Loud Commercials


Effort to Shush Loud TV Commercials

WASHINGTON — Every year, television networks receive thousands of complaints from viewers bothered by commercials that seem to be getting louder and louder. They’re tired of fumbling for the remote control and having the quiet moments in their romantic films spoiled by ads that sound louder than the loudest blockbuster movie explosions.

All of this may soon change. A technical organization that sets standards for digital TV broadcasters moved forward on Sept. 16 with new recommendations that may finally dial down the volume of these obnoxious ads.


The new audio recommendations, soon to be sent out to broadcasters for approval, provide a way to measure the loudness of television content based on current scientific understandings of how human hearing works. Shows and commercials would be tagged with information about their loudness that TVs and audio receivers could use to counteract the audio tricks that make commercials jump out at us.


I hate loud commercials. I don’t visit businesses that have such loud advertisements. There’s a carpet/rug place near us that has this lady, bless her heart, literally shouting the entire time. I hope they get the commercial done in just a few shoots or she would surely lose her voice. Then there’s this auto insurance business (the kind that insures anyone, no matter how many points or DUI/DWI’s). No shouting, but their singing is cranked up. I jump every time.

Shouting at me won’t get me to come to your business. Trust me. Shouting won’t get my attention. What it gets is the overuse of the remote’s mute button. But since we now record almost all the shows we like, when we watch them later, I fast forward through the commercials anyway. So there, rug lady.