Article | 1 min read

Now if Congress could only go after those flashing banner ads

Last updated October 1, 2010

The Senate passed a bill late last night with the amazingly great name of “The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act”. Hmmm, what’s the acronym for that? You got it: CALM.

The bill will try to keep the audio levels of television commercials the same as the shows they interrupt. (You know how sometimes you feel like the SLAP-CHOP is SCREAMING AT YOU?) Here’s Charles Schumer (Democrat from N.Y.):

It’s about time we turned down the volume on loud commercials that try to startle TV watchers into paying attention. This is a simple step that will keep ads at the same decibel level as the programs they are interrupting.

We’re all for it. This is about the lowest form of customer engagement possible – down there with flashing banner ads and telemarketing. Being loud (or bright, or pushy) isn’t a customer engagement strategy, it’s an affront.

But what amazes us is how can the advertisers even do this in the first place? Do they test the decibel level of the tv show they want to advertise in and then send in a video that’s just louder? Seems crazy that television producers would put up with that…