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CRTC rules on loud television commercials

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has announced that broadcasters must control the loudness of television commercials by Sept. 1, 2012. During a public proceeding, the commission received approximately 7,000 comments described by the organization as "overwhelmingly of the view" that commercials are too loud. As a result of the CRTC decision, Canadian broadcasters will be required to meet a standard for measuring and controlling television signals in order to minimize fluctuations in loudness between programming and commercials set in 2009 by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. Broadcasters will have to ensure that programs and ads are transmitted at the same volume. Draft regulations requiring broadcasters to adhere to the international standard will be published for comment before the end of the year. "Over the years, we have seen a steady increase in consumer complaints about loud ads," said Konrad von Finckenstein, chairman of the CRTC. "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. The technology exists, let's use it."

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