Loud TV commercials aired by Canadian broadcasters are getting some noise control starting Sept. 1.
That's when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) begins enforcing new advertising rules aimed at appeasing viewers who have complained about "ear-splitting" ads.
"Starting on September 1, Canadians will be able to enjoy their favourite television programs without having to adjust the volume during commercial breaks," the broadcast regulator's chairman, Jean-Pierre Blais, said in a statement.
"We appreciate the efforts undertaken by the broadcasting industry to conform to the new standard and ensure that programs and commercials are transmitted at a similar volume."
Former CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein ordered networks last September to abide by new volume rules within a year.
"Broadcasters have allowed ear-splitting ads to disturb viewers and have left us little choice but to set out clear rules that will put an end to excessively loud ads," von Finckenstein said at the time. "The technology exists, let’s use it."
In a press release, the CRTC noted that "loudness is a perception" that is based on factors such as the audio frequency and content of the materials.
More than 7,000 Canadians responded last year to a call for comments from the CRTC on sound volume in ads. The overwhelming majority said loudness was a persistent problem.
While Canadians tuning in to U.S.-broadcasted programming might still be subjected to excessively loud ads, the CRTC said the U.S. is expected to lower commercial volumes by the end of the year, in line with international Advanced Television Systems Committee standards.