Publicity

Publicity materials are part of the required deliverables for a programme and are listed on the Commissioning specification and the delivery timeline. BBC Publicity will inform productions if additional publicity materials are required. 

All productions must deliver the following assets (click to find out more or scroll down):

Additional requirements typically include:
  • Production notes or a press kit comprising:
    • full cast list
    • full crew list
    • short synopsis (two to three paragraphs)
    • long synopsis (two to three pages)
    • location/interview production notes
    • biographies of principal cast and key crew
  • Key publicity contact address list
Additional requirements may also include: 
  • Master split track soundtrack on CD WAV
Additional requirements for Network drama may also include:
Additional requirement for programme acquisitions may also include:
  • One translation script


Please note
: some of this additional information will already be captured on the programme billings form.

 

Stills

The final, full edit of programme stills must be delivered to BBC Pictures two months prior to the programme delivery date. If the nature of the programme means this is unrealistic please agree an alternative with the BBC.

Stills requirements vary depending on the commissioning genre. Please see the specific stills requirements for factual, drama, entertainment, comedy, daytime and BBC Three short-form listed below.

Please contact the following teams a month before filming to discuss your delivery requirements:

Please note:

  • A stills caption list must be delivered at the same time as the programme stills. Jump to the caption list section to download.
  • For drama, comedy and entertainment, an adequate amount of time as agreed with BBC Pictures should be set aside within the shooting schedule for shooting with key cast. Cast featured to be agreed between BBC Pictures and production.
  • For drama, comedy and entertainment, briefs for creative concepts will be provided to and agreed with the production by BBC Pictures.
  • BBC Pictures expects you to hire a professional photographer to take your stills.
  • Screen grabs are not acceptable unless agreed beforehand and in exceptional circumstances.
  • The selection of images to be used for marketing/publicity by the BBC shall be at BBC Pictures election. 

Download the BBC Pictures guide to publicity stills (PDF) for detailed editorial information about picture quality along with further hints and tips.

 

How to deliver

To ensure the security of image storage and delivery please use the website www.dropbox.com to share images with BBC Pictures once they have been approved by all relevant stakeholders at the independent production company. Dropbox is the only commercial online delivery system that BBC Pictures can accept.

Once the images have been approved please place them in one dropbox folder labelled with the name of the production and share with your BBC Pictures contact.

Delivery can also be via email, post or Mediashuttle. Please contact BBC Picture Desk or the press office of the Nation or Region concerned for details.  

If you have been asked to deliver to BBC iPlayer rather than BBC Pictures please contact the iPlayer pictures team for details of what they require and how to deliver.

A stills caption list must be delivered at the same time as the programme stills. Jump to the caption list section to download.

 

What must be delivered

(Please refer to the productions Commissioning Specification for specific stills delivery requirements. Below is a guide to the general stills requirements per genre.) Unless otherwise agreed with a BBC Pictures representative you are required to deliver:

 

For BBC Three short-form commissions

Please note productions delivering longform content for BBC Three should follow the requirements set by the commissioning genre as set out below. The following information applies to short-form commissions for BBC Three only.

All images must be delivered as both RAW digital files and as high resolution JPEG files. The minimum image size is 4000 x 3000 pixels.

In order to select preferred stills, the BBC shall have access (on request) to all of the original digital files.

Key art and portrait series stills

  • One ‘iconic’ image that best represents the whole series for the audience.
  • If this image is a digital artwork then a layered file must be provided.
  • Two-five portraits of each key character/presenter/contributor on their relevant sets/locations.

Unit stills per episode to include

  • Six-10 varied images that best represent each episode of key scenes/characters.
  • Comprised of a selection of key moments/action points, characters and key relationships.
  • Action shots should clearly display the face(s) of all main characters.
  • Main characters, individually and collectively, within settings which are significant to the storyline. 
  • To be delivered in a mix of landscape and portrait formats.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 45MB uncompressed.

Artwork

  • Title treatment/programme logo as a transparent layered file.
  • The primary font­ based on logo or subheading (note font must be cleared for all marketing and publicity use without additional payment by the BBC).

Download further editorial guidance for the types of stills that work well for BBC Three (PDF) or visit the BBC Three short-form delivery page for information about other delivery requirements for BBC Three short-form commissions.

 

For entertainment commissions

All images must be delivered as both RAW digital files and as high resolution JPEG files.In order to select preferred stills, the BBC shall have access (on request) to all of the original digital files.

Key art and portrait stills (per series) 

  • One ‘iconic’ image that best represents the whole series for the audience.
  • If this image is a digital artwork then a layered file must be provided.
  • Gallery or special shots of each key presenter/contributor on their relevant sets/locations. Minimum of five per person.
  • To be delivered in a mix of landscape and portrait formats.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 60MB uncompressed.
  • A range of set-up shots of all of the key presenters/contributors against a plain background (single portraits and full length shots in costume and make up). Minimum of five per person.

Unit stills per episode to include

  • A minimum of 20 varied stills per episode.
  • Comprised of a selection of key moments/action points.
  • And presenters and key contributors/contestants.
  • To be delivered in a mix of landscape and portrait formats.
  • If the programme is a contest format then episode specific images of presenters (not featuring contestants) and all featured contributors/contestants should be provided for each episode.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 45MB uncompressed.

 Additional photography

  • A minimum of 20 behind-the-scenes images showing key cast and production crew across all episodes.
  • Artists in hair and make-up (especially for anything particularly ambitious eg prosthetics).
  • Clean (ie not featuring cast) back-plates of key locations/sets for later art-working.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 45MB uncompressed.

Artwork

  • Title treatment/programme logo as a transparent layered file.
  • The primary font based on logo or subheading (note font must be cleared for all marketing and publicity use without additional payment by the BBC).

 

For drama commissions

All images must be delivered as both RAW digital files and as high resolution JPEG files.

In order to select preferred stills, the BBC shall have access (on request) to all of the original digital files.

Key art and portrait series stills

  • One ‘iconic’ image that best represents the whole series for the audience.
  • If this image is a digital artwork then a layered file must be provided.
  • Generic gallery or special shots of all major characters on their relevant sets/locations. Minimum of five per character.
  • A range of set-up shots of all of the major characters in single portrait and full length shots in costume and make up against a plain background (to allow later art work). Minimum of five per character.
  • To be delivered in a mix of landscape and portrait formats.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 60MB uncompressed.

Unit stills per episode to include

  • A minimum of 20 varied stills per episode.
  • Comprised of a selection of key moments/action points, characters and key relationships. Images to capture key cast in moments that are drama-filled, intriguing and engaging.
  • Action shots should clearly display the face(s) of all main characters.
  • Main characters, individually and collectively, within settings which are significant to the storyline. 
  • To be delivered in a mix of landscape and portrait formats.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 45MB uncompressed.

Additional photography

  • A minimum of 20 behind-the-scenes images showing key cast and production crew across all episodes.
  • Artists in hair and make-up (especially for anything particularly ambitious eg prosthetics).
  • Clean (ie not featuring cast) back-plates of key locations/sets for later art-working.

Artwork

  • Title treatment/programme logo as a transparent layered file.
  • The primary font based on logo or subheading (note font must be cleared for all marketing and publicity use without additional payment by the BBC).

 

For factual commissions

Key art and portrait series stills

  • A least one ‘iconic’ image that best represents the whole series.
  • If this image is a digital artwork then a layered file must be provided.
  • Generic gallery or special shots of all major contributors/presenters. Ideally five per contributor/presenter.
  • To be delivered in a mix of landscape and portrait formats.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 45MB uncompressed.
  • Please note BBC Pictures may request RAW versions of all images.

Stills per episode

A selection of between 10 and 20 varied stills to include:

  • a selection of key moments/action points, characters, presenters and key relationships – in a mix of portrait and landscape format. These should capture key contributors/presenters in moments that are ideally intriguing, informative, and engaging.
  • Action shots should clearly display the face(s) of all main characters.
  • Stills should include main contributors and presenters, individually and collectively, within settings that are relevant to the show/series. 
  • A selection of behind-the-scenes shots (ideally five or more depending on series).
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 45MB uncompressed.

Artwork

  • Title treatment/programme logo as a transparent layered file.
  • The primary font ­based on logo or subheading (note font must be cleared for all marketing and publicity use without additional payment by the BBC).

 

For daytime commissions

Per series

  • One ‘iconic’ image that best represents the whole series.
  • Generic gallery or special shots of all major characters/presenters/contributors on their relevant sets/locations – a minimum of three per character.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 35MB uncompressed.
  • Delivered in a mix of both landscape and portrait format.
  • Eight-15 varied stills that include main characters/presenters/contributors within settings significant to the programme content. 

For one off programmes

  • Between eight - 15 varied stills that include main characters/presenters/contributors within settings significant to the programme content including a group shot if relevant.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 35MB uncompressed.

Artwork

  • Title treatment/programme logo as a transparent layered file.
  • The primary font based on logo or subheading (note font must be cleared for all marketing and publicity use without additional payment by the BBC).

 

For comedy commissions

All images must be delivered as both RAW digital files and as high resolution JPEG files.

In order to select preferred stills, the BBC shall have access (on request) to all of the original digital files.

Key art and portrait series stills

  • One ‘iconic’ image that best represents the whole series for the audience.
  • If this image is a digital artwork then a layered file must be provided.
  • Generic gallery or special shots of all major characters on their relevant sets/locations. Minimum of five per character.
  • A range of set-up shots of all of the major characters in single portrait and full length shots in costume and make up against a plain background (to allow later art work). Minimum of five per character.
  • To be delivered in a mix of landscape and portrait formats.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 60MB uncompressed. 

Unit stills per episode to include

  • A minimum of 20 varied stills per episode.
  • Comprised of a selection of key moments/action points, characters and key relationships. Images to capture key cast in moments that are drama-filled, intriguing and engaging.
  • Action shots should clearly display the face(s) of all main characters.
  • Main characters, individually and collectively, within settings which are significant to the storyline. 
  • To be delivered in a mix of landscape and portrait formats.
  • The minimum digital file size of each image should be 45MB uncompressed.

Additional photography

  • A minimum of 20 behind-the-scenes images showing key cast and production crew across all episodes.
  • Artists in hair and make-up (especially for anything particularly ambitious eg prosthetics).
  • Clean (ie not featuring cast) back-plates of key locations/sets for later art-working.

Artwork

  • Title treatment/programme logo as a transparent layered file.
  • The primary font based on logo or subheading (note font must be cleared for all marketing and publicity use without additional payment by the BBC).

 

General delivery requirements

  • Prior to the full delivery deadline photography material should be made available for BBC Pictures to review on a rolling delivery as soon as each photographic shoot is complete.
  • Early access is required to agreed early release images to support publicity announcements/marketing activity.
  • All images delivered must be approved fully by the cast featured (if contractually required) and all relevant stakeholders within production.
  • The copyright of all the images including any archive material and logo/title card delivered must be cleared so that the BBC has the right to distribute the images as part of the non-commercial publicity and promotional material.

 

Editorial guidelines and compliance

All images supplied to the BBC must be factually representative of the editorial content of the programme they have been taken for. They must also abide by the BBC Editorial policy guidelines including specific guidelines around depicting children. No images can be released to publicise the programme without written consent from the BBC executive.

Download the BBC Editorial policy for picture publicity (PDF).

Further information is available on the BBC Editorial guidance website.

 

Stills captions list

A BBC Pictures captions list must be delivered to BBC Pictures at the same time as the programme stills two months prior to the programme delivery date.

Download the BBC Pictures captions list (Word)

 

Clips

What must be delivered

Productions must deliver at least:

  • One extract clip per episode
  • One extract clip to represent the whole series (not required for Children’s)
  • One clip compliance form per clip
  • One holding image per clip (required for Children’s and English Regions only)

This is the minimum requirement and more content can be delivered if desired. These clips will appear in perpetuity on the programme website, or if rights don’t allow for this they can be removed at a specified date. Some programmes may be exempt from clip delivery requirements (including live programmes) and production will be informed in such cases. As a general rule clips are not required for daytime programmes, however productions may be asked to deliver one series clip or one clip per transmission week, and clips are not usually required for BBC Three but this may be discussed as part of the commissioning process.  

Clips must be fully cleared and pre-approved with the BBC commissioning executive/BBC editorial representative.

Marketing trails may also be published online: the timing for this depends on when the programme’s promotional activity begins. 

Find further information about programme websites and BBC Three short-form delivery.

 

Delivery and technical specifications

Clips should be delivered on or before the programme delivery date.  For topical programmes, clips should be delivered as close to 10 days prior to transmission or earlier if possible. This will ensure content can be published seven days before broadcast. 

 

For all network programmes (other than Children’s and English Regions):

Send files via the TMO shortform media shuttle. Please contact the shortformvideoteam@bbc.co.uk for a TMO shortform media shuttle account.  

  • The container format must be: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 1920x1080 25i, stereo audio with timecode

For Children’s:

Contact the childrens.mediahub@bbc.co.uk for delivery

  • The container format should be: MXF or .mov with timecode
  • Video: Bit rate / Quality: 30Mbps CBR minimum
  • Codec: H.264
  • Frame size: 1920x1080 (square pixels)
  • Scan type: 50i (as broadcast standard)
  • Audio: Codec: AAC
  • Channels: Stereo
  • Bit rate: 320 kbps
  • Sample rate: 48 KHz
  • Sample depth: 24 bit

For English Regions: 

Contact the BBC editorial representative. See the contacts page for details of editorial representatives in the English regions.

  • The container format should be: .mov with timecode
  • Video: Bit rate / Quality: 30Mbps CBR minimum
  • Codec: H.264
  • Frame size: 1920x1080 (square pixels)
  • Scan type: 50i (as broadcast standard)
  • Audio: Codec: AAC
  • Channels: Stereo
  • Bit rate: 320 kbps
  • Sample rate: 48 KHz
  • Sample depth: 24 bit

 

Editorial specification for clips

  • Clips should be approximately one - two minutes in length
  • Do not need to be pre-watershed.
  • Do not need a clock at the front.
  • Do not need black at the front or end.
  • Do not include opening titles or credit sequences, branding or channel Digital On-screen Graphics (DOGs) or end boards, as these will be added after delivery.
  • Care should be taken to edit clean and tidy in-and-out points to the video and audio on the clip.

 

Clip recommendations

Clips should standalone, both as a preview of a programme but also a ‘best bit’. They should be representative of the programme and tell a story in their own right. They should be short, attention grabbing from the start and maintain interest throughout. The first ten to fifteen seconds of the clip are crucial.  

Drama: A standalone, shareable clip showcasing a dramatic point in the programme. Something to create anticipation at a plotline happening in the programme.

Factual: A short, stand alone clip showcasing an interesting point in the programme. It could be a small fact that would be of interest and encourage the viewer to watch more or even share the clip more widely.

Comedy: A standalone clip that highlights a funny moment, either verbal or visual. Something to make the viewer want to share or come back to consume more.

Entertainment: A short, stand alone clip showcasing a stand out moment in the programme. This could be a section of a musical performance, a strong take away from an interview or a funny moment. It should not give away any spoilers or results.

Daytime: As a general rule clips are not usually required for daytime programmes but productions may be contacted to deliver one series clip or one clip per transmission week.

 

Clips on YouTube, Facebook and other third party sites

Clips will be playable on YouTube, Facebook and other third party sites if they are set to allow embedding. They should therefore be suitable for both programme websites and the BBC YouTube channel. A separate clip should not be created specifically for YouTube.

Only selected clips will be published on the YouTube channel based on the channel priorities and the formats and genres that work well.

Narrative previews/teasers, funniest or watercooler moments and short-form story clips work best on YouTube.

Any clips published outside of the official BBC channels will be removed.

 

Clip holding images

(Only required for Children’s and English Regions programmes.)

Please provide one .JPG image per clip that can be used as the holding image. This should be a professional quality photograph, representative of the content of the clip, or a high quality screengrab taken from the clip.

The clip holding images should be delivered on or before the programme delivery date. For topical programmes these should be delivered as close to 10 days prior to transmission, or earlier if possible. This will ensure content can be published seven days before broadcast.

For Children’s: contact the childrens.mediahub@bbc.co.uk

For English Regions: contact the BBC editorial representative. 

 

Clip compliance form  

A clip compliance form is required for each clip and should be delivered on or before the programme delivery date.  For topical programmes this should be delivered as close to 10 days prior to transmission or earlier if possible. This will ensure content can be published seven days before broadcast. Additional information about completing the form and adding guidance labels can be found on the Compliance page.

Download the clip compliance form (Excel)

Email the completed form to:

For all network programmes (other than Children’s and English Regions) shortformvideoteam@bbc.co.uk.

For Children’s: email childrens.mediahub@bbc.co.uk

For English Regions: BBC editorial representative and Erp4a@bbc.co.uk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Billing form

The Billing form provides information for the following:

  • Final transmission schedules 
  • Text for listings magazines including Radio Times
  • Text for digital programme guides and the BBC's programme websites.

The billings due date is normally 16 days before the beginning of the transmission week. (This is subject to change particularly prior to holiday periods, please refer to the timetable below for further details.)

Billings delivered in good time are appreciated and will assist in publicising the programme. Without a Silvermouse billing, programmes are given a generic billing.

Where the final schedule slot has yet to be confirmed productions can submit billings forms without the transmission time completed. Download the BBC programme week calendars from the A-Z page.

Billings are accepted at any date up to the press day deadline of 2.30pm (which is generally 10 days before the beginning of the transmission week). Subsequent revisions are also accepted up to this date. Additional billing information received after this date is unlikely it appear in print.

All wording should be pre-approved by the BBC commissioning editor in advance of delivery.

New users to Silvermouse can obtain a login by following the link www.silvermouse.com then clicking ‘New User’. Existing Silvermouse users (including for other broadcasters) can use the same login details and do not need to request a new login.

For technical support queries please contact: silvermousehelpdesk@silvermouse.com

Independent production companies with non-technical support queries including rejection of submitted forms should contact: the Indie Delivery Unit or the Children’s Media Hub.

Non-technical support queries from BBC Studios should be directed to: silvermouse.support@bbc.co.uk.

Watch and download BBC Academy user guides for Silvermouse.

Details of billings due dates for October 2019 - September 2020 are available to download (PDF).

 

Programme material for trails

If the programme is to be promoted through Television trails then additional materials may be requested by BBC Marketing ahead of programme transmission. The BBC will inform the production in advance if specific materials are needed for the production of a trail. The content requested may vary depending on the nature of the programme and when it is due to deliver. 

Marketing requirements may include (but are not limited to): 

  • Offline rushes and rough cuts of episodes for viewing purposes
  • Broadcast quality graded rushes: source of 'clean' sound and uncaptioned pictures (four – six weeks ahead of programme transmission)
  • Access to set and talent/artists for filming during production
  • A version of the complete programme (often before its sound dub)

It is the production's responsibility to then provide the agreed additional materials for trails.

 

Promotional preview copy

One copy of the full programme on digital video file (MPEG4) should be uploaded directly to the BBC Previews website using the BBC Previews Mediashuttle. For more information, Mediashuttle set up and any other queries regarding delivery please email the BBC Previews team. Using an encoding program called MPEG Streamclip is recommended.

  • File type: MP4 only
  • Compression/Codec: H.264
  • Data rate: Minimum 800kbps - Maximum 1.5 Mbps.
  • Sound: MPEG-4 AAC, Stereo, Auto, maximum 160kbps (or other compatible MPEG-4 audio)
  • Frame size: always 16/9 – 640 x 360
  • Enable ‘Fast streaming’/’fast start’/’quick streaming’

When ready to upload:

  • Uploaded files named as follows: ProgrammeName_ep# (eg EastEnders_ep1) NOT FD38429389/01
  • Titles should also include the series number ie S4 (series four)
  • Titles should not be too long and can be abbreviated where necessary

 

Production script

Production scripts are useful for subtitling purposes and when available should be emailed to the BBC Access Services team on the delivery date, or in advance of this date if possible. 

Please inform the Access Services team if a script will be available, even if it is not available immediately. Other information such as running orders may also be useful, please contact the team for further advice. 

The package Scriptwriter 3 is available for independent production companies supplying to the BBC. Please email Scriptwriter3Requests@bbc.co.uk for further information and terms and conditions.

Find out more about disability related assistance, advice and support including subtitling services on the Disability section of the BBC Diversity website.

 

Programme websites

Every BBC programme has its own webpage on bbc.co.uk which is automatically created seven days prior to the programme transmission. These are sometimes referred to as programme pages or programme websites. These are populated using the standard set of publicity clips and stills listed on this page and only need to be delivered once via the methods detailed above. See the Programme websites: online promotion page to find out more about how these are used.

 

BBC press office

Contact the BBC Press Office:

(020 7) 765 5900

press.office@bbc.co.uk

Or via the online form on the BBC Media Centre website.