IKEA has faced a flurry of complaints about broadcasting a disgustingly violent attack… on garden gnomes.
In their current ad campaign, the Swedish furniture giant has launched a prejudicial assault targeting the brightly coloured garden favourites, sparking outrage from gnome lovers nationwide.
Ikea’s advert brandishes the slogan ‘say no to gnomes’ and features an army of angry gnomes invading a family home who are redecorating their garden.
As the bearded garden guardians rebell against the new garden additions, the couple find increasingly violent ways to kill them off, in a war to banish them from their garden.
One particularly traumatic scene, that may leave sensitive viewers in tears, shows a heart broken gnome standing over a fallen friend who has been smashed in half.
The tongue-in-cheek advert has backfired slightly however, after the Advertising Standards Authority received 50 complaints from concerned viewers saying the advert is “unsuitable for children, offensive, frightening, violent and encourages anti-social behaviour.”
Defending the surprisingly controversial advert, Peter Wright, Ikea’s UK Marketing Manager said: “We believe the advert takes a light-hearted approach in showing consumers how easy and affordable it is to treat their outdoor spaces just like any other room in the home.
In a scathing attack that is sure to spark further cries of rage, Mr Wright described gnomes as “the ultimate embodiment of everything that’s tired and dreary about British gardens.”
“We can confirm that no gnomes were harmed in the making of the advert, thanks to some clever CGI post-production and brave stunt doubles,” he wryly added.
However, garden gnome fans are now revolting against Ikea’s “violent” campaign and sales across the UK have risen 150 per cent, according to UK garden centre Dobbies.
The Chelsea Flower Show also saw The Royal Horticultural Society lift their 100-year ban on gnomes after previously being deemed too “tacky” to appear.
Hitting back at Ikea, garden historian and author of Garden Gnomes Dr Twigs Way said: “During Britain’s 150 year garden history, gnomes have always played a large and happy part in populating our green spaces.
“People like to make out that they’re naff and tacky, but they are a lucky charm, which are now loved worldwide.
“The new Ikea advert was bound to cause uproar – we are a nation of gnome lovers.
“But the advert goes too far with the violence – it’s a bit much to see them being smashed and shattered.
“Ikea should look at their own native history of little, red-hatted bearded folk because they have something similar in Northern Europe, the tomte.
“If I were Ikea I’d be worried. Beware the revenge of the little folk.
“Garden gnomes will live certainly live longer than Ikea furniture.
“It’s about time gnomes appeared at the Chelsea Flower show. They’re raising money and sparking conversation, which helps bring some fun back into gardening.
“Gnomes are a vital part of our garden history and Chelsea doing this has alerted us to the significance of the gnome, after all we are a nation of gardeners.
“Bravo Chelsea Flower Show. I’m delighted that some of my colourful colleagues will be appearing, it’s blooming great news and a dig at Ikea.”