Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) is apparently tired of having to hit the down-volume button on her remote when television commercials come on, and is introducing the CALM Act to combat the problem. It would instruct the FCC to instruct advertisers to turn down the volume from the get-go. The full name of the measure is the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act.
RBR/TVBR observation: Many bills are introduced, few are acted upon. Will this bill go anywhere? Frankly, your guess is as good as ours but we wouldn’t bet on it. But it reminds us of a story. We saw an interview with ex-Monty Python stalwarts a few years ago, and they said one of their ideas was to soften the volume on a skit in small, barely noticeable increments, eventually inducing the television-viewing audience to up their volume. They would continue this process of turning down while viewers crank up as long as possible, and then – BLAMMMMMM!!!!! – make the biggest noise they possibly could, perhaps wobbling the entirty of the British Isles on their foundations. Unfortunately, the BBC put the kibosh on this experiment before they could make it a reality.