Ikea draws the line on humorous ads

Ikea has spiked three of seven tv spots produced by Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners in its latest advertising campaign for the Burlington, Ont.-based retailer.Two of the spots were withdrawn shortly after going to air earlier this month. A third never...

Ikea has spiked three of seven tv spots produced by Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners in its latest advertising campaign for the Burlington, Ont.-based retailer.

Two of the spots were withdrawn shortly after going to air earlier this month. A third never made it beyond a pre-screening by the client.

The campaign as a whole makes liberal use of humor, but Ikea felt the spots it pulled bordered too closely on tastelessness.

‘They don’t reflect the values we have at Ikea,’ says Ole Lindell, Ikea vice-president of marketing.

The fun in one of the spots, called ‘Out of Line,’ was just that.

A belching couch potato calls for his wife to bring him another beer: ‘Doris, I’m empty here.’

The product display comes up for a frying pan followed by the sound of the hubby getting whacked over the head.

‘Ghosts’ shows a police lineup with the suspects swaying under bed sheets, the product featured in the spot.

Despite pulling the spots, Lindell says he is not displeased with his agency.

‘If you don’t test the borderlines… of the process, you will never get really good results,’ he says.

For his part, an unrepentent Geoffrey Roche says:

‘When you are doing humor, I think a lot of the time you take a chance you will offend some people. You’ve got to decide to what degree you can afford to get away with it.’