Frequently Asked Questions about Preclearance of Alcohol Advertising


What services does Ad Standards provide?

  • Review of alcoholic beverage advertising copy for radio and television
  • Review of broadcast, digital, print and out-of-home advertising copy (British Columbia only)
  • Review of broadcast, digital, print and out-of-home advertising copy (Ontario)
  • Consultation services for new product launches or new advertising concepts

How will I know my copy has been approved?

Your approved submission will be sent back to you with a 10-character lifetime Ad Standards approval number (with the exception of advertisements making a new claim, where the number is only valid for one year). This number signifies to broadcasters that the copy has been approved.

Please note that no number is issued when requesting AGCO review. Submissions requesting AGCO review are stamped as being "Reviewed" when they conform to the Guidelines.

How do I submit copy?

  • Step 1 Go to the e-Clearance login page
  • Step 2 Login or Create a new account
  • Step 3 Enter your submissions online. (For copies in languages other than English or French, please provide a translation.)

How long does it take to make an evaluation?

Regular service: Two business days* from receipt of copy
Priority service: One business day* from receipt of copy
Express service: Copy received by noon, returned by five**

One business day is equal to 24 hours (business days only)
** Express service is not available for consultations

What criteria are used to clear copy?

  • CRTC Code for Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages
  • AGCO Liquor Advertising Guidelines: Liquor Sales Licensees and Manufacturers

Who can I talk to about copy clearance?

To reach a member of the Clearance Services team, call 416-961-6311, ext. 3 or email

Do I need clearance by any other bodies?

Ad Standards Clearance Services reviews advertising in six regulated areas to ensure compliance with specific sectoral legislation, regulations, codes and guidelines. For television advertising, in addition to obtaining an Ad Standards Clearance number, prior to airing, commercials must be approved by thinktv to ensure their standards are met. Contact thinktv for complete details.

thinktv clearance provides commercial review services for its broadcaster members.

If your advertising will appear in Quebec, it must be approved by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux.

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