Couch potatoes who might have hissed “There oughttta be a LAW” against pumping up the TV volume every time a blaring commercial jolted them out of a pleasant nap will be happy to know that there probably will be — and soon. A bill headed to the Oval Office for President Barack Obama’s autograph even has a relaxing, almost muted, acronym: the CALM Act, softening the full bureaucratic name of Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation.
The act would require TV advertisers to make sure that their commercials don’t play at a volume louder than regular TV programming, according to the Washington Wire political blog of The Wall Street Journal
The Federal Communication Commission has fielded complaints about loud TV ads since way before remotes were even a couch potato’s pipe dream. But “the nation’s electronic broadcasting regulator has simply told deafened viewers to hit the ‘mute’ button on their remote controls” since 1984, Washington Wire reported.
“Consumers have been asking for a solution to this problem for decades, and today they finally have it,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who sponsored the House version of the bill.
CALM “gives consumers peace of mind, because it puts them in control of the sound in their homes,” she said.
The act stipulates that the FCC must require advertisers to incorporate industry technology within a year to quit ramping up the volume to make sure everybody in the house hears their ad pitches. If it seems frivolous that Congress would zip the law through in just weeks with so many heavier items on the legislative docket, that just goes to prove that legislators listen, if voters holler loud enough.
“Consumers will no longer have to experience being blasted at. It’s a simple fix to a huge nuisance,” Eshoo said.
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