submitted as a new item.
Not initially. If claims made in the copy require substation it will either be requested by us or you will be required to provide an undertaking that you hold substantiation for those claims adequate to the standard required by the ASA.
Yes. The CAA Copy Panel clears advertisements for ROI exhibition under the ASAI code. Please ensure you opt for ‘ROI’ when prompted on the submission form.

The CAA Copy Panel do not charge registered charities for CAA clearance. Please ensure you input your registered charity number when prompted on the submission form. Please ensure you submit your advertisement to The CAA and the BBFC. The BBFC do charge but have reduced rates for charities. Please contact the BBFC directly for any payment queries; [email protected]

Please upload your content in any of the following formats; MP4, MOV, MPEG, AVI, FLV. Guide file size is 100MB. We do not accept DCP’s for submission upload.

If you require CAA clearance for an advertising campaign with multiple endframe changes e.g for different regional areas, please ensure you submit a final cut with one endframe via The CAA submission form, then via email please provide a full list of all regional locations (if applicable) and the differing endframe onscreen text for each one. If possible, please also provide stills of the differing endframes. Once the panel has reviewed and cleared the video submission, the clearance letter will confirm that all the endframe versions are valid under one Final Approval reference number.
In the event of a ‘not approved’ advertisement, the copy response usually details the reasoning behind the decision and suggested options on how to amend your advertisement, so it is compliant with the CAP Code. For instances where you do not think the appropriate decision has been made for example, an issued age-restriction, there is an option to informally appeal to The CAA Copy Panel who will review the advertisement again along with any comments put forward by the complainant. However, amendment to an advertisement or an informal appeal may not always be an option. If this is the case you will be offered access to the official appeal procedure. This is carried out by a separate body from the Copy Panel and their decision can overrule or uphold the Copy Panel’s decision. The appeal panel’s decision is final. Please contact [email protected] for more information on this process.
The CAP codes are subject to change, and The CAA needs to ensure that adverts continue to comply with these changes. To ensure this, CAA final approval is valid for a period of 12 months from the date of issue. If you wish to exhibit an advert that is out of validity, please ensure you log on to your account and resubmit the content as a ‘revision of a previously submitted item’. This applies even if none of the content has changed from the previously approved advert. If there are changes made to the advert but are non-substantive static changes, such as addition of onscreen text, logo the submission is not chargeable.


The BBFC deregulated cinema advertising in 2016, meaning they no longer classify all advertisements exhibited in cinemas. For more information on the BBFC / CAA deregulation please see here. The BBFC only classify content within the advertising reel they deem is an ‘public information campaigning film’.

The BBFC deem registered charities as ‘public campaigning films’, local council/government advertisements as ‘public information films’ and deem advertisements that feature tie-in film content, film clips, streaming service and TV series/programmes as ‘campaigning films’. Therefore if your advertisement meets any of the above criteria, it must be submitted for BBFC classification as well as for CAA clearance.
Please submit it to both The CAA and the BBFC. The CAA will consider it for classification in line with the CAP Code and the BBFC will consider it for classification under its own Guidelines.
Please opt for the “public information / campaigning film” submission form on the BBFC extranet that you should complete to get the process under way.
Yes. The CAA must clear all advertising in cinemas. The BBFC will need to classify any advertisement that features film clips, tie in film content, streaming service content/ series trailers (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV trailers) and TV programmes. Please ensure to submit them using the Public Information/Campaigning Film online form.
Please contact the BBFC at [email protected] who will be able to further assist you.
Yes. You should therefore submit it to the BBFC and The CAA.
They are categorised as advertisements, and so classified by The CAA only.
Any registered charities are categorised as public campaigning films, and so classified by the BBFC. You should therefore submit it to the BBFC and The CAA.
Yes, as the BBFC classify such works.
Yes. We will issue you with a confirmation of the age suitability of your advert, so that cinema advertisers can place it within the programme of a suitable corresponding film. Only advertisements that fit ‘public information/campaigning films’ will need the BBFC symbol present on the copy.