Loud Commercials Could be Muted by Congress

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email
Commercials, they always pop up in the best part of the show, advertising the latest and greatest. For many viewers commercials often seem a lot louder than the show they were watching.

Japan's advertiser Dentsu Inc.'s Ken Aihara shows the company's "virtual Tokyo" in "Second Life" at the company headquarters in Tokyo, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2007. Aihara who oversees the "virtual Tokyo" believes such three-dimensional communication won't catch on for Japanese until the technology becomes usable on cell phones, which are more widespread than personal computers here, and are avidly used to pass the time and for messaging. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Commercials, they always pop up in the best part of the show, advertising the latest and greatest. For many viewers commercials often seem a lot louder than the show they were watching.

Now congress is urging the FCC to prescribe regulations limiting TV ads from being excessively noisy or having sound that is on average higher than the programs they run in.

Currently TV ads can't be louder than the loudest part of the shows they're in. Many times before a commercial, a TV show will drop their sound levels for a dramatic effect. That makes the ads seem extra loud when they pop up.

The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act or CALM is currently in a House subcommittee, but may never get voted on if broadcasters decide to regulate sound themselves.

The calm act was introduced in the house earlier this year and is now in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.


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