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Late Thursday, the Senate passed a bill that would limit the volume on TV commercials to that of the surrounding programming.
The bill – called the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) – passed the house in December, and will return there for a final vote before it can go to the President for his expected signature.
“Every American has likely experienced the frustration of abrasively loud television commercials,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who introduced the bill in the Senate. “Today’s action by the Commerce Committee marks an important step toward eliminating at least one of life’s many daily stressors. This practice is designed to intentionally disturb our households to attract attention to the ad, and the American public has had enough.”
Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) introduced the companion legislation in the House. In her press release, she said, “It’s been a singular pleasure working on this legislation. The CALM Act is an easy fix for a tremendous nuisance. In my 17 years in the House of Representatives, I’ve never carried a bill which has been received with so much enthusiasm by people across the country.”
The bill will require the FCC to develop a regulation within one year that will limit the volume of TV ads. It will apply to all broadcast stations, cable carriers and other video content providers – but if they can demonstrate that conforming to the new rules will create a hardship, they can apply for a waiver to avoid compliance.
Now that the Democrats and Republicans have worked together to pass this long-overdue legislation, perhaps it heralds a new age of quiet cooperation.
Speaking of commercials, we just did a story on the worst TV commercial in America – and a really funny foreign one. Check ’em out!