TV fans, you will now get a break in your commercial breaks. Shouting TV ads are soon to become a thing of the past. Starting Thursday the federal communications commission is barring broadcasters and pay TV providers from airing excessively loud commercials.
Why were commercials ever so loud in the first place?
Assistant Professor at Bethany Lutheran College Kurt Paulsen says, "The advertisers realize people are not paying attention, their walking way, going to the other room to get their food."
Knowing advertisers are losing the viewer's attention they bump up the audio.
Paulsen says, "Saying even if you have gone into the other room we are going to blast our message at you so you have to hear it, that is how the obnoxious commercial came about."
According to the FCC, Loud commercials have been its leading source of complaints since its consumer call center began reporting top complaints in 2002. However, it took an act of Congress, the "Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act," or CALM Act, to finally mute the complaints.
Senior Manager of Network Engineering at HickoryTech Mark Sharpless says, "With the calm act what they are trying to do is manage the sound levels between your normal programming an the commercials."
The act mandates that the volume of commercials have to be within a range of 2 decibels more or less than the programming around them.
Paulsen says, "From my point of view advertisers now have to work harder to get people's attention, taking away the easy option is a good thing, that's going to make them so their job better and annoy people less."
The FCC will not monitor compliance, but instead will rely on consumer complaints to assist the commission to enforce the rule.
Sharpless says, "We would think it would only be positive for the customer, they have a voice now, if they have issues, there are standards and procedures on where they can go to get them resolved."