Extra-Loud TV Commercials Officially Banned by FCC

Published 2 years ago by

Loud TV Commercials Officially Banned by FCC Extra Loud TV Commercials Officially Banned by FCC

Watching TV has been a chore in recent years – and not just because of all the bad programming (Zing!). You’ve noticed it: you’re watching a show at what seems like a reasonable volume when all of a sudden, a commercial comes blaring in across your speakers. From there it’s a mad scramble for the remote, to bring relative peace and quiet back to your abode.

Well, after living under the tyranny of TV ads that can literally shout their sales pitch into your ear, we celebrate a day of liberation: TV advertisers are no longer allowed to bombard us with “extra-loud” commercials.

The ban went into effect at midnight, as part of new mandates handed down by the Federal Communications Commission, which adopted the new rule a year ago. The long-short of it is that commercials must now (gasp!) maintain the same relative volume as the programs they air during – though, there is plenty of wiggle room within that mandate that I’m sure will be exploited. Certain shows are pretty loud and obnoxious (Jersey ShoreBad Girls Club) so it could be argued their advertisements can be too. And what the exact definition of “relative volume” is, is anybody’s guess…

The FCC wants help enforcing the ruling from its on-the-street snitches (read: you): If you still encounter TV commercials that are assaulting your eardrums, you can call a number to report that advertiser (1-888-TELL-FCC). So, if there is a particular commercial that has really been trying your patience, now could be the time to drop a dime in revenge…

Hopefully, we are entering a new era of TV viewing in which our eardrums are safe. The only question now is: what trick will the advertising world next invent to keep commercials all up in your face?

Source: (hat tip to Mother Jones)

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  1. Is it sad that this got me more excited than the man of steal trailer? Lol

    • Is it sad that people can’t spell “steel”?

      • No you see they renamed it to Man Of Steal, now Superman is a criminal who goes around using he’s alien powers to rob people.

        • It’s actually the sequel to Real Steal.

      • About as sad as feeling the need to correct it and add nothing more to the discussion I suppose. Kudos though, always nice to find someone willing to correct spelling on the internet one discussion board at a time!

      • People? What makes you think that people in general cannot spell “steel”? You only witnessed one person misspell the word. Your statement should say. “I find it sad that the person above me made a typo”. Especially since he or she probably knows how to spell “Steel” and just made a simple mistake. You should cheer up! There’s a lot more to life than getting sad about simple little internet typos! It’s a beautiful day outside! Go enjoy it! No more tissues for you! :D

  2. Maybe next we can get rid of the annoying animated icons on the screens from the networks during their shows. Discovery was so bad with their animated flaming logo for the OCC show last week. I had to change the channel because it was so distracting.

    • Its better than the non-animated ones that, during long enough broadcasts, could cause burn-in on your TV

      • I would much rather they move

      • Agreed. Nothing like permanent Olympic logo rings in the corner of your TV.

  3. Finally the government focuses on the issues that matter :D

    But it was quiet annoying

    • Quiet? Hardly!

  4. Slightly off topic but, RIP Billy Mays.

    • How is that off topic?

  5. Thank you! I can sleep in peace finally


  7. Finally. It was always worse at night.

    • They actually do get much worse at midnight until 5am!

  8. how about they ban the logos PERIOD? Now everyone has to have them and they range from being annoying to taking up 1/3 of the screen!

    Kofi, did they provide any examples so we would know what “extra-loud” actually means?

    • YouTube has quite a few examples, I believe.

  9. I don’t know about anyone else, but I think there are still a few networks that seem to be embracing the tricky side of the wording of the CALM ACT (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act) and still cranking out ads at the very peak of the new limits that are now in place.

    “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.”

    It used to be that TV ads could be “no louder than the loudest part of the TV show they’re being shown in.” But then the tricky technical side of sound compression made it so that they were apparently adhering to the letter of the “law.” Now that they’ve adjusted the wording a bit, it still seems that a few networks are blasting the television consumer.

    Sadly, ads are the life blood of the TV industry. So we’re stuck. And this crap where the citizens will need to be the ones policing the volume standards of the CALM ACT seems like no one on the other side of the coin is going to try too hard to enforce it. (Again, the ad industry, which drops $20B per season, is a big beast to face off against.)

    And if you hit up the FCC page that addresses the act, and how citizens can enforce or help report perceived violations… there’s a decent sized laundry list of items you need to keep track of when you report your observation.

    Well, hat tip to Rep Anna G. Eshoo for authoring the CALM ACT some years ago. At least she took a swing at it. Hey, at least on some networks, the ads do seem to be quieter. For now. -brusimm

  10. I was hoping the TV manufacturers were going to add a normalization button or feature for commercial breaks that annoy the hell out of a lot if people but this is good to know. One problem for me I am in Turkey where all adverts still seem to have that booming cinema type voice over with the exception of a few.