Turn it Down: Senate Passes Volume Control

The Senate recently passed a bill that requires television stations and cable companies to maintain the volume of TV commercials to the same level as the show in which they’re airing.  The House has passed similar legislation, but the two need to first be harmonized before being presented for the President’s signature.  If President Obama values his hearing like the rest of us, he won’t hesitate to pass this into law.

Of course, TV commercials are often loud by design.  Advertisers like pumping up the volume, because it gets the consumer’s attention; essentially making noise to be heard above the noise.  The FCC will soon eliminate that trick; an industry organization recently produced guidelines on how to process, measure and transmit audio in a uniform way, and the new bill requires the FCC to adopt those recommendations as regulations within a year and begin enforcing them a year later.

Naturally, eliminating blaring commercials won’t eliminate an advertiser’s desire to get consumers to listen to them, which begs the question: how much more obnoxious will the replacement be?

Author: Seth Heyman
Seth D. Heyman is a California attorney with extensive experience in advertising and marketing law, corporate law, contracts, governmental regulations, international business, and Internet law. He has counseled numerous successful companies, both public and private, and was responsible for regulatory compliance, contract management, corporate governance, and HR best practices for multiple organizations in many diverse industries, including marketing, telecommunications, energy, and technology development. He offers insight and guidance on federal and state direct mail, TV, radio, telemarketing, and Internet marketing laws, as well as online promotions, Internet privacy, data protection regulations, and similar matters.

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