Loud TV Ads: So, Are They Quieter? They Should Be, Per The CALM Act 2012

by on February 15, 2013

in Entertainment

Loud Ads on TV in 2013

So I’m watching The Vampire Dairies and then over on Grey’s Anatomy, I found myself turning down the volume during the TV ads.  And then it dawned on me, “Hey!  I thought the ads weren’t supposed to be louder any more?

I say that because the CALM ACT was supposed to go into effect in December of 2012.

CALM act?  The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act technically went into effect in 2011, but television stations/networks were given a 1-year grace period to “deploy” the technology to tone it down.

It used to be that the TV ads could be no louder than the loudest part of the telecast they were a part of.  Then they tossed around some technical jargon on how the ads were technically not louder because of “compression.” If you ever paid attention to the shows with that in mind, there’s always a scene with a huge spike in noise.  I always suspected it was like that for the ads.

But now the CALM Act says that “TV stations, cable operators, satellite TV operators and other pay TV providers have to limit a commercial’s average volume to that of the programming that it accompanies.

And as December 2012 rolled around, I swore that I noticed that many network and cable channels had toned down some of the ads.  But tonight I was reminded of the CALM Act’s desire to quiet the ads when I was getting blasted again.

So with the act in play, you have to wonder who is monitoring the networks?  Who is going to slap the wrist of the various stations if they get out of volumetric hand?

FCC and the CALM Act 2012Turns out that the FCC will be relying on consumers to lodge the complaints when they detect or feel like TV ads are still being too loud.

So consumers will be monitoring the industry compliance. And it’s YOU who will be reporting the moment of noise to the FCC.

If you are experiencing loud ads still, you can fill out a complaint form over at the FCC.

But before you do, be prepared to supply the following information:

  • State if you watched the commercial on pay TV (such as on cable or satellite) or if you watched it on a broadcast television station using an antenna;
  • The name of the advertiser or product promoted in the commercial;
  • The date you saw the commercial;
  • The time you saw the commercial;
  • The name of the TV program during which you saw the commercial;
  • Which TV station (by call sign and/or channel number and the station’s community) or pay TV provider (with its system location) transmitted the commercial; and
  • If you watched the commercial on pay TV, the channel number on which you saw it and the cable programmer or network, such as CNN or HBO.

Or you can fire off a fax.  Seriously?  A fax number in this day and age?

So for compliance to be enforced, or at least to get enforcement options on the table, the viewers have to stand up and report moments of loudness from their TVs.  If ads will be contained, it starts with the TV consumer.

You can go to the FCC page for the CALM Act to read about how to report ad volume

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