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TV ads to find the softer side

Bill passes to turn down volume

Good news for anyone who's ever dozed off during a television show, only to be blasted awake by an advertisement: Congress has passed legislation that would require television marketers to turn down the volume on commercials to the same level as regular programming, thanks to a bill sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park.

"TV programs use a variety of sound levels to build dramatic effect. But advertisements have been neither subtle nor nuanced," Rep. Eshoo said in a statement. "My bill reduces commercial volume, allowing them to only be as loud as the decibel level of regular programming. Consumers will no longer have to experience being blasted at. It's a simple fix to a huge nuisance."

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation, which would make it law.

Advertisers must comply with the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act within one year.

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