You’ve experienced it at some point: The television show you are watching goes to commercial, and then all of a sudden an extremely loud advertisement about soap or a minivan is blaring on your TV.
Advertisers do this on purpose to get your attention. And the tactic certainly works, as you usually turn to your TV — if only to turn the volume down.
But the days of annoyingly loud TV commercials may be a thing of the past, as the CALM Act is now in effect, reports the Associated Press.
The CALM Act is an aptly named law which stands for the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. The rules were actually adopted last year by the Federal Communication Commission, which gave the television industry a 1-year grace period to comply.
With the law now fully effective, television operators and advertisers will have to limit the volume of TV commercials by prohibiting the ads from having a volume louder than the program’s content. The CALM Act will apply to both cable and satellite operators, reports the AP. But radio listeners are out of luck — they may still need to keep a hand close to the volume knob when a commercial airs.
Viewers who still experience loud TV commercials can file a complaint with the FCC. Viewers should be prepared to specify information about the TV commercial, the TV station, your TV provider, and the allegedly offending advertiser.
You can file a complaint electronically using the Commission’s online complaint form. You may also file your complaint by fax to (866) 418-0232 or by letter mailed to the FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries & Complaints Division, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, D.C., 20554.