Here’s a bill that should have no trouble making it through Congress: on Tuesday the House of Representatives approved a bill to ban the abrupt increase in volume that’s all too typical of television commercials. An identical bill is making its way through the Senate.
If passed, the bills will require the Federal Communications Commission to adopt a calmer set of standards within a year, and then begin enforcing it within the next year, so it could still be two years before television viewers (and listeners) get relief.
The proclivity of advertisers to crank up the volume has always puzzled me. They have to know it’s a major irritant. Perhaps they figure that viewers are likely to make a trip to the kitchen or bathroom during commercials, and they want the volume to follow them. I’m probably not the only one, however, who’s more likely to just mute the sound when commercials come on, so I don’t hear any of them.
Having to constantly adjust the volume is such a royal pain that it leaves a very negative impression and makes me less inclined to purchase products from the advertiser. You’d think that advertisers would want viewers to feel good about their products, but apparently they figure that name recognition is more important than good feelings.
If nothing else, the ear-blasters have done the service of giving Democrats and Republicans something on which they can agree.