IKEA has apologized for its
characterization of a transgender woman in an ad shown in Thailand.
The 20-second ad, titled Forget to
Keep Hidden (Luem Aeb), was shown on YouTube.com and on
Bangkok's trains. It featured a transgender woman whose voice
becomes suddenly deep when she sees a sale sign. When the woman
begins to tote packages of furniture on her own, her male friend
scurries away scared. (Watch
In a January 9 letter to the Swedish
furniture giant, the group Thai
Transgender Alliance complained about the ad, calling the ad's
content “negative and stereotypical in nature.”
“The MTF transgender/transwoman
character is openly mocked as being 'deceitful,'” the group wrote.
“We have carefully considered your
concerns expressed in your letter and would like to apologize for any
unintended offence created in the TV commercial which featured the
surprise of a lady transgender customer who encounters the specials offered in our recent year end sale advertising campaign,”
wrote Gannrapee Chatchaidamrong, marketing manager of IKEA Thailand.
“IKEA is for the many people, respecting individuals with different
views and opinions. We welcome all people to the IKEA stores,
independent of religion, political view, ethnic background or sexual