FCC To Turn Down Loud Commercials

Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously for rules to deal with what it called "one of the most persistent problems of the television age" — loud commercials. Cable operators and TV stations will be required to ensure ads are no louder than the programs in which they appear. Melissa Block has more.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If you find most decisions by the Federal Communications Commission to be, well, jargony, this one ought to come through loud and clear. It's designed to fix this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ...store to donate a coat and share the warmth this winter.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA")

ROBIN ROBERTS: Please do. When Alicia Keys was a little girl, she could see the...

BLOCK: What you just heard came from a TV broadcast this morning, an ad followed by ABC's "Good Morning America." Did you notice anything? Let's listen again and listen to the volume of the ad compared to the program.

(SOUNDBITE OF BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ...store to donate a coat and share the warmth this winter.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA")

ROBERTS: Please do. When Alicia Keys was a little girl, she could see the glittering lights...

BLOCK: Well, today, the FCC voted unanimously for regulations that will turn that ad volume down. Cable operators and TV stations will be required to ensure ads are no louder than the programs in which they appear. In a statement, the FCC said it was tackling what it called one of the most persistent problems of the television age.

But sensitive ears be warned. The rules don't go into effect until next December.

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