Ad Alert


Deceptive "Made in USA" claims throw IKEA into a pillow fight with the FTC.

Some of IKEA’s pillows, reportedly named after Swedish words for flowers, plants and precious stones.


We can all agree that part of the fun of shopping at IKEA is trying to pronounce the Swedish names of things as you meander through the store’s maze-like layout, eventually arriving at a cashier with more stuff in your cart than you intended to purchase. But recently three words very familiar to U.S. shoppers sparked an FTC inquiry into the furniture retailer’s marketing: Made in USA.

The words appeared on the labels of some pillows that, the FTC found, were not made in the USA but assembled in the USA of imported materials. The FTC’s Made in USA standard is clear: If a product is not “all or virtually all” made here, it cannot legally bear the claim.

In order to close out the agency’s inquiry, IKEA temporarily stopped selling the pillows and created new labels, presumably with the words “Assembled in USA” on them, to slap over the old ones and use in future advertising. IKEA said it was not its intention to deceive shoppers.

One IKEA product that is made in America? Its Swedish meatballs. Go figure.

Find more of our coverage on Made in the USA here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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