December 15, 2010

President Signs Whitehouse Bill Into Law

Legislation Will Crack Down on Excessively Loud TV Commercials

Washington, DC – President Obama today signed into law legislation to crack down on excessively loud television commercials.  The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the volume of television advertisements.

“Most Americans experience the frustration of abrasively loud television commercials, with advertisers grabbing for our attention by ramping up the volume,” said Whitehouse.  “While this is far from the biggest issue we face, quieting these commercials to normal volume will mean one less annoyance in our daily lives.”

The FCC has received consumer complaints about commercials being louder than television shows since the 1960s. Of 25 quarterly reports on consumer complaints released by the FCC after 2002, 21 listed the loudness of television commercials as a top complaint. Last year Consumers Union, the nonprofit organization that publishes Consumer Reports, stated in testimony before the House of Representatives, “the CALM Act provides an elegant and common sense solution to finally ending a forty-five year consumer complaint in the United States.”

The bill was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA).

Now that the bill is law, the FCC will have one year to develop regulations requiring broadcasters to implement new technology to ensure that the volume of commercials does not exceed the average volume of the program during which they air.


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