Here's the Ikea ad terrifying Britain

Homicidal gnomes are not sitting well with television viewers, dozens of whom have complained to regulators.

By Kim Peterson May 30, 2013 2:23PM

We know Britain can mix horror and comedy -- this is the place that produced the brilliant "Shaun of the Dead," after all. But when you add garden gnomes to the mix, well, that's where the British draw the line.

Advertising regulators are fielding dozens of complaints about a recent television ad by Ikea showing angry garden gnomes attacking a couple revamping their yard. The complaints came in quickly after the spot aired, and people said the ad was offensive, unsuitable for children, frightening and violent. It will encourage copycats and antisocial behavior, they added.


The "Time for Change" ad tells viewers to replace their old outdoor space, represented by gnomes, with new, stylish furniture and decor from Ikea. "Make more of your garden," the ad says. "Say no to gnomes."Image: Boy hiding eyes (© Ned Frisk Photography/Corbis)

Regulators seemed to take the nearly 50 complaints in stride but decided to address the issue on the Advertising Standards Authority website. "We thought it was clearly fanciful and light-hearted," the regulators wrote. "We also didn't share the view that it would encourage or condone violence or anti-social behavior and was unlikely to upset children."

Ikea took a humorous approach to the controversy, saying the ad shows a family defying "the ultimate embodiment of everything that's tired and dreary about British gardens -- the garden gnome," according to The Huffington Post.

"We can confirm no gnomes were harmed in the making of the advert, thanks to the brave stunt doubles and some clever post production," the company added.

More on moneyNOW

Tags: Europe
May 30, 2013 4:54PM
What is the world coming to?  Old cartoons and nursery rhymes are some of the most violent things on the planet, and were made for children.  I often wondered why the old children's stories were so violent, then I realized that in the really old days, children would grow up in the midst of many early deaths from disease, accidents, wars, etc., that it probably helped them to adjust and understand that the world is not a peachy place all the time.  If we make everything nice and cushy, our kids will grow up to be even softer than we are now, and less able to cope with strife.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with the commercial and it is quite clever.  
May 30, 2013 5:24PM
I actually thought it was pretty funny.  But then, what do I know? 
May 30, 2013 4:42PM
I'm sure they were in my yard last night. Just leave them some milk and cookies and stop taking these commercials so seriously!
May 30, 2013 3:13PM
May 30, 2013 3:01PM
Gnome man  knows where this will end.
May 30, 2013 5:21PM
How many out of millions?????   People need to get a life!
May 30, 2013 3:30PM
it worked we are all talking about the add....  wow.....
May 30, 2013 5:25PM
May 30, 2013 5:27PM
Oh my.  I thought about the old cartoons which I mostly didn't like because everyone was hitting everyone all the time and trying to take advantage.  At any rate, I thought this would be the same thing.  However, I found it very clever and enjoyed it.  I think the gnomes are the ones that need to be worried!  Frightening and violent?  Please.  Have these people watched a movie lately?

May 30, 2013 5:27PM
Actually the gnomes look alot better than that cheap plastic Ikea crap!
May 30, 2013 5:27PM
Wow, imagine if the group One Million Moms saw this ad after the storm they tried to brew over the KMart ship your pants and big gas savings ads. I thought the ad was cute and funny.
May 30, 2013 5:26PM
And I thought Americans were a bunch of whiny pusssies.
May 30, 2013 5:22PM
Since the revolution they lost there sense of humor.
May 30, 2013 5:28PM
A good many people seem to have a cob up their behinds.  If you yank it out, you will return to regularity, and in a few days you will be feeling better.  A controversy over garden gnomes?  Does the queen have some?  Gnomes, I mean.
May 30, 2013 5:30PM
Great commercial, I think the Brits and possibly the French are the only people who would find this commercial frightening and violent!  LOL
May 30, 2013 5:22PM
May 30, 2013 5:25PM

I'm just a bloody ---- my opinion in GB doesn't count for squat



May 30, 2013 2:53PM
Looks like V_L finally got a revolution.
May 30, 2013 5:52PM

"It will encourage copycats..."


Really? Are British gardens prone to marauding bands of garden gnomes? Do these gnomes have televisions? If so, I can understand the concern. All the nice, polite garden gnomes might see the advertisement and decide to stage a coup against the new lawn furniture and those who've bought it.




*in case anyone missed it, I'm being facetious*

May 30, 2013 5:36PM
We grew up with Roadrunner, tom & Jerry...even as a child I thought they were violent...yet back then NOBODY brought a gun to school...We did not have the crazy mass shootings we have now, 90% done by young people around early 20's...we are raising a bunch of pussies that were given a trophy for just showing up and now they hit adult hood and there is no trophy for just showing up and they are shorting out and doing horrendous things.  Today's parents are to effing lazy or to busy to do their jobs, and want to censor the rest of us as a result!  Try teaching your children that the world is not fair, and sometimes life sucks.  Teach them the value of human life!! Do your job and turn the TV off!!!!!!  The commercial is cute and what we always joke our garden gnomes do at night.
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