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Bill would shush loud TV ads

Dec. 3, 2010 at 10:51 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Television advertisers pump up the volume to create product buzz, but a bill approved by Congress would take the sound down a notch.

If signed into law by President Obama, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act would bar advertisers from playing their commercials at a higher volume than regular broadcast programming, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

The House passed the measure, already approved by the Senate, on a voice vote Thursday, sending it to Obama for his consideration, The Hill reported.

"When he signs it, it will bring relief to millions of television viewers across the country," said Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who introduced the bill.

Eshoo said she introduced the bill more than three years ago, noting "the problem with ear-splitting TV advertisements has existed for more than 50 years."

She said advertisers started turning up their sound when they realized viewers left the room during commercial breaks, the Daily News said.

The CALM Act would direct the Federal Communications Commission to require advertisers to start using technology modulating sound levels within a year.

"While this is far from the biggest issue we face," Sen.Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in a statement, "it will mean one less daily annoyance in our lives."

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