Furniture behemoth IKEA has had to dump a TVC in China after it copped some serious backlash on social media for being sexist and insulting single women.
The 30-second commercial features a family eating at their dinner table, with the mother telling her adult daughter that she will disown her if she doesn’t get a boyfriend.
All of a sudden, a man holding flowers magically appears at the door of the family home, much to the joy of the daughter’s parents, who can then be seen running around updating the tableware with IKEA products.
IKEA then issued an apology for the ad following a barrage of criticism for stigmatising young, single women in China, who are referred to colloquially as the “leftover women”, a term coined to refer to female professionals who haven’t tied the knot by their late 20s.
“The TV ad has been withdrawn from all channels by IKEA China,” the Swedish retailer’s China spokeswoman Linda Xu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“We understand the concern caused by this TV advertisement and sincerely apologise for giving the wrong perception,” IKEA said in a statement.
The retailer’s apology was uploaded to Chinese social media platform Weibo, sparking more than 1,500 negative comments, with some labelling the ad “disgusting”, “old-fashioned”, “messed up” and “sexist”.