As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!
     

Too-Loud TV Commercial Bill Passed the House

This article was written by in Consumer. 55 comments.


I last spoke about this back in October, and I’m afraid it fell off the viewscreen for a bit, but I learned yesterday that the “CALM Act of 2009″ (view on govtrack) passed the House of Representatives by a voice vote.

Unfortunately, a voice vote means nobody can tell me how many voted for and how many voted against, so I can’t even make an educated guess regarding its eventual fate in the Senate.

If you haven’t heard of this bill, it basically says a TV commercial can’t be “louder than the program it accompanies” nor can it be “excessively noisy or strident.” It’s a very simple bill (in fact less than two pages long), as all the technical parts are taken care of in an industry-produced set of guidelines called the “Recommended Practice: Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television.” I think you’ll agree that plenty of TV signal operators ignore these recommended practices.

I’ve only come across one criticism of the bill. To paraphrase, “There are many more important things our Congress should be working on.” I agree, and I believe that they are also working on those. On the other hand, this idea is at least thirty-four years overdue, and I doubt it takes long at all for a Representative or a Senator to make up his/her mind about it. If the bill does become law, this Congress will officially be my favorite Congress ever.

Ironically, since we turned off the regular TV service and are relying on almost-completely-legal Internet sources for our shows, we haven’t had any problems with commercial volume. The future wins again.

Published or updated January 11, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

Email Email Print Print
avatar
Points: ♦1,358
Rank: Quarter
About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Investor Junkie

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!? How sad is the state of affairs if anyone in Congress thinks about this for two seconds. Last time I checked I think they have bigger concerns to deal with.

If this isn’t about a “nanny state” I don’t know what is. If it’s too loud turn it down. Or better yet turn off the TV and don’t watch it if you don’t like it! Who was the bozo that started this law? Vote them all out in 2010 and 2012!

Reply to this comment

avatar JD

Well, if they WERE actually working on other things that were/are important, then I would agree with you ——– BUT, since none of them are doing anything that we the people have asked them to do, and are only working on the things that are important to THEM, then I say let them vote on the loud commercial issue.

Reply to this comment

avatar mike

dear investor junky, what are you an idiot who works for the advertising industry? what do you mean turn it down? i do not pay my cable company to turn off loud commercials that networks charge extra to broadcast! this law needs to be passed based on the amount of consumer complaints. you folks in the advertising industry need to wake up and stop pissing off potential customers!

Reply to this comment

avatar Investor Junkie

Mike,

Your statement is so off base it’s not even funny.

First off NO I don’t work for the ad industry.

Second, who pays for the shows that you watch? Have you ever heard of unintended consequences? Great you have a law that limits the volume. What was the purpose of the higher volume? To grab people’s attention to watch the ad. Less people will now watch the ads means the ads are less effective. Therefore the TV stations cannot charge as much for the ad spot (since it’s isn’t as effective). What will happen then is:
- either more ads are needed to make up for the revenue shortfall. Which means even more commercials than now.
- an increase in your cable bill because the channels increased their fees to the cable companies. No one was watching the ads. “i do not pay my cable company to turn off loud commercials that networks charge extra to broadcast!” You obviously don’t know where the income is coming from to watch your shows. Most of it is from the TV ads, only some is from the station charging the cable companies. No ads would mean you would have to pay a much higher cable bill.

In the end SOMEONE has to be pay for your dumb TV show! No such thing as a free lunch.

Third, last time I checked there are way more important things in our country our government should be focusing on. Loud commercials would be one of my absolute last item.

Fourth, If you don’t like it, don’t watch TV. I know you can’t get enough of Snooki, but there productive things to do than watch TV.

Fifth, buy a Tivo or your Cable provider’s DVR. Then you won’t see ANY commercials.

Sixth, “you folks in the advertising industry need to wake up and stop pissing off potential customers!” If you don’t like their techniques don’t buy their products! No one is forcing you to buy from a “scrupulous” company if you don’t like their ad techniques.

.

Reply to this comment

avatar Investor Junkie is a corporate mouthpiece

Anybody who spends as much time as you do replying to these posts must have an agenda.

Reply to this comment

avatar Noah

Fuck you buddy. Those commercials made me stop watching TV. How does that help them? When I used to watch programs on an actual Television, I would rather completely ignore the commercial for the simple fact that they decided to harass me in my home with their overly loud volume. They do NOT need to be the same constant volume as the 1-3 second loud explosion that occurred in the movie I watched. Fuck that, and fuck you.

Reply to this comment

avatar F U

You, sir, are an idiot. Alot of Americans watch TV, many of whom PAY FOR IT through cable, Dish, etc. As a consumer, I am am f-in sick to death of having to constantly adjust the volume on the TV, back and forth. LISTEN UP ADVERTISERS! I WILL NOT BUY YOUR JUNK IF YOU RAISE THE VOLUME ON MY TV! I boycott all advertisers who force this auditory rape on me and everyone else. Try putting some production value into a commercial without blowing out my eardrums and maybe I will buy your product. Otherwise, CONGRESS, PLEASE HELP STOP THIS AUDITORY RAPE BY ADVERTISERS!

Reply to this comment

avatar F U

One last thing – WE THE PEOPLE OWN THE BANDWIDTH AND CONGRESS LICENSES IT TO THE PROVIDERS! Thus, it is Congress’ responsibility to regulate it because Congress works for us. We all hate it and its our airwaves, so knock it the f off!

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,550 (Platinum)

While loud commercials are annoying, I don’t see why Congres has to be involved. I hope they are not spending too much time on this issue. There are many more important issues they could be working on. With more people time-shifting television programs and after the invention of the mute button, I think this is a waste of time and effort. I’d be happy if audio levels were constant and I’d prefer if young people had less exposure to commercials, but I don’t see how volume is a pressing national problem.

Reply to this comment

avatar Investor Junkie

You mention about less exposure to commercials. While I overall agree; Let’s look at it this way about ad banners (I assume the primary method you generate income) related to this site If a user installs an ad blocker on their browser how would they see your ads so you can generate income?? If you generate less income because of ad blockers, doesn’t that then generate less income for your site? What’s the net effect of this?

What the stations and advertisers are doing is using a method to grab your attention. If you don’t like it change the channel to another station that doesn’t do this. It’s a simple free market solution. Laws like this will cause ad rates to increase and TV profits to fall. How else can “free” TV remain free? Someone has to pay for it.

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,550 (Platinum)

Ad-blocking software is like the mute button. I’m not going to stop web site visitors from blocking ads. If that means I’ll have to rethink my own revenue strategy at some point, that’s what It’ll do. I think that’s a separate discussion. Television stations don’t air loud commercials because people are fast-forwarding or muting, they’re running them because most people don’t.

Aside from there not really being “free TV” anymore, I agree with you. But I also think we’ll be seeing much more in-program product placement.

Reply to this comment

avatar Jackie

Investor Junkie,
There is nothing “free” about my tv. I pay for it. $100 a month to Direct Tv. Ain’t “free”. What I do dispise is people like you. Debater, annoying confrontational, piece of blah.

Reply to this comment

avatar Smithee ♦1,358 (Quarter)

I wouldn’t say it’s pressing, but it is decades overdue.

I would advocate for the volume button or the mute button too, except that often, there is no warning that the show will be going to commercial, and the volume difference is instantaneous. It’s not just that the commercial is a little bit louder. It might as well be a fire alarm going off, the difference is so huge. By the time you get to the right button, the damage is already done.

In an ideal world, I agree that Congress shouldn’t be involved, but in this case the free market doesn’t care what the customer wants and will continue being obnoxious until they are forced to stop.

This has been a pet peeve of mine for my entire life, and I am thrilled to see something being done about it.

Reply to this comment

avatar Investor Junkie

@Smithee: You are saying this issue is so pressing and affects the lives others so much that you want the government involved? Please spare me the drama (not what’s on TV). If it was that much of a concern, a DVR or removing the TV altogether fixes the issue (I know you’ve done this). This is at worse case an annoyance, not some life threatening issue. Think how much money our government is spending to create this law, then enforce the law (if it passes) and then the cost what TV stations and advertisers must to do ensure they are in compliance. For what? Because you don’t like how loud commercials are?

If it was so bad people will CHOOSE NOT to watch that channel, buy DVRs, or do something else. That’s the free market working! If nothing is done by consumers then that’s also the free marketing working! Based upon how long commercials have been like this the people have spoken! People are stating it’s not much of a concern. Just because it’s an annoyance by you doesn’t me everyone else cares. Free markets are determined by consumers, NOT by the producers. If the consumers don’t like what the producers are creating then they will stop using that product. Loud commercials included.

It’s a stupid law and shows how much government wants control over you.

Reply to this comment

avatar Apex

It is not costing that much. They are up there working on something. If it’s not this they will be creating some bill, maybe a new tax. The cost of creating a new bill is not marginally noticeable. They are going to create 5000 of them every year, it’s just a matter of which ones. Perhaps there is some bill for research on mice turds that you would sooner have them working on. Cause they have plenty of those bills too you know. There can only be a handful of really huge issues. There are going to be thousands of bills about not huge issues. This is just one of them.

Enforcement isn’t expensive either. The FCC doesn’t really have to do anything. The law is there, don’t violate it. If you do, someone reports you, the FCC investigates and you get fined. Should we get rid of the decency laws? You wanna see porn on prime time. Wow, what must it be costing us to enforce that.

So yes, I would like to be spared the drama of your comment. Cause its kind of rant that doesn’t have much basis in fact. And it’s got a little yelling in it. Where is the mute button?

Reply to this comment

avatar Investor Junkie

@Apex: So the suggestion our government is working we might as well them create laws to meet their “law quota”? What kind of argument is that?

How about fixing and discussing the real issues? Oh I donno let’s start simple – The budget deficit and how the government plans on reducing it? I never suggested we must be lawless and you are mincing my words. I never said anything about porn on prime time though an augement can be made against regulating that. Who determines what’s ‘decent’? Oh the horrors of seeing nude people on TV, many other countries do! As a parent I regulate what my children see or don’t see. Laws definitely serve a purpose, but why should they regulate what I want to do when it’s not affecting others? Don’t like it turn off the TV.

I see no point in spending our tax dollars, when it’s much cheaper for the consumer to find alternatives.

What’s the point of creating a law when:
A. Is it _really_ an issue that must be focused on? (I’ll add underlines so you think I’m not yelling)
B. In the end for something that isn’t life threatening to others or the person themselves.
C. In some ways technology is already replacing the need for this law

While enforcing may _not_ be costly, it sure can be costly to the TV stations. Who determines it’s too loud and how loud is too loud? How will it be measured? Will the FCC create some board and research how this will be done? So while you poo-poo the costs, why should there be any costs to something that doesn’t affect anyone in a real negative way? Because a commercial is too loud? You are telling me that’s statement alone is not insane?

So be happy our government approves laws like this, while the real issues are not even discussed and kicked down the road.

avatar john palen

I guess this guy thinks the goverment should not have made a “do not call list” to combat telemarketers either. must be a repulican!

avatar john palen

forgot the b lol

avatar Apex

I never said we should meet a quota. I said they are going to produce lots of bills about this that seem trivial. They do every year. You want to start a political movement to stop that? Go ahead. In the meantime, this is what happens in Washington. And accepting that, this particular bill is not something to use to make the argument that they have more important things to work on. There are always important things to work on and every year, in the midst of those important things they pass lots of other not very important bills. Some not very good, some pretty good. I think this one is pretty good, you don’t. That’s fine. But the argument that there are more important things to work on is a red herring, cause as I explained in my other comment, there is plenty of time for the 535 senators and congressman to come up with lots of bills. It’s not like the health care bill is suffering because someone put this bill together.

You said: “I never suggested we must be lawless and you are mincing my words. I never said anything about porn on prime time though an augement can be made against regulating that.”

You are aware of the concept of analogy right? I never said you said we should put porn on TV (although after your faux anger you admit you pretty much are for it). The point was that most people are not for it and it’s an example of where most people think some government regulation is good even if its not the most pressing issue of the day.

You continue with the cost, which there is no noticeable cost. You ask if we should focus on it, when we focus on lots of non critical issue and people generally like that. You are concerned about the costs on the business of determining how loud the commercial is? You mention how technology is solving this problem but you don’t think technology can easily regulate the volume of a commercial to be at the same level as the TV station programming. Specific steps are taken to raise the volume, all the companies have to do is stop taking steps to raise the volume. And if it is a problem of still have a slightly louder volume technology could be quickly implemented to automatically adjust volume levels to be equal to the programming norm.

So Lets just make the lines clear. You want the government to get out of putting any restrictions on pretty much anyone as long as they don’t harm someone else. You are a true pure libertarian in that respect. That’s fine.

You are trying to make the case against this bill by arguing from a point of authority on what this bill will do and cost. But your arguments don’t make much sense. They are a bit of a knee jerk reaction based on your ideology. And you are entitled to your ideology. In certain situations I probably agree with it. But it does not help your cause to make an argument based on impact when the impact is going to be so minor. If you want to use a slippery slope argument, while I might not agree, atleast the argument would make some sense. This bill has almost no impact on any business or cost. It’s just giving you a soap box to rail against all government intervention, which I think we are already clear about your view. You are against it. Point taken.

Reply to this comment

avatar Debmo52

I agree with you totally. Sometimes I’m so tired I fall asleep during a program I’m watching only to be slammed awake by a thunderous commercial that must be at least twice as loud as the program and makes me feel as though my heart skips a beat or two. I don’t see how turning down the loudness is going to affect their sales enough for advertisers to have a lot of losses to pass on to the consumer. I too would turn down the mute button if I knew a commercial was about to be aired. I shouldn’t have to miss a program I want to watch simply because I don’t want to listen to loud advertisements, and being told to turn the channel to avoid them will only result in having the same problem on a different channels as well. If everyone who feels the same way were to mute the ads, what exactly are the advertisers actually accomplishing except to drive away consumers. While it’s true that Congress has many other important things to consider – even more important than a driver’s cell phone use while driving, which sounds like something they may soon be considering – should I be told to stay off the highway if I don’t want to be involved in an auto accident with someone who was texting while driving? No. I’m happy to have Congress address such issues.

Reply to this comment

avatar Apex

Smithee

You are taking a lot of heat for this. I am a conservative and like the free market. But I do not understand the general devotion to purism in capitalism and the free market among some conservatives.

Does anyone really believe 100% pure unregulated, free market capitalism is the way we want things to go? I don’t want government telling businesses how to do business, what they can charge, how they can pay people, etc. But at the same point in time I think it is not only reasonable but absolutely essential that the government set some guidelines. Some rules to the game if you will, that make it a better experience for everyone and keep the human’s natural inclination towards greed and corruption in check.

We have rules against false advertising. Pure capitalism without the government getting involved should take care of that though right. The companies that lie will soon lose all their customers and the market will self correct, right?

We used to have rules about banking reserve requirements, loan qualifications requirements, ability to repay requirements. We relaxed those drastically. But free market capitalism took care of that right? It weeded out the bad banks that made risky loans and just left the good ones having and actually making the economy stronger not weaker right? Only not so much.

Do we suppose that Congress only works on the really big issues? Do we suppose that our senators and representatives are working 100% of the time day and night on health care, climate change, war on terror and jobs? Heck no. 10 committee brokers get in a room and try to hash out a deal while 524 other members go do who knows what. There are more than enough staff and brain trusts to be working on lots of issues. This issue really doesn’t take that much time. It’s a 2 page bill for crying out loud. Heck they turn out a 1000 page health care bill in a few weeks and then they come up with 500 page amendments in a weekend and in a few more weeks its 2000 pages. Perhaps they could take a lesson on brevity from this bill and try to trim down the health care bill a bit so that the people working on the important stuff can fully comprehend what the important stuff is actually going to do.

So is it minor, yeah its minor. So what, its sensible. I like sensible. And its not nanny state. Is it really so unreasonable to ask that when someone advertises they not stick a megaphone in your ear and yell at you to get your attention. Develop a good product and a clever ad campaign. If you have to resort to tricks and yelling to sell your product, I am not interested in “protecting” your lack of free market ingenuity from a little sensible government regulation.

I am a conservative and I like sensible regulation. FDA, USDA, FAA, I happen to think these are good things. Far from perfect but a lot better than free market free-for-all.

Reply to this comment

avatar Leonard

Since when did the Senate spend valuable time on annoying little conveniences? Does this really impact anyone’s life significantly?

Reply to this comment

avatar Tom Dziubek

I’m hoping this got a voice vote because of how relatively minor it is and that any deliberation took less time than it took to read Smithee’s article. Assuming all that is true, then it should also address any questions of “doesn’t Congress have more pressing things to worry about?” with the answer being, “Yes, that’s why we quickly passed this one. Next.”

I’m don’t know the full details of this bill such as exactly what media is affected and when enforcement goes into effect so I’d like to quickly point out that CONSUMERISM COMMENTARY PODCASTS CAN BE HEARD HERE BY CLICKING ON THE RED “PODCAST” LINK AT THE VERY TOP OF THE PAGE.

I agree with Apex. I’m conservative but you need the government there to keep the companies in line. I don’t know whether the whole varying commercial audio levels are intentional or simply carelessness on one (or more) party’s end but, yeah, I think it needed to be addressed.

Reply to this comment

avatar Holly

Thanks for the update! I’m looking forward to not having to sit on the remote in order to turn it down every 5-10 minutes (fingers crossed)!

Reply to this comment

avatar SimplyForties

hmmm….wonder if our representatives felt ridiculous about having to address this issue. I hope so!

Reply to this comment

avatar MikeJones

I find loud commercials just as annoying as the next person, does anybody remember seeing something on ABC news last week that plugs in between your cable box and TV called SRS MyVolume that regulates TV volume at the source and eliminates the violent volume fluctuations on TV? This CALM Act is a nice idea, but it won’t fix the problem. Its the way that commercials are compressed that makes them seem so loud, even if broadcasters regulated “perceived volume” the volume would still fluctuate drastically between channels (still very annoying). A device like SRS MyVolume would be the end-all solution, not regulation.

Reply to this comment

avatar Stephen S

Woo Hooo! I hope this becomes law soon! For decades now, the tv broadcasters either denied it, or said there was nothing they could do. Well, denial was foolish as anyone who is not deaf (yet) could hear THAT lie. And in the world of audio electronics, there is a simple device called a compressor. A compressor / limiter squashes down any sound signal above a set level. You can probably get one for $20 these days. So, again, the broadcasters have been LYING to us. A quality of life issue that can be so easily addressed is definitely the right place for Our Government Of By and For the People to regulate.

Reply to this comment

avatar Jim

I agree with Apexs comments above.
This bill is 50 years over due.

Reply to this comment

avatar DX

wow, some of you people are clueless. The loud commercial problem isn’t channel specific. You will find these loud and annoying commercials on almost ALL channels. In regards to buying a compressor – you can not buy a compressor for $20. That piece of equipment is more readily used in a recording studio. Not your average home audio set-up. So you’re telling the American public to go buy a compressor. We shouldn’t have to buy anything additional in order to avoid these overly loud obnoxious commercials.

Reply to this comment

avatar Stephen S

DX: You are correct, I looked and cannot get a compressor for $20. (I did say PROBABLY for $20 though). I found a good used one on Amazon for $62. Also the SRS MyVolume one mentioned above is going for $99, it looks nice too. STUDIO quality compressors are indeed much more, and would be exactly what the broadcasters could ‘plug into’ their output to solve the problem. But they won’t. Unless the law makes them. Getting back to your home, many folks spend thousands on their home entertainment systems. I don’t think spending $60 to $300 or so to solve a frustrating annoyance would be out of the question. But I do agree with you, we shouldn’t HAVE to, the Law should Force THEM to do it.

Reply to this comment

avatar Bob

Anyone and I mean anyone who opposes this bill is one a Republican for big business, not older (whom these comericals really effect, and stupid. Yes Congress has a lot to do but doing something like this is part of their job because we know big business (tv) will do nothing about it. The ONLY reason anyone does not want this bill is because they benefit by our suffering. I realize the Republican party ( I am not Democrat) followers the commerical idea of say it long enough and LOUD enough and a lot of people will buy it. Time to show these fools you cannot fool all the people.

Reply to this comment

avatar Bob

P.S. not everyone especially the old can afford the time and hiring someone to put in some “unnecessay” volume control.

Reply to this comment

avatar Stan Sansom

Yea thats right, just turn it down. Bull, I’m trying to relax and watch a show. Then here come the commercials. Grab the remote – turn down the volume, opps the show is back on – grab the remote and turn it back up – what was said in the beginning after the commercial. How knows. There is an old saying, ” Yell and people will walk if not run away – speak softly or whisper and people will strain to hear what is being said”. Wake up Business Owners – the only impact your making is a bad one. The first one to figure out how to talk to people wins. Advertisers need to take a course on human behavior.

Reply to this comment

avatar consumer

we just dont watch tv commercials. we dont even purchase the stuff they advertise on tv anymore. we dont know what it is, we have become used to muting the commercials all the time now. everyone in my family does the same, including all my friends. commercials to us are nothing but a noise maker. like i said everyone i know now is just muting tv commercials because they are too loud. a major lose on the networks and sponsers, keep us the loud commercials. you wont sell a thing to us, and a few million other people like us who know your commercials are too loud and we dont even have a clue what you’re trying to sell us. TOO LOUD…..get it? ssshhh….the commercial is on….oh i mean the movie……….

Reply to this comment

avatar Karen

When does this bill take effect because as far as I can see, nothing has changed. Commercials here are as loud as ever. Right now I mute them all, and watch as little tv as I can.

Reply to this comment

avatar CLF

I have hoped for years, someone would do something about the loud volume. It along with other loud music, etc is damaging our children’s hearing, no one seems to cares. I realize the need for the ads, but please let it be the same volume as the programs you are watching.

Reply to this comment

avatar tom

I am so sick of commercials. Just for kicks I kept a timer on my tv to go off every commercial, and apparently you’ll only get about 5 or 6 minutes more of what your trying to watch over the amount of commercials. Aka a 30 minute program will have atleast 15 minutes of commercials. That is outrageous! It truly makes me angry that we live in a world where advertising is so prevalent, you can’t even watch tv without somebody trying to get you to shovel out your dough for “this state-of-the-art new product that’s better than anything else on tv, plus its gunna save you money!”. All of this makes me sick. The world would be a better place with less ads. There trying to brainwash people by using certain images and phrases to go along with a product. Its ridicolous, they want to create a need for a product that is by no means a necessity. Too much is spent on advertising its one of the biggest industries in the world for crying out loud. I hope one day there will be laws, limits, or hopefully bans on advertising. Its obvious there’s too much of it everywhere

Reply to this comment

avatar Gina

Cable television bills are ridiculously high, I quit over 18 months ago. I hate commericials, so I Netflix it all the way!

Reply to this comment

avatar Dale

Really, try Bright House Cable (aka: Dim House). I called them, the decibel level changes as much as 20% from the program to the commercial. I ask them why BH doesn’t keep the volume even, Save Our Ears! Response from BH; “BH only transmits what the station sends them.” I asked them if they have the ability to control the level, the response was yes but BH won’t do that. Customer Service Oriented company? Hopefully BH will comply with the new (when passed) rule, constant volume. Although I am sure, someone will find a loop hole to loop around the idea of keeping our hearing protected. Let’s see what will they screw (polite) with next to catch our eye!

Reply to this comment

avatar Dragon

My thinking is, ads should not be any louder than TV shows. None, whatever.

Reply to this comment

avatar Network Killer

I have a solution for all of you that will teach the assholes who come up with newer/better ways to piss off their viewers. Download the show you like to watch for free using the torrent network. This screws EVERYONE (the network, broadcaster, camera guy, actors, etc) on the other side of the television and will force them to get their act together if they don’t want to continue encouraging people to steal their programming. I NEVER watch TV anymore because I just can’t stand the ads being played at such loud levels. It’s a dirty trick and it should be met with the same type of devious attitude.

Has this ever happened to you?: It’s late at night and you want to watch some TV, so you put the tv just barely loud enough so that you can hear it but not wake up the little ones. And then BAM, one of these dumbass commercials comes on and wakes everyone up. It’s bullshit and it should be criminal for broadcasters to do this to their viewer. But of course, our crappy political system doesn’t allow for politicians that will do the right thing, we are stuck with lobyists and puppets who do whatever is good for their pocket book. Do we not all pay for the cable/satellite service that brings programming into our homes? How is it that we’re no longer considered the customer? It is sickening to me that I actually had to pay for this aggrevation.

TAKE A STAND! If you want to take action in a way that will most certainly be felt, do this: cancel your television service and download all of your favorite shows for free from the torrent network. Most shows are available within minutes after they are broadcast. If you don’t know what torrent is, Google it! 99% of the shows you can download have already had the commercials stripped out of them. So no need to scramble for the mute/fastforward button.

Who’s laughing now?

Reply to this comment

avatar Dragon

So, I see the bill passed the House with a quick voice vote. What’s holding the Senate up? It would take two minutes at most. GET IT DONE!

I see some think that the government should not get involved. I have news for you. We the people are involved and we have been pushing this for decades. IT IS ABOUT TIME!

Reply to this comment

avatar JD

Well, if they WERE actually working on other things that were/are important, then I would agree with you ——– BUT, since none of them are doing anything that we the people have asked them to do, and are only working on the things that are important to THEM, then I say let them vote on the loud commercial issue. Not a thing wrong with it.

Reply to this comment

avatar Jonathan R.

Ok this is the most RETARDED thing iv seen in a long long time , i agree commercial’s are too loud at time’s (in my OPINION!) but get real if i don’t like the advertisement or how it is advertised than what happens? well i do 1 of a few things ether i don’t listen to the add. or i mute it or i am annoyed at it and in all cases they lose my sale .. But a Law?!
no f’ing way should they be able to pass a law on Opinion based subjects like this for example ( over 50% of people would agree that is is more dangerous at night than during the day so lets make a law saying NO Open stores after sunset.)
sounds stupid to me but how different is it from the opinion that an ad is too loud , it dose not hurt you harm you or have any bad effects on you (aside from annoyance *opinion based*) so why would we allow such a f’ed up law to be allowed , it only opens a door for other such laws and takes from freedom 1 bite at a time!.

Reply to this comment

avatar Dragon

Not sure that an unnecessary loudness of ads on TV equates to no open stores after sunset…

Reply to this comment

avatar DLW

I have also started muting all commercials before they even start. I will not buy from any louder than normal advertiser. Besides, when cable TV was being introduced years ago it was to be commercial free to justify the costs.

Reply to this comment

avatar Amnemoe

Loud commercials are an annoyance, intrusive and a call for some regulation. I’m not saying the advertisers should make less loud commercials, but broadcasters should ensure that volume levels do not fluctuate between the ads and programming. I want to control the volume of the programming and ads that come into my home, without having to inconvenience myself by adjusting the remote every eight minutes.

Reply to this comment

avatar Ginger Kid

I’m a little late to this thread, but happened to stumble upon it when I googled “commercials are too loud” after nearly being blasted off my sofa when my program went to a commercial break. I remembered hearing something about this legislation and wanted to know the results.
At any rate, I’m glad the government is stepping in (or attempting to). I equate it to living in an apartment building with a noisy neighbor. After so many nights of having a neighbor screaming and banging on the walls, you’re most likely to go to the landlord and ask him/her to get involved.
On another note, I find it slightly ironic that someone who rails against the “waste” of government time spends so much time on a message board hating on people for their opinions.

Reply to this comment

avatar K

The Los Angeles atenna broadcast of Familly Fued and it’s commercials are much louder than the other channels, (ie) channels 2,4,5,7,11, and 13, it is extremely annoying.

Reply to this comment

avatar Dragon

Yeah, my wife and I get the sound just right, and then a commercial will yell into our ears. Such commercials will not sell us anymore than what we already buy, IMO.

Reply to this comment

avatar Carol Anne Smith

Tru TV which was Court TV is playing the commercials so loud that it is frightening! It’s the loudest that I have ever heard. And for the record, the reason that the government gets involved is b/c very large corporations tend to do what they want to do and the people who are paying for services have very little to say. It is unfortunate but something should be done and I, personally, do no care who can help. We are in our own homes and the sponsors should not be turning the volume up at the rate they do. A little louder to catch our attention is one thing but when they start blaring that noise without my consent – that is bothersome to me especially at night time. I live in an apartment building and my neighbors can hear when my TV is blasting commercials. 5-17-11

Reply to this comment

avatar Foxtrot

This bill was incorporated into another which Obama signed into law Dec 15, 2010.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-2847

I gotta say my commercials are no less painful. Seems like big business wins again!

Reply to this comment

avatar JZ

I read allot of comments, but hadn’t noticed if anyone addressed the fact that is messing up our hearing…..they talk about loud music, etc….damaging hearing….well these VERY LOUD COMMERCIALS WITH THEIR BLASTING MUSIC ETC. IS MESSING WITH MY HEARING…MAYBE WHEN WE ALL SUFFER MORE HEARING LOSS WE CAN HAVE A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT FOR THE ONES THAT HAVE DECIDED WE HAVE TO HAVE ALL THIS CRAP SO LOUD. I CANNOT STAND BY MY REMOTE 24/7 TO TURN IT UP OR DOWN ….AND I AM TOTALLY SICK OF IT….I CAN’T SEE BUYING MORE EQUIPMENT….I CANNOT AFFORD DISH, CABLE, DIRECT TV….SO ALSO DO TO OUR GOVERNMENT, WE HAD TO PURCHASE BOXES TO ATTACH TO OUR TELEVISION TO BE ABLE TO HAVE JUST NORMAL TELEVISION….WE HAD TELEVISION FOR OVER 50 YEARS WITHOUT HAVING TO DEAL WITH GOVERNMENT CONTROL AND MAKING US PURCHASE MORE CRAP….THEN I THINK THE GOVERNMENT CAN STEP IN AND REGULATE THIS LOUD CRAP PLEASE.

Reply to this comment

avatar Dragon

According to this, it may have passed, but there is a one year wait for advertisers to get their act together:
http://www.paramuspost.com/article.php/20101219174455453
I

Reply to this comment

avatar Jennifer

I have no stake in this other than as a working mom who would like to enjoy a show at the end of a long day without having to worry that the Quicken or 1-800-PETMEDS commercial is going to come on and wake up my toddler while I’m grabbing a glass of water in the kitchen…as most people do during the commercial breaks. I get why these advertisers do this though I would NEVER utilize ANY OF THESE these companies on sheer principal. To me this is the equivalent of restaurants or tax preparers that pay people to shove spinning signs in my face or accost me with flyers; except that this happens in my own home and with the cable that I pay for. Saying that I should just turn off the TV is stupid; I work really hard (partly to pay for little luxuries like TV) and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask the cable company to stop letting it’s advertisers scream at me for an extra fee…I’m assuming there must be one. I suppose I could cancel my Direct TV subscription and spend my evenings sorting my dryer lint to knit sweaters with or carving soap sculptures of popular brands of soap out of other brands of soap…but I am SANE so I unwind by watching a couple shows like 99.9% of the rest of America…except Investor Junkie apparently. I do agree that there shouldn’t be a law governing this. There should have to be. We shouldn’t have to mandate littering or speeding either; they should be common sense and human decency! Honestly, I’m surprised one of the big cable providers hasn’t wised up and come up with a volume guarantee as part of their service plan. I’d sign up with that company in a heartbeat…even if it cost a little more to offset the lost “shout premium” that some advertisers are paying. It would be worth it to be able to relax with an episode of Gypsy Sisters (jk of course. How is THAT show still on?!) without hovering over the mute button like a ninja for fear of commercials waking up my son.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Connect with Facebook

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: