Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today

AARP Bulletin

Why Are TV Commercials So Loud?

By law, they shouldn't be — and you can do something about it

Still scrambling to turn down the volume on television commercials?

Under the new Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, commericials can't be louder on average than the programs they accompany. But the rules don't say the volume must be level from the beginning to the end of the ad.

Also of Interest: Are you falling prey to these utility company scams?

TV television ads loud FCC CALM loudness mitigation act volume mute advertisements advertise commercial

Television commercials too loud? You can fight back! — Getty Images

If you have a gripe, you can file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. You can also contact the television station, pay-TV provider, programming network or the advertiser. Be sure to include specifics, such as the name of the advertiser, the date, time and network.

To file online, go to, select "Broadcast (TV and Radio), Cable, and Satellite Issues," then "Loud Commercials."

You can also call 888-225-5322 toll-free.

Or write to the Federal Communications Commission, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th St. SW, Washington, DC 20554

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

personal technology


Discounts & Benefits


Members save 10% off all Amazon Kindle e-readers and the Kindle Fire tablet.


Members save 5% on all Windstar Cruises plus 10% off at onboard stores.

dinner plate of seared mahi and asparagus

Members can save 10% everyday at Landry's Restaurants, Inc.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today


Single and Mingle

Cruise on over and meet a diverse and active group of sophisticated singles. Join

Wisdom Circle

Join our circle to ask for — or give — advice on topics such as love, friendship, grief, parenting and grandparenting. Discuss