Advertising Watchdog, OffWatch, are to clamp down on misleading statistics in British Adverts, as they are being used to increasingly baffle UK consumers.
Claims such as "Up to 8Meg Broadband" and "87% of Women" are to be scrapped, and simpler, more easily understood claims brought in.
"Most people do not have a degree in mathematics or statistics or logic or anything," said OffWatch spokesperson, Bill Payment. "So we are going to insist that the information we already force them to show, is shown in a way your average man in the street can understand. For example, instead of saying sixteen out of a twenty, four out of five is more easily understood."
This is a severe blow to the advertising industry, who have been using misleading facts for quite a long time. Companies who promote sales with up to fifty percent off, will have to clarify this, as a tenth of a percent also falls into this category. Instead, they will have to provide the average saving.
"This is going to cripple BFS," said BFS Marketing manager Darren Francis-Smith. "When we have a sofa sale, there is one sofa, usually in Crewe, that has fifty percent off, whilst every other sofa is the same price as normal. Under this new rule, we'll have to say 'An average saving of 0.00000001%', which isn't going to shift sofas, is it?"
Broadband suppliers will also be hit hard. They have always given the theoretical maximum that the connection could reach, if the consumer lived in the substation with the only connection to the internet in the area. 'Up to 20meg' will soon have to be displayed as 'An average of 2meg'.
Ads that portray the percentage of people who agree, such as "76% of Women Get Longer Lashes" have had the actual numbers in small print at the bottom. This will change so that the large lettering says "34 women from a sample of 45". This is because the positive responses rarely come to a whole percentage, and the advertisers always round up.
Sadly, it will also be the end of the famous Whisker's quote of "8 out of 10 cats" as this will now have to be recast as "4 out of 5 cats".
Jimmy Carr is said to be livid.