You know the feeling. You’re sitting there on your couch, enjoying one of your favorite television programs in real time (as opposed to with your DVR), and when the show cuts to commercial, the noise level in your living room seemingly spikes up a few dozen decibels, prompting you to cover your ears and reach for the mute button. And although people have been complaining about overly loud commercials since the dawn of time, someone in a position of (relative) authority has finally decided to do something about it!
As you might expect, the FCC already has restrictions in place that say commercials can be no louder than the loudest parts of the programming they accompany. Well, if the shows you watch happen to feature any explosions, car crashes, or other assorted loud noises, chances are that the commercial sponsors of this program are taking advantage of this loophole and demanding that networks pump the volume of their commercials up to the maximum level permitted by the law. In order to combat this, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced a bill, complete with a punny acronym, into the House of Representatives last year. It’s called the Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM for short, and it’s aimed at putting regulations in place that would prohibit commercials from being “excessively noisy or strident.” The bill is going in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee committee today, so it looks as if your friendly Vulture editors will finally have to learn where to locate CSPAN on our televisions. We wish Representative Eshoo nothing but the best of luck!