Quieter TV commercials bring loud praise

Dec. 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM ET

When it comes to commercials, Life Inc. readers seem to prefer the sound of silence.

A post this week on a new law mandating that commercials have to be close to the same volume as the show that goes on around them brought sighs of relief from many readers.

“Thank You!!! I HATE loud commercials-I ALWAYS mute (but sometimes not fast enough),” one reader wrote.

Under the law, the commercial volume has to be within a range of 2 decibels (db) of the programming around them. That’s in contrast to the often jarring increases in sound that sometimes happens when the commercial break hits.

Even without the legislation, many viewers said they are already taking things into their own hands, or remotes.

About 36 percent of the nearly 23,000 people who took our poll said that they hit the mute button when the commercials come on, while another 34 percent said they change the channel.

About 29 percent said they use the DVR to fast-forward through the commercials, avoiding the whole problem altogether.

Some readers were surprised Congress has gotten anything passed, given the inaction on issues such as the fiscal cliff.

Other readers questioned why advertisers blast the volume in the first place, and questioned whether this wasn’t something they could have dealt without on their own.

“I am surprised that the advertisers themselves did not stop this practice since it was resulting in many people muting their commercials. After all, if people are muting the commercial you are not getting your message across. The practice always seemed a little counterproductive for the advertisers,” one reader wrote.

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