Earlier today, US Congress passed a bill called the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (also known ad the CALM Act). This bill could prevent advertisers from forcing annoyingly loud commercials on us by making them abide to volume control guidelines.
If all goes well with the bill, the FCC will "be required within one year to adopt industry standards that coordinate ad decibel levels to those of the regular program". These standards would go into effect one year after that point.
For the sake of our ears, let's hope that Obama signs off on the CALM Act. While we wait for him to do so though, feel free to read up on the excuses advertisers use to run those loud commercials. [MSNBC]