HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Who Needs a Mute Button Anyway?

Posted December 10, 2009 at 11:05am

Screaming television commercials peddling everything from cleaning products to the latest sport utility vehicle might be a thing of the past if some Members of Congress get their way.

[IMGCAP(1)]Sorry, Congress won’t be getting rid of pesky TV ads altogether. Members just want to quiet things down.

Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) and Charles Schumer (N.Y.) introduced the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act on Tuesday — also known as the CALM Act — which would require the volume of television commercials to be no louder than that of the programs they accompany. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) already has introduced similar legislation in the House.

Members say “abrasively loud television commercials— have long plagued Americans just trying to relax in front of the tube. In a press release, Whitehouse and Schumer pointed to Federal Communications Commission data showing that in the 25 quarterly reports on consumer complaints released by the agency since 2002, 21 have listed “loudness of television commercials— as the No. 1 complaint.

“This time for this act is overdue,— Whitehouse said on the Senate floor. “All too often over the years, Americans, sitting down after a long workday or workweek to enjoy their favorite television shows have been assaulted by commercials at volumes that are degrees of magnitude louder than the shows themselves.—

Schumer added in a statement: “The last thing television watchers want is an advertisement shouting at them every time a TV program takes a commercial break.—

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