Phone Service Commercials

Phone Service commercials promote various services (such as adult chat lines and all online dating services) that are available via telephone or internet whereby the consumer may incur charges for placing the call or using the website.

Commercials intended only for adult viewers must not contain elements of negative and/or degrading gender portrayal. Although creative material containing sexual innuendo and provocativeness is permitted, please refer to the Objectives Guideline and to the Sexual Innuendo Guideline. We also recommend that you seek guidance from a Telecaster Commercial Analyst concerning this type of creative matter.

The following criteria are meant to provide guidance relative to the production of Phone Service commercials:

1. The advertiser responsible for the message must be clearly identified in audio and video. The advertiser must be identified using the contractual name listed with the phone service provider. The video portion must remain on the screen for five continuous seconds.

2. The terms of the transaction for all charges must be clearly defined in audio and video. The terms must appear in video for a minimum of five seconds. The following are a list of examples:

  • When charging a flat rate, you must indicate the rate. Eg. $50 CDN per call. Also if the minimum charge for the call is the same as the maximum charge, a flat rate fee must be shown. For example, if the minimum charge the caller will incur is $10 CDN, you may not indicate $2 CDN per minute, 5 minute minimum.
  • When charging by the minute you must indicate the rate per minute. Eg. $5.99 CDN per minute.
  • For per minute rates up to a maximum amount, you must indicate that rate as well as the maximum. Eg. $.50 CDN per minute up to a maximum of $50 CDN.
  • When various packages are available and prices may or will vary, the maximum amount that a caller may incur must be indicated.
  • If the advertiser is not charging for the call but toll charges will be applied, the term “long distance charges” must be used not toll charges.
  • Indicating “some charges may apply” or similar phrases or words to that effect will not be acceptable. The specific cost of the call must be disclosed.
  • If any taxes are applicable, this information must be indicated in audio and video.

3. Regulations regarding age must be clearly defined in audio and video. For example, “Callers must be 18 year of age or over”.

4. If the commercial is restricted to those 18 years of age and over a disclaimer in audio and video, on a blank screen, must precede the commercial. For example, “This commercial is for adults only and may contain sexually suggestive content. All persons participating in the commercial are 18+”.

Advertisers in this category must ensure that the images portrayed do not project promises that cannot be legally met. Advertisements must sell the service, not the model/actor. Therefore, there must be no audio in the first person. For example, “call me” is unacceptable. Also, you cannot have the model/actor mouthing the words “call me” or similar words to this effect.

Commercials must comply with all other Telecaster Guidelines. 



Originally Posted: 4/16/2008 1:43:01 PM
Last Updated: 1/23/2013 4:31:40 PM