It’s not the first time the Swedish flatpack furniture giant has dipped its advertising toes into Portuguese politics.
Flatpack furniture giant IKEA has been on the receiving end of complaints as well as compliments over a new advertising campaign that pokes fun at a political scandal in Portugal.
New posters have appeared, advertising an IKEA bookshelf with the tagline “Good for storing books. Or 75,800€.”
The ad references a recent political scandal which prompted the resignation of Portugal’s prime minister, and the money his former chief of staff hid in a bookcase.
The money was discovered during searches at the prime minister’s official residence as part of ‘Operation Influencer’ in November last year. PM António Costa was arrested by police and then resigned, in what turned out to be a bizarre case of mistaken identity. Snap elections are due to take place next month.
The posters for the IKEA publicity campaign can now be found all over Portugal.
Some of the reactions on social media have been from people who find the adverts funny, while others have criticised IKEA for making ‘political’ statements with the campaign.
It’s not the first time the Swedish brand has dipped its toe into politics-themed advertising in Portugal.
Previous posters have mentioned inflation and ‘geringonça’ – a critical term to describe the coalition government that António Costa lead in 2015.
In a statement, IKEA said they had been “part of the daily lives of the Portuguese people for 20 years, and we like to develop campaigns that reflect their real lives. Their routines, their conversations, their discussions, more or less heated, and the very humour with which they often approach the most serious topics,” the press release said.
However, IKEA also denied having “any intention” of contributing “to the partisan debate and to the current pre-election context in the country.”