Should Ikea Just Assemble Its Own Advertising?

I confess that when I got my first real job a number of years ago, I drove 9 hours to the nearest Ikea to stock up on all the bric-a-brac I needed for my first apartment.
So I’m a little curious as to why Ikea keeps changing ad agencies, as Adweek reports.
They just split with LA’s Secret Weapon Marketing (known for its hysterical Jack-In-The Box spots). Before that, Ikea used Crispin who won some big awards for their work. Before that, it was Carmichael Lynch, very briefly. And before that, it was Deutsch–who I think did some really interesting work for them a number of years ago. I can’t imagine who’ll be next or what type of work they’ll present to win this pitch.
People love Ikea. They’ll line up for days when a new store opens. They’ll drive hours to get to one (like I did). Ikea is a great brand, but it seems like a very fickle client. Does Ikea really need another advertising agency to tell them how to improve their brand?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. It’s a bit like my take on L.L. Bean – some companies just aren’t built for the traditional agency relationship. Rather than waste energy and resources on endless reviews, IKEA should just accept that fact and work on a project basis with various agencies and creative providers. Agencies would have to go in expecting little more than the project at hand and manage their resources appropriately. Let’s face it – if we’re all adults and realize it’s going to be a one-night stand from the start, there’s a lot less pain and suffering for everyone. Here’s the other harsh reality – brand IKEA is bigger than anything an agency-of-record is going to provide.

  2. Inhouse design can become very stale over the years. It’s practical to hire services outside the company.
    When hundreds of design firms are crawling over each other with innovative ideas and are willing to do them for a song, it only makes sense big box stores like Ikea will take advantage of them.
    By changing design firms it guarentees new and exciting ads.
    Agencies will religiously cut eachother’s throats to underbid each other to get business and Ikea has no trouble with that.
    It may not be fair to drop a tryed and tested agency; however the almighty dollar rules.