Urge IKEA to Pull Ad Offensive to Transgender Citizens

Target: IKEA Thailand

Goal: Remove television advertisement offensive to Thailand’s transgender citizens

Recently, IKEA, a home products company based in Sweden, released an advertisement in Thailand that is enraging human rights advocates and supporters of the LGBT community. According to these activists, the ad is disrespectful towards the country’s transgender citizens, portraying the group as shameful and deceitful. Urge IKEA to pull the ad and issue an apology.

In the 20 second commercial, a couple strolls through an IKEA store looking for furniture. As the young woman becomes excited at the proposition of new pillows, her voice suddenly drops dramatically, prompting her much older boyfriend to glance at her in fear. As the ad progresses and the woman’s voice continues to fluctuate between high and low, her boyfriend becomes more and more concerned. At the end, he runs away from his girlfriend, the tagline “Forget to Keep Hidden” is displayed across the screen.

This ad is insensitive to the transgender citizens of Thailand. These people, while accepted in some areas of the country, continue to face discrimination and hardship. They are harassed on the street, prohibited from wearing certain clothes, and discouraged from entering professions like medicine and law. Ads like this from IKEA are simply adding to the stereotype that being a transgender is shameful and should not be permitted.

Transgender people are not mutants hiding amongst the “regular” citizens, ready to strike. They are simply humans trying to live their lives. They should not feel ashamed of who they are and how they live. Urge IKEA to pull this new ad and apologize to the transgender citizens of Thailand.


Dear IKEA Thailand,

Please pull your recent advertisement entitled “Forget to Keep Hidden” from Thailand’s airwaves and public transportation boards. This ad sends the message that Thailand’s transgender citizens are shameful and deceitful, a completely untrue statement that undermines the human rights advances gained by this small social group in the past decade.

Thailand’s transgender citizens deal with discrimination every day. They are harassed on the street, prohibited from wearing certain clothes, and discouraged from entering professions like medicine and law. They face this unfair judgement because people believe negative stereotypes propagated by ads like yours. Do not exploit Thailand’s transgender population just to sell your furniture.

Please pull the ad. Thank you.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gerard Stolk via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Lauren Donna Graham says:

    I am a 67-year-old post-op transsexual woman, and am writing this on my computer, on my Ikea computer hutch. Since your company apparently seems to think I am worthy of dismissive, hateful ads, I think your company is worthy of my not spending my money in your stores.

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