ASA Adjudication on TeleSky Shopping Ltd
TeleSky Shopping Ltd
Unit 9, Stanley House
26 August 2009
Number of complaints:
An ad for the Magic of Vedic Maths, a maths CD and book set claimed that the product could enable people to immediately answer complicated arithmetic questions within seconds without using any calculation tools. Schoolboys were able to correctly perform mental calculations such as finding cube roots, multiplying two random numbers and squaring in seconds. The presenter Dhawal Batya, introduced as "King of Vedic Maths", stated "you can solve the most difficult mathematical problems so easily by using it." A teacher stated "We have seen that at least one of our students gets first position in the Board exams every year and the Vedic Maths classes has played a very important part in that ... You can solve the toughest Maths problem with ease … You can do not only the quick calculations but also solve puzzles and problems of any type … Have you seen how Vedic Maths has made Nihar quicker than a calculator. If you want to bring such changes in your life as well then order Magic of Vedic Maths right now … You waste a lot of money on your children's tuition and coaching. But, this course will really benefit your children! This is my promise!"
One viewer challenged whether the advertisers could substantiate the claims regarding the product's efficacy.
BCAP TV Code
TeleSky said Vedic Maths was a world-renowned method, used in hundreds of schools and the presenter, Dhawal Batya, was a well-known personality, who had trained over 200,000 students and whose methods were supported by many teachers. Mr Batya provided a copy of the Vedic Maths textbook and DVDs, and highlighted the methods which set out how to do the calculations featured in the ad, and some letters and testimonials supporting the usefulness of the method.
Clearcast provided a letter from the head teacher of a school in India, which stated the "kit was extremely valuable and useful for students", and several news articles on Dhawal Batya, who had developed the method; one of which stated "Dhawal Bathia needs just a split second to ... solve complex arithmetic problems".
The ASA understood that the Vedic method relied on applying certain number patterns and sequences in order to carry out numerous calculations, for example, squaring numbers ending in 5, or finding the cube root of perfect cubes. We noted that the method required users to understand and learn certain numerical sequences and patterns and significant numbers before they could perform the calculations, and considered users would have to spend time learning and practising the technique, before they were able to perform the calculations as quickly as the students featured in the ad. We noted that the ad stated "you can solve any difficult maths problem quite easily" and "you can solve the toughest maths problems with ease" and although we considered the method could provide very useful techniques for solving certain, specific maths problems, the ad implied Vedic maths enabled users to solve maths problems, without needing to invest much time learning and practicing the techniques, which we did not consider was the case.
Because the ad appeared to have overstated the product's efficacy and the speed with which complex maths problems could be solved by ordinary students, we concluded the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code 5.1.1 (Misleading advertising), 5.2.1 (Claims).
The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Broadcast)