Finally, all of those obnoxiously-loud TV commercials will soon be illegal -- actually against the law. The U.S. Senate passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act this week, putting the FCC in charge of TV commercial regulations about volume.
CALM MEANS NO MORE STARTLE RESPONSES
I can hardly wait. No more leaps for the remote, after you've already spilled the bowl of popcorn and made the cat leap three feet straight up from your lap. A person will be able to actually relax on the sofa and watch TV, instead anticipating the next commercial so you can hit "mute" before the abrasive volume jumps to 'screaming' range. You can't legitimately call yourself a 'couch potato' if you're really exercising -- all that leaping up is aerobic.
The CALM bill was approved by the House of Representatives last year, where it will return for a final vote before President Obama signs it into law.(Read Ethic Soup's first post on the bill here.)
For decades, TV viewers -- that's all of us in these United States -- have criticized the absence of volume control on commercials -- often much louder than the program they were watching. The bill asks for the FCC to devise regulations so that ads can't be substantially higher than the program material they are accompanying.
"It's about time we turned down the volume on loud commercials that try to startle TV watchers into paying attention," said Schumer. "This is a simple step that will keep ads at the same decibel level as the programs they are interrupting. TV viewers should be able to watch their favorite programs without fear of losing their hearing when the show goes to a commercial."
CLICK & READ: "LOUD TV COMMERCIALS BANNED: PRESIDENT SIGNS CALM ACT"
by Sharon McEachern