New Guidance on Sound Levels in Advertisements

The Committee of Advertising Practice (“CAP”) has published new guidance on sounds levels in advertising, as well as a technical update to its code on broadcast advertising (“BCAP Code”).

The updated guidance comes after adoption by the Digital Production Partnership (“DPP”) of a European Broadcast Union technical recommendation. Members of the DPP include ITV, BBC, Sky, Channel 4 and Channel 5. The technical standard introduces a fixed average level for the loudness of all content. This should help ensure that, in practice, viewers get a consistent experience which avoids awkward and annoying jumps in the level of loudness between programmes and advertising.

However, CAP has explained that the underlying approach under the BCAP code has not changed. The standard required under the BCAP Code states that the “subjective loudness” of advertising should be “consistent and in line” with the surrounding programmes (i.e. it should not exceed the volume of the programme). This is a minimum requirement and CAP hopes that the guidance will act as a reminder to broadcasters of their obligations and good practice in this area.

The CAP guidance can be found here.  

For more information on any of the issues raised, please contact a member of the commercial team at Stevens & Bolton.

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Emer O'Kelly

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