A national supermarket chain has apologised after provoking social media outrage with an advert that many people felt pandered to negative stereotypes of maths in schools.
Aldi’s new back to school advert, part of its ‘amazing’ series, was screened on ITV ahead of a ‘special buy’ promotion for £4 school uniforms on July 14.
It included the offending line that “finding out your first lesson back [at school] is double maths” is “not so amazing”.
After Twitter and Facebook users reacted angrily to the advert’s “irresponsible” stereotyping, a spokesperson for the supermarket apologised “for any offence caused” and said the advert had “intended to be light-hearted”.
Among the comments on Twitter was one from @suffolkmaths who tweeted: “Cheap joke, unimaginative, outdated and not the kind of message I would expect from a company of your standing.”
Another user with the Twitter handle @RachelandDesign, said: “Words fail me. Irresponsible beyond belief. Children pick up on atmosphere, and this helps to sustain a dangerous one.”
The messages were equally damning on Facebook.
Another, Sally-Anne Haynes, hit out: “Your irresponsible ‘Back to School’ TV ad, with its negative stereotyping of mathematics teaching, is undermining years of hard work by maths teachers.”
It follows a drive originally led by former education secretary Michael Gove to improve teaching and the profile of maths education in schools and beyond — with it being made compulsory for students with GCSE grade D or below in maths to resit post-16.
A spokesperson for the organisation said it only ran for two days as part of a ‘special buy’ promotion and did not run at all online.
They added: “We intended for the advert to be light-hearted and apologise for any offence caused.”