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IRIS 2013-4:1/5

Bulgaria

Agreement on Standard for Regulation of Loudness in Advertising

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Rayna Nikolova

New Bulgarian University

On 6 February 2013, the stakeholders in the television advertising industry - advertisers, communication agencies, and providers of audiovisual media services - adopted a common standard for the regulation of loudness in advertising on the basis of a Общо споразумение (self-regulatory General Agreement).

The application of the standard will ensure the balance of separate elements of television programmes. This addresses frequent consumer complaints about drastic differences in sound levels especially between the audiovisual advertising and other programme elements. The standard has been elaborated according to the European Broadcasting Union’s Recommendation № 128 of August 2011 (“Loudness normalisation and permitted maximum level of audio signals”).

Starting from April 2013, the communication agencies - members of the БЪЛГАРСКА АСОЦИАЦИЯ НА КОМУНИКАЦИОННИТЕ АГЕНЦИИ (Bulgarian Association of Communication Agencies - BACA) - will have to comply with the set rules regarding the production of audiovisual commercial advertisements.

On the other side, it will be the audiovisual media service providers’ obligation to exercise effective control over compliance with the requirements of the standard. The deadline for the establishment of an effective control system will be 30 June 2013.

The regulation of the loudness of advertising in audiovisual media services will be exercised regardless of the mode of dissemination (terrestrial, cable, satellite, IPTV) or the type of the transmitted media service (linear or non-linear).

The introduction of the so-called "loudness control," which normalises the sound level of audiovisual advertising, will have a positive effect on the overall sound environment by reducing the difference in levels between the commercial breaks and other productions. The increase of the dynamic range in the volume adjustment will reduce the discomfort of compression and deformation. The method has been approved from an engineering and scientific point of view and has been tested in practice. The new regulations will provide for the measurement of three main characteristics of the sound signal (programme loudness, loudness range and the maximum peak level). This method will replace the former practice of measuring only the maximum signal level.

The initiative is part of a strategic partnership between the АСОЦИАЦИЯ НА БЪЛГАРСКИТЕ РАДИО И ТЕЛЕВИЗИОННИ ОПЕРАТОРИ (Association of Bulgarian Broadcasters - ABBRO), the БЪЛГАРСКА АСОЦИАЦИЯ НА РЕКЛАМОДАТЕЛИТЕ (Bulgarian Association of Advertisers - BAA) and the BACA. The general objective of this partnership is the promotion of good advertising practices and the credibility of commercial advertising.

References
Общо споразумение на индустрията относно единен стандарт за регулация на нивата на звука в рекламата, 06.02.2013 BG
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=16345
 
  A General Industry Agreement on a Single Standard for Regulation of Loudness in Advertising, 6 February 2013      
European Broadcasting Union’s Recommendation № 128 of August 2011 EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=16346