Dy’er sez: For all of you good folk who sit back to watch a little TV but find that you are scrambling for the mute button on the remote when a
break comes up (I know that I am one), Congress has passed H.R. 6209, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (or CALM act). The bill will go for a final vote soon, and then to the President’s desk.
Basically, the bill sets up regulations on how loud a commercial can be (the average volume of the show you are watching) and allows the FCC to oversee and regulate the specifics of the bill.
Detractors of the bill claim that the government should not be regulating such things, and that we have the ability to simply turn down the volume or use the mute button if the advertisements get too loud.
While I am not a huge fan of some government regulations (many laws and regulations seem to help rather than hinder illicit activities of major corporations – like vaccine companies who cannot currently be sued for inoculation related damages or proposed ‘carbon credit’ measures which will allow the largest corporate polluters to continue to do so ONLY if they pay a cut to the government in lieu of actually making them find ways to cut down their pollution output), but I do have to say that the legislative branch seems to have done something I agree with – a rare occurrence, indeed.
One can say that this could have been fixed by simply complaining to the broadcast companies or by boycotting the advertisers who make the commercials. I, for one, have already tried this (I used to actively refuse to purchase products advertised with these obnoxiously loud commercials, but now I tend to not pay attention to what’s being hawked on the TV after I hit mute – in effect, making every advertising penny spent on this type of marketing wasted; additionally I have written to advertisers, networks and cable companies to try to get them to understand that the loudness war they are waging on TV viewers is simply bad sport), and either know or know of many other who have done the same…and here we are still diving for the remote every fifteen minutes.
Government oversight of private business does have its place, and this is clearly within the bailiwick of congressional decree.
Let’s just hope that after the bill becomes law, the FCC doesn’t drop the ball due to the overt cronyism between the regulators and the regulated.
- US lawmakers target loud TV ads (alternet.org)
- “Congress passes bill that will limit TV commercial volume” and related posts (afterdawn.com)
- Super-loud TV commercials one step closer to extinction (arstechnica.com)
- Congress closer to putting sock in loud ads (adweek.blogs.com)