Rockefeller Urges FCC to Follow Through on CALM Act

October 4, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today urged the Commission to implement rules that would fix the decades-old issue of excessively loud television commercials.  Rockefeller’s action comes as some parties have suggested that only a small fraction of commercials are subject to the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act signed into law last year.  

The text of the letter follows:

October 3, 2011 

Dear Chairman Genachowski: 

Last year, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act was signed into law.  This legislation, which is designed to prevent consumers from being subjected to excessively loud television commercials, originated in its final form in the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.  

While excessively loud advertisements may seem like a small thing, they have been the source of big irritation for consumers for many years.  In fact, the Federal Communications Commission has received complaints about loud commercials since the inception of commercial television, more than five decades ago.  In passing the CALM Act, Congress sought to finally turn down the volume on all television commercials, regardless of the entity responsible for inserting them into the programming.  Despite what some parties are now suggesting, we did not intend to fix this problem for only a small fraction of commercials, leaving the majority of advertisements free to blare and irritate television viewers.   

I appreciate the efforts the Commission already has underway to implement the CALM Act for consumers.  I urge you to develop rules that will fix this persistent problem for all television commercials.  


John D. Rockefeller IV