The FCC Implements The Calm Act Today Banning Loud Commercials
I think most of us will agree there is nothing more irritating than when your television program goes to commercial and all of sudden the volume has cranked up so much it can startle you. Why is that? Evidently I’m not the only one who finds that situation irritating. The Federal Communications Commission is fed up with the practice too. That’s why the FCC is implementing the “Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act,” or CALM Act. The act will keep broadcasters and pay TV providers from airing excessively commercials.
If you wonder why commercials are so much louder at times then the program you’re watching, it’s because the levels are set by so that the sound levels don’t damage their equipment. But that level represents a peak sound meant to accommodate for when something like a gunshot or explosion goes off during a show.
Advertising creators routinely crank the sound of their ads to just under that peak level, so what ends up happening is we are listening to a commercial that might as well be a bomb blast!
Loud commercials have been a leading source of complaints to the FCC since its consumer call center began reporting top complaints in 2002. Congress mandated the change in 2010. Last year, the FCC set a December 13, 2012, deadline for full compliance.
If you have a complaint, you can file it using the online complaint form 2000GB at fcc.gov/complaints.