IKEA Slammed by Transgender Group for New Ad

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By Brittney R. Villalva, Christian Post Reporter
January 24, 2013|12:48 pm

An IKEA ad depicting a woman who accidentally speaks with a manly voice has sparked complaints from a transgender group.

In the commercial a woman is shown idly shopping arm in arm with her boyfriend in an IKEA store. As the commercial progresses the couple comes across a pillow they both seem to like; the woman gets excited but when she opens her mouth, a deeper man's voice is heard instead of a woman's. The boyfriend turns to the woman shocked and steps away, and the woman covers her mouth before collecting herself and returning to a feminine voice.

The ad has been titled "Luem Aeb" in Thai, which means "Forget to Keep Hidden." But one transgender group has insisted the ad is "negative and stereotypical."

The ad was first run by IKEA in December 2012, and the Thai Transgender Alliance has since rebuked the the furniture company, saying it is offensive.

The Alliance made its complaint to IKEA on Jan. 9, and the furniture company has since said that it has responded to the group directly by telephone.

"IKEA has spoken to the group over the telephone and the conversation went very smoothly. We are now drafting a letter in response," a company official, who did not wish to be identified, told Reuters.

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Despite the backlash from the transgender group, others have offered support to IKEA, saying that the complainants were being "oversensitive" and that the ad had no specific target.

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