The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has announced that all broadcasters, cable and satellite providers, and video-on-demand services must silence erratically loud ads by Sept. 1, 2012. The federal regulator had previously told the TV industry that it had one year to turn down the volume. Rogers Communication, Quebecor, and Shaw Communications have all started to install in-house equipment to deal with the problem.
The initiative stems from 304 complaints in 2011 about unnecessarily loud advertisements. Last year the CRTC invited the public to comment and received over 7000 submissions. “Please make sure the noise level of commercials is the same or less than that of the regular programming to preserve our hearing and that of our children,” wrote one respondent.
“This has been a perennial issue,” CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein told The Globe and Mail. “People have been complaining to us . . . we said, it’s time to do something.”
Our American cousins have already passed laws to control loudness on TV. The CALM Act, or Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, was passed in December 2010. The act requires the Federal Communications Commission to monitor TV networks standards and make sure that commercials don’t spike in volume.
Our bleeding ears thank you all.
– Emily Olesen