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Say Audios To LOUD Audio Spots
By: Briskman Stanfield
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Have you ever wondered ‘why your TV volume has a mind of its own during commercial breaks? It is not your television. It is no fluke. It is planned!

Square showbiz, this is an advertising sound blast meant to call “Atten-HUT!” to viewers. In their own bizarre blaring way, those disturbing commercials were intended for people to tune in, instead of out. If this unnerving practice sounds illegal, it may be comforting to know that it will be...any day now.

It’s all a part of CALM, which has nothing to do with yoga, finding your center, or other forms of meditation. Yet, your nerves will be grateful as well as the others nearby who shout “Turn down the volume!!!” and hear back “…I never turned it up!”
 
CALM (the acronym for ‘The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act’) was actually passed in the House and Senate over one year ago, and was in a grace period to fairly allow television stations and cable companies to update their equipment.
 
However, starting this week, providers will be responsible for complying with CALM by keeping the volume of commercials at a level that is consistent with programming, rather than startling the innocent viewers when relaxing to their guilty (or not) TV-show pleasure, and/or awakening them from a sweet ‘sofa nap.’
 
If you are a victim who can identify with this dilemma, you are not alone; others have made countless complaints to television stations. But, thanks to Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif, who sponsored the initial bill, and Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y, who co-sponsored the act, the softer sound of commercials is officially in the works and ready to kindly roll.
 
As a result television stations and cable operators will now be responsible for monitoring the volume of national network, syndicated spots, and local ads with fines resulting from noncompliance.
 
Sounds like a great plan, but in cases where advertisers didn’t get the memo of ‘sell don’t yell,’ viewers can take action.
 
Just speak up! The FCC is soliciting viewers' comments during transition time. Report any loud commercials by calling 1-888-225-5322 with the time, date, description station or network Information or mail it in to Federal Communications Commission, Consumer & Government Complaints Division, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.


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About the Author

Briskman Stanfield is a freelance copywriter and all-around, behind-the-scenes team player.

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