A simple approvals process

Our approvals process is designed to allow us to efficiently view, record and track about 15,000 commercials a year with the minimal amount of paperwork or delays.

Without CAB’s approval, New Zealand television stations will not accept your commercial for broadcast.

Free concept & script advice

We provide a same day service for advice on scripts and creative concepts. Getting advice on your concept or script is entirely voluntary, but getting us involved as early as possible reduces the chance of an unpleasant surprise further down the line.

All advice and consultation is provided free of charge (see details on our fees).

Send your script or concept to advice@commercialapprovals.co.nz where it will be quickly assessed by our approvals team. We’re also happy to discuss concepts over the phone or to arrange face-to-face consultations.

We’ll provide you with details on any areas of concern or risks, details on any statements that will require substantiation and guidance of the finished commercial’s likely classification.

It is important to note that comments are indicative and do not constitute an approval of the finished commercial. Approval and classification will only be given to a completed commercial.

Getting approval for your finished commercial

To get approval of a finished commercial you will need to supply us with a reasonable viewing copy, the key number as it will be instructed to the broadcasters, and your billing and material contact details.

The easiest way to apply for approval is via our online application form.

We require additional information and/or documentation to approve commercials certain of types of products.


Advertising for therapeutic products & services, health products and medical devices needs to be pre-approved by the Therapeutic Advertising Pre-vetting Service (TAPS).



Alcohol advertising needs to be pre-approved by the Liquor Advertising & Promotion Pre-vetting Service (LAPPS).



Food & beverage advertisers need to supply their product’s nutritional details if they want to target children under 13 years old. We strongly recommend that these details are provided before the commercial is produced or the media is booked.



Financial services advertisers need to submit a declaration from a Company Director that their advertising complies with the various securities Acts and regulations.


When an ad is approved it is given a CAB classification. Broadcasters and media planners need this classification to determine the channels and times when the commercial can be aired.

How long does it take?

We aim to approve the majority of finished commercials within 6 working hours. As soon as your commercial is approved we’ll confirm it in a quick email.

This approval covers all broadcasters in New Zealand so no additional approval is required. Notification is sent automatically to all broadcasters so you do not need to do anything else.

The formal record of approval is the CAB invoice which details the key number, classification and corresponding CAB approval number. The invoice will be emailed to your company within a few hours of approval.

Changes to approved commercials

Remember that any changes to your commercial requires a new key number and every key number requires CAB approval. If a station can’t match your key number to a CAB approval then they will not broadcast the commercial.

Defending our approval decisions

In the event that a complaint is made to the Advertising Standards Authority about your commercial we will robustly defend our decision to approve it. Our responses are on behalf of the media.

To assist in these defences we are regularly represented (in an observer capacity) at ASA meetings.