Advertiser’s loud TV ads allowed to continue


People watching TVThis is a don’t try this at home story – the “shouting” style of ads being used by retailer Havey Norman have drawn complaints, but the government is allowing them to continue. But don’t try this in the US, where the CALM Act is in effect – this is a story about New Zealand.

Harvey Norman stores sell electronics and furniture. According to a story from the NZ Herald News, one complainant said the ads were louder than other ads. They were said to be”…truly irritating and tend to invade my home environment.”

The matter came under the jurisdiction of the Advertising Standards Authority, and it said it basically had no rule on the matter it could enforce other than a vague standard of “social responsibility.”

The ASA said that the ads did not rise to the level of breaching this standard and so will be allowed to continue.

In the US as of last December, they would have had to be brought into line with the decibel levels commonly used for the entertainment programming in which the advertisements are embedded.

RBR-TVBR observation: There may be no mechanism for turning down the volume of the ads other than on a consumer-by-consumer set-by-set basis. But perhaps there is another way – the complainant in this case said the ads will likely prevent him from every setting foot inside a Harvey Norman store.

Enough New Zealanders follow suit and we suspect the volume level will come down – but given the history of this matter in the US, we know it will likely take a legislative act down there just as it did here.