Ikea has apologized to China for its ‘sexist’ ad that has drawn widespread criticism. Released earlier this week, the ad shows a woman being scolded by her mother for not having a boyfriend.
BBC News reported the controversial TV commercial, which has since been pulled, was slammed for being insensitive towards single women who are already facing pressure to wed in a culture prioritizing marriage.
“Don't call me your mom if you cannot bring back a boyfriend," the woman tells her daughter, according to Business Insider.
She then brings home a man to meet her family, claiming he is her boyfriend, much to her parent’s delight.
In celebration the family hold a feast at their dining room table, which features a number of Ikeas items, under the caption "celebrate everyday easily.”
The ad drew criticism online, with many calling it sexist and discriminatory.
"This discriminates against singles and single women,” said one Weibo user, via BBC. “No boyfriend, so your own family members look down on you, what kind of values does this transmit?"
Another Weibo user, according to The Business Insider, wrote, "I just want to ask Ikea would they dare to show such an ad in their home country, Sweden?"
Responding to the backlash, Ikea posted an apology in Mandarin and English to its Weibo account.
“This TV ad tried to show how IKEA can help customers easily and affordably convert a typical living room into a place of celebration,” the company said. “The purpose was to encourage customers to celebrate moments in everyday life.”
Ikea said gender equality was a fundamental part of the company’s culture and values, adding that measure had been taken to address the concerns.
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