Staff at BMP DDB need to brush up on their maths if a recent ad for
the VW Golf is anything to go by. The series features unassuming members
of the public holding signs revealing their true natures. For example, a
fisherman carries a placard saying ’I feel sick’ and a severe-looking
female shopper reveals she is thinking about ’chocolate, sex, chocolate,
All well and good - but take a peek at the ad showing a child holding up
a complicated mathematical equation. According to Paul Glendenning,
professor of applied mathematics at Queen Mary and Westfield College,
the sum simply doesn’t make sense.
In a recent article in the Guardian, the professor took time out of his
busy academic schedule to deride ads that over-ambitiously use
The VW placard shows part of the answer to an A-Level maths question -
minus the crucial first line. At least VW came out better than
Its ad featuring an equation scribbled in chalk on a blackboard was
condemned as absolute gobbledegook by the prof.