March 31, 2023

Sen. Whitehouse, Rep. Eshoo Reintroduce Bill to Stop Excessively Loud Commercials

Washington, D.C. –Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) yesterday reintroduced the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Modernization Act, bicameral legislation that would update the CALM Act, a law enacted in 2010 to limit the loudness of TV ads.

The CALM Modernization Act extends the CALM Act’s prohibitions to all ad-supported streaming services to ensure that the volume of commercials on streaming services is not louder than regular programming.  It also strengthens the ability of the FCC to investigate and enforce violations of the CALM Act by broadcast, cable, and satellite TV operators and requires a study analyzing the effectiveness of the CALM Act in moderating ad loudness.

“Consumers are fed up with advertisers blaring TV commercials at disruptively high volumes because of a weak FCC enforcement regime and a loophole for streaming TV,” said Sen. Whitehouse.  “I’m pleased to partner with Congresswoman Eshoo to strengthen our CALM Act to clamp down on loud ads on streaming platforms and give viewers a break.”

“I authored the CALM Act in 2010 with Senator Whitehouse to put an end to the booming ads on TV that were highly annoying for consumers.  Since the law was enacted, new popular streaming services have recreated the practice of loud ads because the old law doesn’t apply to them, and consumers continue to complain about loud ads on broadcast, cable, and satellite TV,” said Rep. Eshoo.  “Today, we’re updating the legislation for the benefit of consumers who are tired of diving for the mute button at every commercial break, regardless of what platform they use.”

“Consumers don’t like loud commercials any more than they did in 2010, when the original CALM Act authored by Congresswoman Eshoo and Senator Whitehouse was signed into law.  And they don’t distinguish between high volume commercials aired on traditional television platforms versus the many streaming video services accessed by consumers in 2023,” said Jonathan Schwantes, Senior Policy Counsel of Consumer Reports.  “Consumer Reports strongly supports the introduction of the CALM Modernization Act as a necessary update to the statute, and we urge Congress to act on it this year.” 

Text of the bill can be found here.

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921