The Abrupt Loudness of Television Advertisements


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October 8, 2009

Washington DC—Joel Kelsey, Policy Analyst for Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, issued the following statement on the passage of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM act, out of a House subcommittee today. The CALM Act addresses one of the most frequent consumer complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC): the abrupt loudness of television advertisements.

Specifically, the Act would enable the FCC to monitor the volume of advertisements in TV broadcasts and cable and satellite programming. The volume levels of commercial breaks would have to be consistent with the audio loudness standards of the Advanced Television Systems Committee.

“This bill will help give consumers relief from advertisers who have been screaming in our ears at every commercial break,” said Joel Kelsey. “American families deserve to have peace and quiet in their living rooms without somebody blasting you off of the couch when an ad starts. Hopefully, this bill will pass quickly through Congress and the days of advertisers startling consumers into remembering their products will be over.”

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.

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