ITC rejects complaints about ’racist’ Ikea ads

The latest St Luke’s TV work for Ikea has been slammed by 175 viewers who found the ads offensive and racist, according to the latest Television Advertising Complaints Report from the Independent Television Commission.

The latest St Luke’s TV work for Ikea has been slammed by 175

viewers who found the ads offensive and racist, according to the latest

Television Advertising Complaints Report from the Independent Television

Commission.



The ads for the Swedish furniture chain feature a spoof psychiatrist

satirising supposedly typical English reserve and conventionality and

encouraging viewers to be more adventurous with their choice of

furnishings.



The endline urged viewers: ’Don’t be so English.’



However, many viewers objected that the ad was racist and found it

particularly objectionable originating from a foreign company.

Executions which showed the psychiatrist giving another man a peck on

the cheek and one which suggested a lesbian relationship were also

deemed offensive by some complainants.



The ITC rejected the complaints on the grounds that the ad was unlikely

to encourage prejudice and that the kiss and the lesbian overtones were

unlikely to be found offensive by most viewers.



TBWA GGT Simons Palmer’s work for the introduction of the Euro drew

complaints from 106 viewers who felt that the ads were harmful. The

campaign shows a fictitious businessman haranguing his staff for not

being aware of the serious implications of the changes.



More than half of the offended viewers objected to the suggestion that

the businessman might condone and encourage bullying at work. Other

viewers objected that the ads amounted to political propaganda.



TBWA argued that it had balanced the businessman’s energy with ’moments

of calm and words of support and encouragement’. However, the ITC said

that the emphasis of the campaign was on the aggressive approach.



The ITC sympathised with the views of the complainants but nevertheless

concluded that the campaign was unlikely to have a significant influence

on managers’ behaviour At the same time, the ITC felt that the

advertising was not attempting to influence attitudes to the Euro and

the complaints were rejected.



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