Ikea Commercial Banned

Published: 11.04.2017
Level 3   |   Time: 1:29
Accent: British
BBC Global News Podcast (10.27.2017)

An Ikea commercial has been banned in China for reenforcing gender stereotypes.


You can download the file [ HERE ].


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • a retailer [n] - a business that sells goods to the public
  • pull (an advert) [v] - remove (an advert)
  • an advert [n] - an advertisement
  • grown-up [adj] - adult
  • lo and behold [exp] - an expression used to present a new scene
  • be all smiles [exp] - be very happy and positive
  • spruce up [phv] - make something look cleaner and more attractive
  • perpetuate [v] - make something bad continue
  • in one's late 20s [exp] - age from 27 to 29
  • leftover [adj] - something, especially food, remaining after the rest has been used

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. What is Ikea?
    a furniture retailer
    a Swedish restaurant
    an advertising company

  2. Where was Ikea forced to withdraw its advert?
    the US

  3. Why was Ikea forced to withdraw its advert?
    It is too sexual.
    It critisizes the government.
    It reenforces sexist sterotypes.

  4. What does the advert seem to suggest?
    It is bad for women to be single.
    It is bad for women to work.
    It is bad for women to live with their parents.

  5. What characters appear in the advert?
    a mother
    a father
    a grandfather
    a young son
    a young daughter
    an adult son
    an adult daughter

  6. What are the parents pressuring their daughter to do?
    Find a boyfriend.
    Get a job.
    Leave their house.

  7. Who rings the doorbell?
    the daughter's husband
    the daughter's best friend
    the daughter's boyfriend

  8. What do the parents do after meeting the new boyfriend?
    They make him a nice meal.
    They give their daughter money.
    They buy new furniture for the apartment.

  9. According to the reporter, what pressure do Chinese women in their late 20s face?
    Pressure to get married.
    Pressure to date a rich man.
    Pressure to find a good job.

  10. What are unmarried women in China called?
    old furniture
    leftover women
    Ikea girls

  11. What did Ikea do in response to the critisism?
    They critisized the Chinese government.
    They apologized.
    They pulled (removed) the advert.
    They stopped selling in China.

triangle Script

The furniture retailer Ikea has been forced to withdraw one of its adverts in China after being criticized for perpetuating female stereotypes. A TV commercial seemed to suggest that young Chinese women ought to get married. Our Asia Pacific editor Michael Bristo takes up the story.

The advert begins with two parents eating a meal with their grown-up daughter. Then the mother turns to the child and tells her not to call her mum until she finds a boyfriend. Suddenly the doorbell rings and lo and behold in walks the daughter’s new sweetheart, completely changing the mood inside the home.

The mother is now all smiles, and the welcoming parents begin to spruce up their home with Ikea products. The daughter, it appears, has now made them happy.

The advert has been criticized for perpetuating negative images of single women. From their late 20s, Chinese women often come under heavy pressure from their families to get married, partly to fulfil a duty to their parents. Those who don't are sometimes known as left over women. “Every time my mom sees this advert, she complains about why I haven't got a boyfriend,” wrote one woman. Ikea has now pulled the advert and apologized for giving the wrong perception. The furniture company said it encouraged people to live many different lifestyles.

Michael Bristo reporting.

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