More than four in five Americans (86%) say the volume (sound) of TV commercials seems louder than that of TV shows, and among those consumers 93% say they are bothered by the volume difference, according to a survey from Adweek Media/Harris Poll.

Over one-half of consumers (57%) say TV commercials seem much louder than shows, while 12% say the volumes of commercials and shows are the same, and just 1% say the volumes of the commercials are less loud than that of shows.

Older consumers are more likely to say commercials are louder: 92% of those age 45+ say commercials seem louder, compared with 83% of those age 35-44 and 79% of those age 18-34.

Meanwhile, 70% of adults age 55+ say the volumes of commercials are much louder than the TV shows themselves.

Bothersome Volume Changes

Among those who say ads are louder, 62% say the volume changes bother them a lot, 31% say the changes bother them a little, and 7% are not bothered at all.

Older adults are more likely to be bothered by the volume changes: 71% of adults age 55+ say so, as do 66% of those age 45-54.

Meanwhile, 49% of those age 18-34 say volume changes bother them a lot, whereas 40% are bothered just a little.

Women are more likely than men to say the change in volume bothers them a lot (66% vs. 58%) whereas men are more likely to say it bothers them a little (34% vs. 29%) or does not bother them at all (8% vs. 5%).

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Consumers have voiced similar opinions to members of Congress: In December 2009, the US House of Representatives voted to pass the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) Act, which will regulate the volume of TV commercials. The bill is now under review by a Senate committee.

About the data: The findings are from an Adweek Media/Harris Poll conducted by Harris Interactive, which surveyed 2,194 US adults from February 2 to 4, 2010.

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Consumers Bothered by Louder TV Commercials

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