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Ikea to take legal action against far-right Vlaams Belang political party
Furniture retailer Ikea is planning to take legal action against Vlaams Belang, accusing the Belgian far-right political party of appropriating its brand and corporate identity in the creation of anti-immigrant propaganda.
Vlaams Belang introduced a plan it is calling “IKEA” which stands for “Immigratie Kan Echt Anders” - meaning “immigration can really be decided differently”. The plan used the same logo as that of the Swedish furniture chain.
“We are angry that our right to our brand and our corporate identity is being violated,” Ikea said in response.
“We try to take a position of political neutrality and we don't want our brand to be used to suggest that we would support certain positions when we don't.”
The retailer is demanding that Vlaams Belang cease and desist using its coporate identity in its propaganda for a stricter migration policy in Belgium and announced that it would be taking legal action towards this end.
A statement from Ikea condemned the Vlaams Belang’s actions, saying the company “strongly disapproves of the use of Ikea's trademarks and visual identity in party communication for political purposes”.
Due to the impending legal proceedings, Ikea did not wish to comment further.
This is hardly the first time Vlaams Belang has found itself in hot water. The far-right party has always been a controversial one in Belgium, with a long history of getting into trouble for blurring the line between legal political dissent and outright racism, hostility and xenophobia.
The party itself only came into being after its predecessor, Vlaams Blok, was determined by a court to have violated the country’s anti-racism law. The party was disbanded and rebranded itself as Vlaams Belang.