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Ikea ad angers Thai trans community [VIDEO]

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Jan. 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM
A 20-second ad for Ikea, the world's largest furniture retailer, depicts a Thai man and woman who go shopping for furniture. The young woman is so surprised by the store's low prices, her voice drops to a man's tone. Horrified by the outburst, her boyfriend runs away.

In a letter to IKEA, the Thai Transgender Alliance said that the commercial, titled "Forget to Keep Hidden," perpetuated stereotypes of transgender people. The group demanded that Ikea apologize.

"The transgender content of the advertisement is negative and stereotypical in nature, perpetuating misunderstanding transgenderism as human sexuality for 'deceitful and deviant lifestyle,'" the organization said.

An Ikea rep issued this response Thursday:

"Ikea has spoken to the group over the telephone and the conversation went very smoothly. We are now drafting a letter in response," the spokesperson said.

Thai "ladyboys," the term for a kind of transgender person, are widely visible part of Thai culture.

Ikea opened it's first store in Thailand in 2011.

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