Flash Checklist (PSE)

Make sure your ad will pass our flashing testing

There are strict rules about the use of flashing images and regular patterns in adverts. This is to reduce the risk of exposing TV viewers that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy to potentially harmful stimuli.

Ofcom has produced guidelines on Flashing Images (see Annex 1 of the document below, or or here).

Ofcom guidance on harm and offence

When you submit an ad to us, on both CopyCentral and The Library, we automatically run it through a system that tests for this issue as part of the clearance process.

If your edit fails our flashing test, you have different options depending on the platform:

Failed on The Library? 

  • If failed on The Library, you can use the information provided by the Vidchecker QC to pinpoint the frames that are most erroneous, or use it as a guidance to turn down your luminance. 
  • You can use our Online Flash Test service to see where in the ad, frame by frame, the failure has occurred, amend the edit and re-submit. 
  • We can also make amends from our Edit in Clear service: contact mark.hynes@clearcast.co.uk for more information and rates cards. 
  • Because it will have failed on the Vidchecker QC, your video has not been clocked/locked in, so you can reupload the amended video to the same material and submission without having to re-clock. Please note all videos must pass all QC to be sent through for clearance - we cannot accept other certificates as a way of going around the failed QC. 

Failed on CopyCentral? 

  • If your rough cut has failed flashing, we will still send it through to your exec for full feedback. 
  • You can use our Online Flash Test service to see where in the ad, frame by frame, the failure has occurred, amend the edit and re-submit. 

We will also accept a certificate from any device on the DPP (Digital Production Partnership) list, that indicates the clocked ad has passed an accepted flashing test (new from October 2018). NOTE THIS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AT TVC/THE LIBRARY STAGE. Note that certain criteria, minimum product, and algorithm versions must be observed. See our flashing certificate checklist below, or here.

The certificate generated by the system must display the information below. Amended certificates will not be accepted..

  • Ad Title Field: this must include the ad’s full clock number.
  • Duration of material tested: the exact duration of the file tested including any pre and post-roll.
  • Video standard: this must be at least Standard Definition and one of the following values:
    • 576i50
    • 576p25
    • 1080i50
    • 1080p25
  • Frame Rate: this must be either: 25 frames (if interlaced) or 50 frames (if progressive).

For further details about the Harding certificate, or general questions about testing your ad for flashing images and regular patterns, get in touch with either your Clearcast contact or the Operations team via 020 7339 4780. You can also visit our Help Centre.