Same-sex couple was leading public vote with thousands of supporters
A same-sex couple has pulled out of the competition to become the ‘face’ of Ikea Russia.
The Swedish furniture company is offering a special competition for families, couples, friends and individuals to participate in a photo shoot in the reconstructed room of the latest magazine issue cover. The deadline was the end of this month.
The Face from the Cover was launched seven years ago to draw attention to the new edition of the catalogue, inviting people to Ikea shopping centers to be the next models.
And the ‘models’ who were in the lead, a same-sex couple, have pulled out.
Lev Polyakov and his boyfriend had posed together in the Khimki store in Moscow, and thousands of people were hoping they would win.
At the time of publishing, 7525 people have voted for them. The second place couple has 834 votes.
But a spokesperson for IKEA Russia told us the couple had written a request to withdraw’.
‘They just mentioned that they did not expect such a media attention when decided to participate,’ they said.
Young people on Russian social media site VK were leading the campaign, with group organizers from ‘Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality’ urging their 20,000 followers to vote for the same-sex couple.
Last year, Ikea was forced to close down an online magazine in Russia over fears it would cross the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law.
In March, they said they would ‘observe the legislation of the countries where we work’ and therefore made the decision to stop publishing the magazine. The Family Life magazine showed same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples enjoying the flat-pack furniture.
However, Ikea Russia told us they would have allowed the people to have their say on who wins the competition.
‘We at Ikea are for the many. We welcome anybody regardless of their age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, marital or family status, or any other dimension of their identity. This principal permeates every aspect of Ikea, be it employment, or any event organized by Ikea,’ a spokesperson told us.
‘In the contest, as in any activities promoted by Ikea, the very same non-discriminating principles apply.’