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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.

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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

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