Canadian broadcast regulator gives broadcasters a year to quiet commercials

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said Sept. 13 that the nation’s broadcasters have a year to begin controlling the loudness of TV commercials.

"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."

During its public proceeding, the CRTC received more than 7000 comments. Canadians were overwhelmingly of the view that commercial advertisements were too loud and urged the CRTC to take action.

The United States and Europe already have adopted standards to tone down commercials.

Draft regulations requiring Canadian broadcasters to adhere to the ATSC's international standard will be published for comment before the end of 2011.