December 10, 2009

Senators Push for Reduction in the Volume of Excessively Loud Television Commercials

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced legislation that would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the volume of television advertisements. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act of 2009 (S. 2847) co-sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), would require the volume of television advertisements to be no louder than the volume of the program during which the advertisements appear.

“Every day millions of Americans are barraged with abrasively loud television commercials,” said Whitehouse. “With the digital transition complete and new broadcast technology available, we can finally take this long-overdue action to dial down to normal the loudness of these ads.”

“The last thing television watchers want is an advertisement shouting at them every time a TV program takes a commercial break,” said Schumer. “This legislation will go a long way in protecting TV viewers from disruptive and unnecessarily loud commercials.”

The FCC has received consumer complaints about commercials being louder than television shows since the 1960s. In the 25 quarterly reports on consumer complaints released by the FCC since 2002, 21 have listed as a top complaint the loudness of television commercials. Earlier this 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.”

Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) has introduced companion legislation in the House.


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