Com­mer­cial law turns the ads’ vol­ume down and keeps US view­ers calm

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

the end it took an act of Congress, but US tele­vi­sion ad­ver­tis­ers are fi­nally re­quired to do some­thing for which par­ents have been plead­ing for decades – turn down their ex­ces­sively loud ads. ‘‘A small Bill with a big im­pact for the Amer­i­can con­sumer’’ is how Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ann Eshoo de­scribes the CALM Act, which came into force this month to the blessed re­lief of count­less tele­vi­sion watch­ers. ‘‘TV is about to be­come qui­eter,’’ she says. For years Amer­i­cans have en­dured tele­vi­sion with ex­ces­sively loud com­mer­cials, but the CALM Act – Com­mer­cial Ad­ver­tise­ment Loud­ness Mit­i­ga­tion – is chang­ing that. ‘‘The rules re­quire that com­mer­cials have the same av­er­age vol­ume as the pro­grams they ac­com­pany,’’ says the Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion, which Congress em­pow­ered to en­force the new mea­sures. Eshoo, from Cal­i­for­nia, says the is­sue hit home with her four years ago dur­ing a fam­ily din­ner, when she was cook­ing and rel­a­tives were gath­ered around the tube. ‘‘Ev­ery­one was watch­ing and talk­ing and then the blast ar­rived . . . and I shouted out to my brother-in-law, ‘Do some­thing about that! Turn that thing down’,’’ Eshoo says. ‘‘And he turned around and said to me, ‘You’re the Con­gress­woman, why don’t you do some­thing about it?’ ’’ The FCC noted com­plaints about loud ads be­gan in the ear­li­est days of TV and were among the lead­ing causes of com­plaints since 2002, when it launched a call cen­tre.

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