Public Information / Campaigning Films | British Board of Film Classification
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Public Information / Campaigning Films

We classify public information/campaigning films for theatrical release on behalf of local licensing authorities who license cinemas under the Licensing Act 2003.

As of 31 March 2016 age rating theatrical advertisements that are paid-for messages for commercial goods or services is delegated to the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA). We define a public information/campaigning film as content that is not a paid-for message for a commercial good or service.

Read more about the deregulation of Cinema Advertising in our customer Q and A.

Do I need to submit my work for classification?

All theatrical public information/campaigning films must be submitted for classification, unless permission is granted by the licensing authority in the area for the film to be shown without a BBFC age rating.

What can/can't I submit?

All public information/campaigning films submitted to us must be the full, final edit in the correct screen ratio with final sound mix.

We accept theatrical public information/campaigning films in the following ways:

  • 2D content can be submitted as an MP4 file, or on DVD, Blu-ray disc or DCP
  • 3D content can be submitted as an MP4 file or on Blu-ray disc

Any film to be distributed in both 2D and 3D may require separate submissions as the different formats may raise differing classification issues. In some cases we offer a concessionary rate.  Further details are available here.

Please see our general technical requirements for submissions.

How do I submit?

In order to submit a work please make an entry on our extranet service.

If you do not have an account you may request one

How much does it cost?

Visit our fees page to calculate your cost. 

Displaying the BBFC’s age rating

The public information / campaigning film should display the appropriate BBFC age rating symbol on screen for a minimum of five seconds, before the film begins or appear in the bottom left- or right-hand corner of the film itself.

Please contact us on helpline@bbfc.co.uk if you would like us to send you hi-res copies of the symbols.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

If you require a fast turnaround you may wish to consider our Pre-Booking Express Service.

We also provide an advice service to help you establish what rating an unfinished work may receive. 

 

Deregulation of Cinema Advertising – Q&A

Will the CAA be applying the BBFC’s age ratings to advertisements?

No, the CAA will continue to apply the terms of the CAP Code to advertisements. Where a public information / campaigning film also has a BBFC age rating, this should be displayed on screen in cinemas.

I have a public information / campaigning film that I would like to show in cinemas. To whom do I send it?

Please submit it to the BBFC and the CAA. We will consider it for classification under our Classification Guidelines and the CAA will consider it in line with the CAP Code.

How do I submit a public information / campaigning film to the BBFC?

Please submit it in exactly the same way you submit cinema advertisements to the BBFC. The only difference will be that, rather than completing the “advertisement” submission form, please use the “public information / campaigning film” submission form on the BBFC extranet.

What do I do if I am unsure if my film is an advertisement or a public information / campaigning film?

Please contact the BBFC Helpline (helpline@bbfc.co.uk / 02074400299) and we will be happy to advise you.

I have an advertisement that includes clips from a film/TV show, will this need classification?

Any content that would normally be classified by the BBFC for cinema, DVD/Blu-ray, or Video-On-Demand should be submitted to the BBFC as a Public Information/Campaigning Film and to the CAA. This includes any advertisement for tie-in film content and content for a television programme/series for a streaming service.

Does an advertisement for public sector information / awareness count as a public service film (e.g. police federation advertisements, drink / drive advertisements)?

Yes. You should submit it to the BBFC and the CAA.

How will advertisements for schools or higher education be categorised?

These are categorised as advertisements and classified by the CAA only.

How will charity campaigns be categorised (e.g. the RNLI, Guide Dogs For The Blind)?

These are categorised as public campaigning films, and are classified by the BBFC. You should submit it to the BBFC and the CAA.

Will the likes of public service and charity campaigns require the use of the BBFC symbol in the bottom corner of the screen?

Yes, as the BBFC still classifies this content.

If my advertisement has only been assessed and classified by the CAA, does this mean that when it goes out in cinemas there won’t be an age rating displayed on screen for it?

Yes. The CAA will issue you with a confirmation of the age suitability of your advert, so you can place it within the programme of a suitable film.

Do advertisements for video games still have to adhere to BBFC rules regarding PEGI logos?

No, since the BBFC no longer classifies these advertisements, there is no risk that the cinema audience will mistake the rating of the game for the rating of the advertisement.

 

 

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