Screenshot of the ad.
Furniture giant IKEA has pulled a Chinese TV commercial after backlash from viewers who said the ad was perpetuating negative images of single women.
The commercial starts with a mother telling her single daughter, "Don't call me your mom if you still can't come back with a boyfriend." The daughter is then shown bringing a boyfriend to the family living room. The atmosphere in the home changes drastically, with the parents pleasantly tidying up with the help of IKEA items. A caption that says "celebrate every day easily" appears on screen.
Many people on social media accused the commercial of promoting traditional expectations for women to marry early, preferably in their early 20s.
Single women in their late 20s or older are often under heavy pressure to get married, especially from parents. For those who don't, the phrase "leftover women" is sometimes applied.
In a statement, IKEA said it understood the concern over the commercial and apologized "for giving the wrong perception."
"IKEA encourages people to live many different lifestyles," the statement said, adding that "gender equality is a fundamental part of the IKEA culture and values."
It is not the first time a well-known foreign brand has gotten into trouble because of a commercial. In July, the German brand Audi pulled a commercial that appeared to compare women to used cars.