IKEA in PR gaffe over sponsored links

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA is in a bit of a trouble in Norway. IKEA had bought sponsored links for “Stressless”, which is a registered trademark for sofas and armchairs owned by the competitor Ekornes. On a search for Stressless on Google, a link to IKEA came up on top, which of course upset Ekornes. IKEA pulled the ads and apologised to the competitor.

When the Norwegian news site E24 asks the Communications Manager of IKEA Norway if they had bought links to other brands owned by competitors, he hasn’t got the facts straight and handles the crisis situation very poorly.

– No, I am not aware of any, he says. But E24 does a few searches and finds that IKEA has also bought links for “Tripp Trapp”, a brand owned by Stokke.

Now, do you know if someone is mooching off your brand?

[Via Börje.]

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Ikea in bed with consumer generated media

Ingvar Kamprad’s Ikea today kicked off a new campaign asking consumers to create online videos for the furniture giant. The campaign is a contest which offers $5,000 in cash to the user who creates the best online video on making a bed.

Ikea is using Shycast, a new kind of consumer-generated video network where “brands can reach out to receptive users and engage with them directly”.

So far 4 entries are up on the site.

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“Elite designers against IKEA” – an IKEA hoax

Swedish furniture giant IKEA is the target of this campaign from “Elite designers against IKEA” who portray IKEA as the source of all evil design. The designer Van den Puup writes:

“We design profound and beautiful furniture for those with wealth and taste. Which is why IKEA makes us furious livid and angry. Do their designs live, breathe and growl? Are they born from tears of pain? Do they gently touch the bottom of the human soul? Pah! Of course not, no more than weeds can attract a bee. The big blue place is odious, its affordable design is sickeningly shallow and we loathe it even more than we loathe football. Please join us in our unqualified hatred.”

Or at least that is what we are supposed to believe. From what I can tell, this seems to be a marketing stunt by IKEA’s Danish advertising agency Robert/Boisen & Like Minded. The domain elitedesigners.org is registered by Michael Robert at Robert/Boisen & Like Minded and on the ad agency’s own web site, IKEA is listed as one of the clients. The agency has launched other web sites for IKEA, like IKEA-fans.dk with an amateurish look, complete with rotating gifs and dreadful design to look as non-corporate as possible.

Clever and fun you guys. Maybe this will start some buzz about IKEA. I’ve done my part.

UPDATE: It seems that this is part of an ad campaign in the UK with three tv commercials and print ads on the theme “At home with Van den Puup”. Seems like a cool campaign, but since web sites have global reach we who don’t see the rest of the campaign might not get the message.