IKEA ran the first commercial in the US featuring a gay couple. It was pulled after one showing due to bomb threats!
Usually when you hear “bomb threat,” xenophobia kind of takes control and the mind defaults to thinking of someone from outside trying to cause harm. But there’s no real high ground when it comes to countries having people angry enough to kill people over something, because those people are in every country.
IKEA had been airing a series of ads that focused on unconventional families. Not just gay couples, but single moms and the like. IKEA had some reservations about airing the ad knowing the potential negative reaction, so they slid it in at a 9:30 PM slot in New York City and Washington DC to get a feel for how warm the welcome would be.
Unfortunately the only warm feeling would be the heat of a bomb, or at least the threat of one, because there were bomb threats following that single ad. It was consequently pulled.
Regardless of your feelings on homosexuality, isn’t it a little strange that we’ve had major network shows with homosexual main characters for years but homosexuality is still taboo in advertising? Well if there’s anything important to take away from this, it’s that tolerance is the bomb.