Today’s BBC exposé of how drivers delivering Ikea products across Europe are being paid £3 an hour and forced to live “like prisoners” in their lorries for months is a disaster for Ikea’s reputation.

It would reflect badly on any company. But I think it’s particularly damaging for Ikea because it stands in such stark contrast with what the company claims about its corporate ethos:

“A values-driven company with a passion for life at home” and a (strangely-worded) vision “to create a better everyday life for the many people – that includes our customers and co-workers.”

I’m sure the lorry drivers aren’t feeling it.

In declining to talk to the BBC and providing a statement instead, the company failed at the first hurdle – missing a vital opportunity to show real concern and take the situation in hand.

And it’s statement wasn’t even clear. It said there was a discrepency between the BBC’s findings and it’s own audits of its delivery teams. Does that mean ‘This is important new information, thanks for telling us’ or ‘We dispute your findings’? I have no idea.  A crisis is no time for ambiguity.

But it’s yet early days in this reputational disaster.

Let’s see if Ikea says and does the right thing from here to get things back on track.


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