Ikea ads offend in Germany

LONDON - An advertising campaign for furniture and home chain Ikea has angered German consumers who are offended by a poster depicting a depressed garden gnome lying on a railway line.

The strapline for the ad, which has appeared next to railway stations in Germany, reads: "An end to feeling grumpy - Ikea is coming". Rail companies have slammed the posters, saying they could encourage people to attempt suicide.

Ikea said its advertising campaigns were designed to be cheeky, and said the poster was intended as a fun way of showing German consumers there is more to home décor than traditionally naff items such as gnomes.

It said the gnome was in "no danger" as it was lying on a model railway, and has no plans to withdraw them from poster sites.