A campaign to find the next “face” of the Ikea Russia catalogue has opened to an online public vote, and a gay couple is sweeping the competition by thousands.
The furniture retailer’s ongoing “Face from the Cover” campaign invites guests in the store to pose for a mock Ikea catalogue cover, which is then entered into a competition for the chance to become “the main face for the Ikea cover and win Ikea prizes.”
And the current voting cycle, which ends October 23, has a clear winner in Lev Polyakov and his boyfriend, who posed together in the Khimki store in Moscow.
At time of publishing, the couple had collected nearly 7,400 online votes while their closest competition held around 900.
The support was bolstered by a campaign on Russian social networking site VK, which urged over 20,000 people to vote for the couple to likely become the competition’s first same-sex couple winner, Gay Star News reports.
Though Ikea has caved to pressure from the Kremlin to censor so-called “gay propaganda” in their catalogues in the past, a spokesperson told the site that the public will have final say in in the “Face from the Cover” campaign.
“We at Ikea are for the many,” they said.
“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. In the contest, as in any activities promoted by Ikea, the very same non-discriminating principles apply.”