Have you ever thought, “Gee, is this Luvs commercial with the three babies on stage competing to see who can take the largest dump much louder than the episode of “Swamp Loggers” I’m watching, or am I just crazy? It sounds as if Tag Team is literally whoomping in my living room!” Well, no, hypothetical sir/madam, you’re not crazy; ads have been played at a higher volume than the program they’re airing during for years. Companies figure the way to compensate for people going to the kitchen during commercial breaks is to have a volume spike, SO WE CAN HEAR ABOUT APPLEBEE’S UNLIMITED RIBLETS SPECIAL from the other room.
But no longer. According to the Los Angeles Times:
Responding to years of complaints that the volume on commercials was much louder than that of the programming that the ads accompany, the FCC on Tuesday passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act to make sure that the sound level is the same for commercials and news and entertainment programming. (LA Times)
*Insert generic comment about the U.S. government actually doing something useful.* The act doesn’t go into effect until December 2012 — because stations need to “obtain and activate the technology that will allow them to live within the rules,” which sounds needlessly complicated — so you still have a full year of the torture that is Jennifer Lopez’s extra loud Fiat commercial to look forward to.