Multinational furniture chain Ikea on Tuesday apologised and pulled down an advertisement in China after several people criticised it as sexist and insensitive towards unmarried women, BBC reported. The ad, which was released this week, shows a mother telling her daughter angrily not to call her “mom” if she did not “bring home a boyfriend” to meet her parents next time.
Young unmarried women, especially after the age of 27, are often looked down upon, and some refer to them as “leftover women” in China.
Users on social media website Weibo objected to the scene, calling it discriminatory against young unmarried women. They said it showed Ikea supported the cultural discrimination against such women in China.
“Even if this sort of situation does happen in a lot of families, it is not suitable to make advertisements about it, because it is wrong,” BBC quoted a Weibo user as saying.
“This discriminates against singles and single women. No boyfriend, so your own family members look down on you, what kind of values does this transmit?” wrote another user.
Ikea posted an apology on Weibo, saying it was sorry for “giving the wrong perception”.
The company said it “encourages people to live many different lifestyles”, and that “gender equality is a fundamental part of the Ikea culture and values”.
Another user wrote: “As an international brand Ikea should bring us the best things from the world and benefit China. It shouldn’t be learning bad things from China and spreading them to the world.”