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Are TV commercials still too loud 2 years after the CALM Act?

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Information, opinion suggests TV stations, advertisers continue bending the rules.

In December, 2012, the FCC passed the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act) which was designed to limit the volume of television commercial advertising.

Until this legislation, there was essentially no regulation concerning the volume of TV commercials, and it was commonplace for the loudness of TV adds to be substantially higher than the programming in which they were included.

Due to years of complaints, the CALM Act was signed into law on 12/13/12 requiring that TV stations maintain the loudness of commercials at equal levels to associated programming.

Information seems to indicate that the legislation was adhered to for a relatively short period following passage of the CALM Act.

Evidence overwhelmingly suggests that compliance was temporary, and loopholes were discovered that allowed TV stations raise volume levels during parts of commercials, most specifically at the beginning of adds.

What many believe has taken place since the 2012 ruling, is that TV programmers, discovering that there were ways around the CALM act, simply and gradually began returning to the former practices of elevated volume during adds. This was done in such as way as to not be so evident, ie; adhering to the law to begin with, at the same taking advantage of the opportunity to raise volume levels at the beginning of adds or at certain times during the adds.

It was also legislated that background music during TV adds could equal or exceed programming volume levels during the adds, giving programmers adequate leeway in “cheating” and getting away with it.

With the apparent lack of enforcement, the situation has, in the minds of many, almost returned to what it had been previous to the 2012 CALM Act. But complaints can, as before be registered if one is willing to take the time to pursue this with the FCC.

We'd like to know what you think... Comments welcome.

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