CRTC explores loud ads

Public consultation launched a week after Nina Grewal introduces Bill C-621

MP Nina Grewal has introduced a bill to reduce advertising volume

Canada’s broadcast regulator is launching a public consultation into the issue of loud television commercials days after a Surrey MP introduced a bill requiring ads to turn down the volume.

The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced Thursday it was inviting comments on “possible regulatory measures” ensuring commercials are not louder than programs they accompany.

“Loud ads on television can disrupt an otherwise enjoyable program and are a source of significant annoyance for Canadians,” Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC said in a statement. “Viewers should not have to adjust the volume at every commercial break, and we will work with the broadcasting industry to find an acceptable solution.”

Nina Grewal, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, introduced a private members’ bill in the House of Commons last week in an effort to outlaw booming television advertisements.

“Myself, as well as all of you, I watch TV,” Grewal told The Leader last week. “If you’re watching the TV at a certain volume you’re feeling comfortable with, but all of a sudden, this commercial comes and you’re all over the place… looking for your remote and your wife or husband is shouting from the back `put the volume down. ‘ “

Opportunities for private member’s bills are rare. The last time Grewal had such a chance was 2005, when she successfully raised the age of consent for sexual activity from 14 years old to 16 years old.

Bill C-621, regulating advertising volume, will be debated in the House of Commons through the first week of March, then voted on after that.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com