Speak Softly and Carry a Strong Message

by Elizabeth Buccianti

The Federal Communications Commission in conjunction with Congress began working on new policies to limit volume levels of loud commercials. Current regulations state that commercials may be as loud as the highest decibel point during a program. That means if you’re watching “24” the Geico cavemen are going to be just as loud as the C-4 Jack Bauer used to keep terrorists at bay.

I understand the struggle to lift advertisements out of the clutter and daily overload of messages. Heck, even parking space stripes are being plastered with ads. The question becomes, how effective is your message when millions of Americans reach for the mute button every time a TV show breaks for commercial?

I have a feeling advertisers and broadcasters alike will not take kindly to new regulations and enforcements (who wouldn’t?), but this may be one consumer protection act that aids both advertisers and customers.

8 Responses to Speak Softly and Carry a Strong Message

  1. Kerry says:

    How interesting… and TRUE! Who doesn’t immediately switch gears to block out the blaring noise of an “attention-getting” commercial. More ‘with-it’ advertisers are creating commercials that start to blend in with actual programming–so much so that I have to snap out of it and realize that I’m still entranced.
    Of course there are always those that think the louder and more obnoxious the better… I’m looking at YOU, local car dealership!!!

  2. Amanda says:

    To heck with advertisers who will be upset by this regulation – I’ll welcome it with open arms! Using your example – just because I want Jack Bauer’s bombs to be as awesome as possible does NOT mean I want to bleed from my ears just because the TV wants me to buy some sugary kids cereal or the newest super soaker.

    If commercials would stop being so shockingly loud I think people would definitely be less inclined to immediately mute when they came on – and then maaaaaybe even hear what they have to say? hmmm!

    Always a pleasure reading this blog!

  3. TJ says:

    Great article and I am glad someone is finally doing something about the loud commercials. Maybe I will start watching them again instead of just using the fast forward!

  4. Very interesting…and enlightening. Thanks for the info!

  5. Steve says:

    I cannot wait for this to go into effect. Personally, when a commercial comes on and it extremely loud, I mute, change channels or shut the TV off. I will definitely remember the commercial because it was so loud. I will definitely remember NOT to buy anything from those rude companies and as I said, sometimes I switch channels or shut off the TV. I would praise the television network that chooses to make the change for their viewers.

  6. Rob says:

    This issue has been one of my pet peeves for years. I am glad Representative Eshoo is crafng legislation to address this. I know this issue does not rank up their with the Wars, or International Terrorism, but it is an unnecessary intrusion into our daily quality of life.

  7. Carol Post says:

    This problem has gotten increasingly worse. Yes while we could use our remote to turn it down, then back up for our program, (currently I have no working remote) we should not have to.
    What is the status of the legislation of Rep. Eshoo? What can we as viewers do to enforce the need for this legislation?

  8. Not only are TVs beyond controll, blarring volume. So are our stores Walmart,Walgreens etc. AND when I call stores while I wait online telephone “they” blar greetings,advertisments etc. IT IS DEAFENING. I complain and they all say it nothing can be done about the loudness except by contacting managers beyond the store level. I have had it!!!

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