If you’ve ever watched television and noticed that the commercials on CNN are much louder than the program, then you’re not alone. This is especially true when a commercial is inserted into a program. The sudden increase in volume can be perceived as an interruption to the program. In addition, this is a violation of the CALM Act, which regulates television broadcasting.
They disrupt the program
Many people have complained about CNN’s recent use of squeezeback ads to interrupt the program. The ads, which appeared alongside news footage about the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, caused a social media outcry. The network has since removed the ad units from its news programming. However, NBCUniversal is still planning to trim the amount of time ads run on the network by 10 percent. The network also recently introduced new ad concepts such as 60-second pods. The new formats are aimed at creating more memorable ads and capturing more consumer attention and recall. Some ad buyers have cheered the move, but others have pushed back against the aggressive pricing for new ad concepts.
They violate the CALM Act
In a recent investigation, 2021 Insider reported that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is lax in its enforcement of the CALM Act, which prohibits the broadcast of commercials that are overly loud and disrupt viewers’ normal viewing experience. Despite numerous complaints over blaring television commercials, the FCC has issued only two letters to violators and has not imposed a single penalty. In response to this, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) wrote to the FCC asking why the FCC did not take action against these overbearing commercials.
The FCC has not enforced the law, but it does urge broadcasters to keep their ads under the A/85 standard. The CALM Act, which was originally introduced by Rep. Anna Eshoo of California, also protects consumers from excessively loud television commercials. It is unclear if the FCC will impose the law in the future, but it has been passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Obama.
Recent FCC statistics suggest that loud commercials have increased 140% between November 2020 and February 2021, almost doubling from the same period in the prior year. The FCC’s new bill, however, is not just a reaction to a spike in complaints; it is also a reaction to lax enforcement. In addition to expanding the scope of the CALM Act, the bill also directs the FCC to develop a new rule to regulate streaming video services.