The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revealed its latest item of legislation as the culmination of a bill passed in 2010, with all ‘loud television commercials’ in the USA now banned.
The bill, given the humorous acronym title of the ‘Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation’ Act (CALM Act) is now in place following official implementation yesterday (Thursday 13 December), after CALM was first ratified in December 2010 to give broadcasters a 2-year period to adjust and adhere to the rules.
The official federal law has been put in place to ensure that a gap in noise levels cannot be achieved with relative quietness at late nights the main reasoning behind the decision. It is now an obligation for advertisers and broadcasters (including individual networks and cable/satellite platforms) to avoid any ‘surprise’ high-volume ads, and that all commercials must be at the same volume as the TV show it is being broadcast alongside.
The bill, which was unanimously passed by the US House & Senate, did issue an exemption to all public broadcasters, though networks such as PBS were probably deemed close enough to the guidelines to not be considered as historic or future rule-breakers.
Commercial networks, though, will now need to rely on something other than shock value to get attention for their advertised products, so this will probably be the ‘inspirational’ video clip playing in several headquarters this morning, along with an example of how an advert probably shouldn’t be done with the CALM Act…