San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
The Mobile Enhancement Retail Association (MERA) said that activity by organizations seeking to strengthen noise ordinances is on the rise and could negatively impact the car audio industry.
MERA director Rick Mathies claimed that activist groups "are gaining momentum around the country," and that one pending bill in the New York State legislature is of particular concern. The 2003 N.Y. State Bill No. 5811 would prohibit noise from a vehicle at 70dB, A-weighted, if it is beyond 25 feet from a vehicle, said Mathies. Typical noise ordinances regulate noise more than 50 feet from the vehicle. "They are trying to add to the bill, requiring that everyone who gets a vehicle inspection has to have the maximum level of their stereo tested. If it is in violation, they don't get their emissions sticker," Mathies said He noted that any factory car stereo would likely be in violation.
MERA is concerned that some of the "extreme" advertising run by car audio suppliers may be giving noise ordinance activists a reason to the attack the industry. "There are a lot of advocacy groups attacking our industry as irresponsible. If our ads are being used by advocacy groups against us, we need to clean this up. We have confirmation that CEA is going to back this," said Mathies.
A spokesman for CEA said he was not aware of this specific case, but it sounded like something CEA would endorse.
The ads in question are run by many suppliers. Some cited on the Web site (click on boomcars) have tag lines such as "Got Loud? Get Louder;" "Hate your Neighbors;" and "Shake the Living/Wake the Dead." MERA has adopted a position statement on manufacturer or retailer promotions as follows: "…promotions should not use symbols, messages or suggest behavior that would adversely affect the industry. Irresponsible promotion could negatively impact the perception of our industry by the public at large and could be used against us by activists or government to regulate our products and activities."