To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the monitoring of the extent to which television channels increase the volume of transmissions during advertisements; and if she will make a statement. 
[holding answer 16 September 2003]: None. Responsibility for advertisements broadcast on television rests with the broadcasters and the organisation which regulates broadcast advertisements—the Independent Television Commission (ITC). The ITC is independent of the Government and responsible for safeguarding the public interest in broadcast television advertising.
The ITC's licensees are obliged, as a condition of their licences, to comply with the terms of the ITC's Advertising Standards Code which states that advertisements must not be excessively noisy or strident and that studio transmission power must not be increased from normal levels during advertising breaks. Responsibility for monitoring compliance with these terms rests with the licensees.
In addition, the ITC monitors individual services as necessary. The ITC investigates all complaints of excessive advertising loudness and are able to take action against broadcasters who breach the conditions of the code.
Under the Communications Act 2003 the Office of Communications (OFCOM) will have similar responsibilities for broadcast advertisements from the end of this year.