Direct Marketing 101.
This full-page Siemens ad appeared in today's Times. Complete with those two boxes obscuring the image.
Now I've nothing against VR codes. My friend used the first one in the UK, but did so via a full-size outdoor poster which was one big VR code. Here it's slotted in as an afterthought - one that won't reach many people, one that distracts from the rest of the copy and one that ruins the design.
It's effectively asking the readers to do something (scan the code)before they can find out what it is Siemens want to tell them. That's like the url that leads to a webpage with an "Enter here" button. That's like the customer service number that leads to a labyrinthine telephone menu. That's like the headline offer that forgets to tell you about the small print. It's all bad marketing.
If you've somehow earned the customer's scarce attention, then at least have the sense to tell them something. Directly.