Loud Commercials

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The problem of loud commercials is not new. It has bothered consumers and endangered their hearing for decades. Although loud commercials have been at the top of consumer complaints to the FCC for decades, official FCC policy recommended that consumers “mute” commercials if they find them excessively strident.

Rep. Eshoo introduced the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM Act) to remedy the problem of loud television commercials. The CALM Act was signed into law by President Obama on December 15, 2010 and went into effect on December 13, 2012.

On June 5, 2013, Rep. Eshoo and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking for information on the progress of the law’s implementation. The FCC’s progress report can be found here.

Following the release of the FCC’s progress report on June 27, 2013, Rep. Eshoo and Senator Whitehouse have asked the FCC to continue tracking complaints from consumers reporting that commercials are louder than the program they accompany. As part of this request, the FCC will issue quarterly reports through December 31, 2014, aggregating these complaints and any observed patterns of non-compliance.

Additional information on what the CALM Act requires can be found on the FCC’s website.

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