After a half century of complaints about loud television commercials, a new --- and welcomed --- federal law went into effect yesterday aimed at lowering the ad decibels, notes Grumpy Editor
Although the Federal Communications Commission since the 1960s has been receiving consumer complaints about TV commercials being louder than programming, it took a California congresswoman to do something about it.
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D., Calif.) said she came up with the legislation idea more than two years ago after a loud commercial interrupted a family dinner.
“TV programs use a variety of sound levels to build dramatic effect,” she said at that time. “But advertisements have been neither subtle nor nuanced. My bill reduces commercial volume, allowing them to only be as loud as the decibel level of regular programming. Consumers will no longer have to experience being blasted at. It’s a simple fix to a huge nuisance.”
She said the TV volume legislation brought more response than anything she has sponsored during 20 years in Congress.
Under the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, television commercials are required to have the same average volume as the programs in which they air.
Actually, the CALM Act passed the Senate and House two years ago and President Barack Obama signed it.
However, it took time for the (often not so speedy) FCC to draw up rules and for industry groups (including reluctant ad folks) to sort through technical issues.