Sweden’s bid to reclaim IKEA names – ‘more than an item with which you clean your toilet”

IKEA sells 'one billion' meatballs each year according to expert

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Most people will know the name of plenty of scenic locations in Sweden. But they may not realise it.

IKEA has been using the name of Swedish destinations for years.

The retailer’s customers know more about Swedish geography than they may realise.

The furniture giant’s products’ names have been taking inspiration from Sweden’s scenic locations.

For example, Bolmen is the name of a toilet brush.

It is also the name of a picturesque lake in southern Sweden.

And the country is rebelling.

Bolmen has even launched a new slogan: “Bolmen – more than an IKEA toilet brush”.

Visit Sweden is trying to reclaim the names of its tourist destinations from IKEA.

For years, when typing the names of tourist destinations in Sweden, interested tourists were met with pictures of toilet brushes and waste bins.

Nils Persson, chief marketing officer of Visit Sweden, said: “In Sweden, we are proud of IKEA and in a way, you can say that they helped us make Swedish places world-famous through the names they borrowed for their products.

“Now we want, with warmth and a twinkle in our eye, to show the originals behind the product names and invite the world to discover the whole of Sweden.”

A new campaign is “reclaiming” 21 picturesque locations’ names.

Promoting the “original” places that inspired IKEA’s sofas and towels, the campaign “reclaims’ places such as lakes, mountains and even an archipelago.

Magnus Gunnarsson, chair of Smålands Sjörike and municipal council member  in Ljungby said: “We do appreciate that IKEA has named a product for our beautiful lake and that Visit Sweden is bringing global attention to this.

“But now we would like to show the world that Bolmen is so much more than an item with which you clean your toilet.

“It is an incredibly beautiful place, much loved by us locals.

“We would like to invite the whole world to spend time in our wonderful, unspoiled natural environment, showing the same care we do and enjoying the crystal-clear water.”

21 Places Reclaimed by Sweden

1. Bolmen, a large lake in the Småland region of southern Sweden (toilet brush)

2. Järvfjället, a mountain in Swedish Lapland (gaming chair)

3. Extorp, a suburb of Stockholm (sofa)

4. Skärhamn, a fishing village on the island of Tjörn off the coast of West Sweden (door handle)

5. Stubbarp, a manor house in the Skåne region of southern Sweden (cabinet legs)

6. Kallax, a coastal village near Luleå in Swedish Lapland (storage shelf)

7. Höljes, one of the most sparsely populated areas in Sweden, a forest in the Värmland region (pendant lamp)

8. Hemsjö, a village in the Blekinge region (block candle)

9. Toftan, a lake in the Dalarna region (waste bin)

10. Mästerby, an historical battleground on the island of Gotland (a step stool)

11. Voxnan, a river with waterfalls and rapids in the Hälsingland region (shower shelf)

12. Himleån, ravines in the Halland region (bath towel)

13. Laxviken, a rural village in the Jämtland Härjedalen region (cabinet door)

14. Ingatorp, A village where you´ll find one of Sweden’s oldest wooden buildings, in the Småland region (extendable table)

15. Misterhult, an archipelago of 2,000 islands near Kalmar in the Småland region (a bamboo lamp)

16. Vrena, a village near the east coast in the Sörmland region (countertop)

17. Björksta, a village close to the university town of Uppsala (picture with frame)

18. Norberg, a small town in Västmanland region (folding table)

19. Askersund, a small town near Örebro in central Sweden (cabinet door)

20. Rimforsa, a small village in the Östergötland region of east Sweden (work bench)

21. Bodviken, a mountain lake in the UNESCO World heritage area of the High Coast in northern Sweden (washbasin)

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