IKEA Canada Promoting Dishonesty?

A blog reader (Beryl H.) left a comment about IKEA’s recent commercial.

Dear To Whom It May Concern,

I have watched your recent advertisement with some alarm, I do not know if you realize that you are encouraging theft, cheating and dishonesty – “Start the car, start the car” Many of my friends have voiced the same concern – If someone shoplifts, I gather you are not going to prosecute them, an idealistic thought, but your profits will plummet, I suggest you have a word with your advertising agency

Yours truly,

Beryl H.

Here’s the commercial:


Although I do not personally find the commercial offensive (nor is it funny), I can understand how it may give children a wrong idea. But that’s not the first time IKEA has had a controversial ad. The infamous dog picture was much more disturbing, and remember the Canadian flyer with the photo of a child reading a Mickey Spillane book?

What do you think of IKEA’s Winter Ad? Does it promote Dishonesty?

54 responses to “IKEA Canada Promoting Dishonesty?”

  1. Meina says:

    hmm interesting…havent thought of that.

  2. anon says:

    I thought the commercial was brilliant.

  3. Corey says:

    Oh come on people. Relax. There are far worse things on television.

  4. abfab says:

    lighten up. its a funny ad.

  5. Mesha says:

    Yes, lighten up, It is a funny ad – some people need to find better things to do with their time, other then pick on stupid commercials

  6. kingy says:

    people are too P.C. nowadays.

  7. Boo Radley says:

    As I said I don’t find this commercial wrong but I can also understand how some people may not appreciate this kind of commercials.

  8. glo says:

    I think this is a very clever ad. It tells us that Ikea has prices too good to believe and also that women (or everyone) loves a good bargain. It is one ad that I don’t mind watching.

  9. Justine says:

    I think people are stupid for taking it that way.

  10. Alex says:

    Hi everyone.
    One radio commercial that I can’t believe would be put on the air, is from MADD Canada. It states that a 200 lb man can drink 6 drinks with little chance of being charged.
    Imagine the message that is sending??? How irresponsible!
    Has anyone else heard this radio ad?

  11. Karl says:

    Are you for real?!?!?!?!? The ad is about a SALE!!!!!!!!!! Wal-Mart does the EXACT same thing with their rollback ads. No one with nothing better to do with their time caught that one I guess, or, they shop exclusively at Wal-Mart….

  12. Karl says:

    P.S. It only says right in the commercial that it’s about ‘sale days’

  13. Keven says:

    Yet another overeaction over simple things like a dog’s leg, a kid reading a book and a simple commercial. People that really look for something wrong with everyday things will probably find it…. doesn’t matter if it’s with IKEA.

  14. Advantus says:

    I think the people who get upset by this don’t have enough contests to enter. We need more contests for them LOL!!!!

  15. Jafo says:

    I’m not sure if the ad sends out the wrong message or not but I do know one thing. That woman is as annoying as hell. I don’t think I would want her yelling at me while I was hungover.

  16. Talee says:

    This ad is great, catches people’s attention, and makes for a laugh. Doesn’t promote theft in my eyes, everyone can use their own judgement.

  17. amycanada77 says:

    The lady clearly pays for her purchases at the till and walks out STARING at the receipt!!!!!!!

    It’s just meant to be funny – that she got a great deal and can’t believe it – geeez – how this promotes stealing is beyond me – I find the commercial quite amusing!

  18. Apple says:

    Puhleeze, lighten up. The IKEA commercial is so funny it makes me laugh EVERY time. I think it’s actually quite a successful ad because it’s been run for several seasons. The woman can’t believe how little she paid and it’s a parody of driving away in the getaway car. It’s…just…a….JOKE. Certainly makes ME want to go to IKEA.

  19. Chr says:

    This is an example of someone with WAY too much time on their hands. Aren’t there more important things to worry about?

  20. Beth says:

    I love your site and go to it religiously…

    I can’t believe how sensitive people are out there, promoting stealing…hmm thats why the lady pays at the till. The first time I saw it I laughed my butt off. When are people going to lighten up, I agree that this person obviously has too much time on her hands, she even had to dig for that friggin post.

  21. FreebieChick says:

    Yes, people do need to lighten up as it’s not promoting stealing. The lady paid, got her receipt and was eccstatic that she got amazing prices from the store! Why do some people find things wrong with everything and are extremely critical???? I’d love to see the stats on the marketing for Ikea from this commercial. Lighten up people before you have a heart attack please.

  22. Melanie S says:

    Wow I think you have nothing better to do. Did you not teach your children about what’s real and what’s not. It is a television commercial ! When is everyone going to stop being so uptight. Instead of harping on this T.V commercial you can use the time to organize a charity event for a local shelter or food bank. There are more important things to worry about.

  23. MissScrooge says:

    LOL Advantus.

    To comment on said ‘dishonesty and theft’ the lady is presented having PAID for her merchandise in the commercial – So where is the theft?

    She then looks at her receipt with disbelief. Personally, it reminds me of Wal-mart’s “It’s true” commercial. Same message is being stated: Great items, at ‘I can’t believe my eyes’ low prices.

    It works.

  24. chasm says:

    The complaintant needs to take the board out of their ass.

    It’s OBVIOUSLY meant to be funny. Next I suppose they’ll be telling me that Wile E. Coyote is really planning to murder that Roadrunner, and kids don’t need to see that sort of thing.

    Oh wait …

  25. amycanada77 says:

    HAHAHA chasm!!!

    You know what’s funny – I work in childcare now and constantly here parent’s complaining about how violent kids tv shows have gotten – oh man they just need to turn on Bugs Bunny – I watched that show religiously as a kid – it was loaded with guns and bombs – if anything kids shows have gotten better!

  26. nis says:

    i love the ad, it’s funny. and i love ikea. so there :p
    seriously tho, how many people do you actually know who would correct the salesperson when they ring up the wron price, or give you back more change than you are supposed to recieve.

  27. Jane says:

    I actually thought the commercial was funny. I really..lol when I see it. on the other hand I think it is a valid point being made here. the women isn’t intending to steal and many of you are correct in saying she takes her items..pays for them..looks at the receipt in disbelieve and runs off. But…why is she shouting…get the car and in such a hurry. you have to admit..the message isn’t because she is so surprised like the walmart add. it’s really because she thinks they made a mistake and undercharged her. why else would she be trying to run off and yelling..get the car…get the car. she’s trying to get away with it. these things happen sometimes. what would you do or better yet..what would you want your kids to do if there was a mistake made at the till. would you want them to check and make sure they weren’t under charged or would you want them to run out as quick as possible before anyone notices.
    It really isn’t the same as the walmart commercial that shows someone in disbelief regarding how low the prices are. this commercial shows someone that looks like your typical middle class house wife next door… that more then likely has the respect of her community… when given an opportunity to get away with something… would take advantage of the situation by not making sure she wasn’t undercharged.

  28. Sarah says:

    seriously, you’re getting bent out of shape over an Ikea commercial? I think this has been a very popular commercial for Ikea and my 3 year old thought it was hilarious when it first came out. I think the overall sentiment to lighten up should be heeded.

  29. amycanada77 says:

    I actually talked to some of the kids I work with (boys and girls 5-11 yr olds) regarding this commercial and they didn’t think it was promoting stealing at all – they thought that she was just a crazy, funny old lady – and they said the commercial showed Ikea had good sales/prices.

    Kids see much worse on the news than in an ikea commercial anyway

    and in response to “nis” above – if someone gives me back extra change – I make sure to give it back – that will come out of their wallet at the end of the day – and these are teenagers paying for school or just common everyday people trying to make a living – I’d feel bad at the end of the day if I got some of their hard earned money for just a plain and simple human error.

  30. fishnchip says:

    if you thought his was offensive have you seen the one with the kid and the battery operated pleasure toy?
    i find neither offensive really.

  31. memememoi says:

    who caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaares. gosh

  32. bcteagirl says:

    I like how the people saying we need to stop ‘jumping all over everything/making assumptions’ 1) Are jumping all over whoever wrote this 2) Many seem to assume Boo wrote it without reading the post 3) Miss the point.. whether or not you agree with it the entire idea of the ad is that she thinks she was charged far too little and is running away to avoid getting caught (Stealing, but Ikea’s fault in the ad therefore funny)… if you are going to get uppity about people getting uppity, at least make sure you get it first people… geesh 😛

  33. Socialiste says:

    Come on, that’s just a commercial, a funny one I must say. This is just to let people understand that the prices are so low, they will think they stole the merchandize. Volkswagen did the same thing the the Jetta build in Brazil sold for about 5000$ less than before.

  34. Sally says:

    I honestly just find the commercial annoying and overplayed, thats about it.

    And Alex, I too heard that commercial add for madd and thought WTF, it had to be the stupidest thing ever.

  35. booja-t says:

    hmmmm… judging by the numerous comments and discussion… the advertisement is working as intended… getting people talking about ikea.

  36. Gwen says:

    Come on – lighten up. It’s a cute ad. I love the one with the lamp left out on the street. Next thing, you’ll be complaining about cruelty to lamps.

  37. Glen says:

    Those poor, poor lamps.

  38. amycanada77 says:

    …that’s just lamp cruelty … hahahaha

    IKEA ROCKS!! Shop on Ikea lovers..shop on!

  39. Sally says:

    hahaa I found the vibrating one hilarious, when it came out a few years back.

    Honestly though I never shop at ikea, the closest one is 3 hours away

  40. Jules says:

    You “complainers” have WAAAAY too much time on your hands if your worried about a commercial being offensive and/or dishonest. It’s a COMMERCIAL. Take it as it’s suppose to be – A JOKE. Use your energy fighting for something that really matters! If commercials make someone shoplift from IKEA then Video Games make people kill and Metal music makes kids depressed and suicidal……….and if THAT’S true there are bigger issues at stake then the Ad Agencies choice of commericals.

    OH, and the catalogue issue was an inside job. Not everyone got the catalogue with the dog sporting a large Johnson as some were published before the picture was noticed.

  41. miriam says:

    I love LAMP

  42. I’ve always hated this commercial for that very reason. I’m like: “That woman would really run away after getting that stuff so cheap? I’d go back and inform them of their error.” It makes me feel kind of bad about them.



  43. memememoi says:


  44. Carin Önnestam says:

    Why the name Miriam ? In my church the always call me Miriam, because . I live in Stocholm, the capital of Sweden

  45. Mike L says:

    How does this promote shop lifting?
    From what I remember, she pays & gets
    a receipt from the cashier. Is this
    really going to turn some impressionable
    mind into a criminal? Would commercials
    full of love and happiness stop our
    wars in far away countries?

  46. JoJo Chamandy says:


  47. Valerie Bliss Olen says:

    No, I don’t think this Ikea ad in anyway promotes shoplifting. It shows a sort of ‘goody two shoes’ woman who has probably never done a dishonest thing in her life thinking she just might be getting away with something. It’s humourous because the woman in the ad is so over-the-top that she’s not believeable as a real person. I’ve always seen it as a fun commercial that always gives me a giggle.

  48. cyclops says:

    Get A “Life” Maybe even get a job!! lets see IKEA perhaps… If you have so much time to even think of this stuff you have big problems.. “BREATH” live Life Lady!!

  49. Sunshine says:

    I think that people that said this promotes dishonesty need to get a life. This is one of the funniest commercials i have ever seen!!!!!

  50. nona says:

    I would say that if people are going to get excited about that commercial they should walk in to Ikea, go up to a cashier and purchase a sense of humour. More importantly we should discuss the commercials, media and whatever else it is that makes people think it’s okay to wear your pants lower than your underwear. I think this is WAY more detrimental to society as a whole…

  51. Stephanie says:

    I love this commercial, its hilarious!! People need to lighten up!

  52. Jennay says:

    Ha! Its just advertising how low their prices are, if you can’t figure out thats what it means I think you should worry about more than their commercial.

  53. Xavier says:

    The woman pays and looks at the receipt and in her mind, she believes that they (Ikea) charged her less than what she was expecting to pay or more to the point: she thinks the cashier undercharged and made a mistake thus the woman is paying less.

    There is absolutely NO doubt that this commercial is promoting the idea that if the cashier makes a mistake, then just quickly leave the store with your ‘takings’ and absolutely do not question the cashier as to whether it is an error…just simply pocket the MONEY = THEFT!

    The amount of people that don’t see it this way and just think this commercial is funny, really goes to show how innately dishonest most people are…the above comments are disgusting as to seeing this commercial as a win win situation.

    IKEA has terrible morals/ethics and value system and this is not the first commercial whereby IkEA has completely crossed these lines.

    I despise IKEA because of these unethical commercials.

    I am glad to see there are some people here that do have moral integrity and see the wrongs in this stupid commercial!

    Start the Car, Start the Car….get going before they realize that they undercharged me….I got away without paying! Yippee Yippee!

    • Victor says:

      Xavier, This commercial is currently airing in the US. Clearly, the “start your car” indicates the desire to make a quick get-away. As if they were indeed taking part in a robbery. That so many fail to understand that concept is indicative of the “me first mentality we now have. I was so surprised to see how many people fail to understand that if a mistake was made in their favor, the moral thing to do is return to the store to pay the genuine price. NOT run away with the ill gotten gains.


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