Is this the end for loud commercials?

The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act passes in the Senate an will become law if the House approves it. Isn't it about time?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

You're sitting there at home watching your favorite team toy with your emotions.

Suddenly, an extremely loud voice assaults your ears: "You know what your 2:30 in the afternoon feels like...right?"

At least that is the one commercial, peddling some fine caffeinated product called 5-Hour Energy, that, to my mind and ears, is louder than James Earl Jones shouting at a man who has just stolen his trousers in a cave.

There is no excuse for this excess racket. There even exist gizmos that help mitigate viewers' pain. Thankfully, it seems that sense might finally have prevailed on behalf of the senses. According to Ars Technica, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act is very close to becoming law.

It has passed the Senate and it needs just one more approval from the House for a little more peace to reign over your surround sound.

The bill asks the Federal Communications Commission to modulate as it regulates. Ads should no longer be able to boom out at decibel levels far beyond that of the accompanying program. I am still troubled that the term used in the act is "substantially" as one person's substantially can be another person's slightly.

However, Ars quoted Senator Chuck Schumer, a sponsor of the bill, as offering these calming words: "It's about time we turned down the volume on loud commercials that try to startle TV watchers into paying attention. This is a simple step that will keep ads at the same decibel level as the programs they are interrupting."

It takes a truly sad human being to feel their ad is not good enough to be accepted for its creativity or the strength of its message, leading to the need to shout a little louder in order to make the sale. Unfortunately, there are too many salesmen who believe that this is the way to pick up girls, too.