"Advertising" is the fifth episode of the A Series of QI. It was first broadcast on BBC Four on 2 October 2003, and was broadcast on BBC Two a week later.

The episode was the first episode since the Pilot in which Alan Davies had a positive score. Gyles' score was the highest in the A Series, and the highest so far in the show's history. This episode was preceded by "Atoms" and followed by "Antidotes & Answers".


Numbers in brackets mark appearances - e.g. "(2)" means "(second appearance)".

  1. Gyles Brandreth (1): 54 points
  2. Rich Hall (1): 35 points
  3. Rob Brydon (1): 17 points
  4. Alan Davies (5): 15 points


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  • Gerber baby food was poorly marketed in Africa, leading customers to believe that it contained babies. (This is actually untrue, according to Snopes: "Label Fable", The tins bore a picture of the baby Ann Turner Cook, later a famous mystery author.
  • The Toyota MR2 provoked much amusement in France, as "MR2" in French was pronounced as merde, which is French slang for "shit". The Ford Pinto is equally amusing to Brazilians, as "pinto" is Brazilian slang for a small penis.
  • Irish playwright Brendan Behan was asked to devise an advertising slogan for Guinness. He came up with "Guinness makes you drunk."[1] He is credited with creating "Guinness is good for you", but that was actually written by Dorothy L. Sayers.
  • The Ancient Greeks believed that otters killed crocodiles by running into their open mouths and eating their entrails. Like many things said by the Greeks, it isn't true. Raphanizein was an Ancient Greek punishment for adultery that involved inserting a radish into the anus. In those days, radishes were wider, longer and pointier and were hammered in with a mallet.
  • Plato's real name was Aristocles. Plato is the Greek word for "wide", and was given to him because of his broad shoulders. He taught Aristotle.
  • Aristotle believed that buzzards had three testicles. The taxonomical name for a buzzard is "Buteo buteo". There is a sub species called a hobby, which is "Sub buteo". The man who created Subbuteo wanted to call it "The Hobby", but it was refused, so he named it after the Latin word for "hobby".
  • The Ancient Greeks used blackberries as a cure for piles.
  • Ancient Greeks voted for their leaders until they were invaded by Macedonia in 322 BC. Women didn't get the vote in Greece until 1952.

General IgnoranceEdit

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  • A centipede has between 30 and 382 legs. None has ever been found with 100 legs. It always has an odd number of pairs of legs. The only exception to this is one found in 1999, which has 48 pairs of legs, the nearest to 100 that has been discovered so far.
  • In 1994, 35,000 Americans insured themselves against alien abduction.
  • Purple rhymes with 'hirple' and 'curple'.[2] Hirple means to hobble along, a sort of mix between a walk and a crawl. A curple is the strap that goes under the tail of a horse, which is then attached to the saddle to stop riders slipping forwards.


  1. "Guinness is good for you"
  2. Nothing
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