Irritatingly Loud TV Commercials Provoke Federal Lawmaking

Irritation is now sufficient cause for federal legislation.

In its Wednesday mark-up session, the Senate Commerce Committee briefly discussed and then approved S. 2847, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act.

Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) described the bill and commented:

Excessively loud television advertisements may seem like a small thing, but to parents of young children, that is not a small matter, and it is distinctively obvious when advertising, all of a sudden the volume goes way up, and you have to adjust your remote control to punch it down and the program…it doesn’t make any sense, it’s unnecessary and they’re a big source of irritation for many television viewers.

This bill will help put a stop to the annoying practice of featuring television advertisements that are many times louder than television programming, and again I thank Sen. Whitehouse – not on this committee — for this bill and I’m happy to be a cosponsor.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) commented (at the 64:20 mark in the video):

This is one of those bills that all of us have gotten letters it, all of us have experienced it. It’s one of those deals that we all want to change it, and sometimes we forget that little things are a big deal in people’s lives. We weigh really serious, weighty matters here, but especially for a senior who does not – there are people who don’t have remote controls, or don’t have access to remote control – they have to sit through and listen to the blaring of these commercials. It is beyond irritating. It just infuriates me every time they do that.

The committee clearly stopped short of the real solution — subsidized remote controls.

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