Ikea escapes fine over tea 'graffiti' in Nottingham

Sign on Market Street
Image caption Nottingham City Council said it had chosen not to fine the retail giant

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has escaped with a warning after drawing an advert extolling the virtues of tea on a pavement in Nottingham.

Shoppers on Nottingham's Market Street spotted the square sign which urged people to "enjoy a second cup of tea in the morning".

Nottingham City Council said it will issue a warning to the company rather than fine it for the "graffiti".

Ikea claimed approval is not required for "this type of marketing activity".

Another sign is also visible on the road which says: "Cross the road and walk on the sunny side."

'Clean graffiti'

The council told BBC Radio Nottingham it could legitimately fine the company but has chosen just to warn them.

"This is not something we would condone or give our permission for," a spokesman said.

"We view this as graffiti and will remove it and contact the company to explain that this is something that could result in a fine."

Image caption Ikea claimed permission "is not required for this type of marketing activity"

Ikea marketing manager Laurent Tiersen said the "clean graffiti" messages are being posted around the UK and Ireland as part of the launch of the company's "Wonderful Life" campaign.

Mr Tiersen said: "Clean graffiti is an environmentally friendly way to spread the word and is a commonly used advertising technique."

Reverse graffiti, another term for clean graffiti, is based on using water pressure washers to clean spaces on the streets using a stencil.

The graffiti tends to last for a few weeks, according to the firm.

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