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Loudness in Advertisements

Broadcasters are aware that community concern exists in relation to the perceived loudness of advertisements compared with adjacent programs.

Broadcasters transmit television programs and commercials at exactly the same volume and do not take any action to contribute towards advertisements appearing louder than program material.

The issue of loudness is complicated. Unlike volume, which can be accurately and objectively measured, 'loudness' is largely subjective and is influenced by a variety of factors including volume, pitch, compression and other sound processing techniques.  These factors can contribute to advertisements appearing 'louder' than programs even when broadcast at the same volume.

In addition, an advertisement that is unobtrusive when broadcast during an action movie/drama program may appear louder when broadcast during a talk show or variety program.

To the extent technically practicable, broadcasters have sought to address concerns regarding loudness in the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.

The Code contains a provision which states that:

5.7.2 A Licensee will only broadcast a Commercial that complies with the requirements of Free TV’s Operational Practice Notes 48 (Audio Levels and Loudness) and 59 (Measurement and Management of Loudness in Soundtracks for Television Broadcasting), as amended from time to time. This will be satisfied if a person submitting the Commercial certifies compliance with all requirements.

You can view or download Free TV’s Operational Practice Notes 48 (Audio Levels and Loudness) and 59 (Measurement and Management of Loudness in Soundtracks for Television Broadcasting) here.