Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Viewers complain about gnomes ad

Ikea is buying a wind farm to power its stores in Belfast and Dublin

An Ikea advert showing a couple using increasingly violent methods to kill off garden gnomes has drawn dozens of complaints from viewers.

The homeware giant's Say No To Gnomes campaign features a family updating the look of their garden with new products, only to find the upset gnomes launching a revenge attack.

The couple fight back, kicking them across the garden and into a pond before using a hammock to hurl them against the fence. One scene shows a furious gnome standing over the body of his broken friend. The woman finally aims a jet of hose water at an assembled mob, smashing them into pieces.

The ad finishes with the tagline: "Make more of your garden. Say no to gnomes."

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it received nearly 50 complaints that the ad was offensive, unsuitable for children, frightening, violent and encouraged emulation and anti-social behaviour.

The ASA said: "As a starting point, we take all the complaints we receive seriously. However, just because an ad has prompted a negative reaction amongst some viewers does not mean that we will automatically investigate.

"We didn't take any further action on this occasion. While we appreciated that the ad would not be to everyone's taste, we thought it was clearly fanciful and light-hearted. We also didn't share the view that it would encourage or condone violence or anti-social behaviour and was unlikely to upset children."

Ikea UK marketing manager Peter Wright said: "We believe the advert takes a light-hearted approach to demonstrating to consumers how easy and affordable it is to treat their outdoor spaces just like any other room in the home.

"As always, our adverts are compliant with the advertising standards code and are cleared through the compliance service Clearcast, and we are pleased that the ASA has taken a similar view to our own.

"We can confirm that no gnomes were harmed in the making of the advert, thanks to the brave stunt doubles and some clever post production. The gnomes are currently helping us in our office and most of them will be finding new homes with our customers."

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