A guerilla-style web series secretly shot at the Burbank IKEA may be getting too much attention to continue being a guerilla-style web series secretly shot at the Burbank IKEA.
"The store doesn't know we're there," Seger told the Los Angeles Times. "We've had employees ask what we're doing and we say were doing a photo series. They say, 'OK, just make sure it doesn't mention IKEA.' We lie and say OK."
That's the problem with success and the subsequent media coverage: The jig is up.
IKEA's director of public relations Mona Astra Liss told the Times that the project was "very playful and fun and complimentary to our brand."
But, "We didn't give [Seger] permission. People need to ask."
And that's the problem. How can a web series that pulls the wool over The Man's eyes continue once The Man removes the wool? Did we learn nothing from the story of Icarus? OK, perhaps flying a little too close to the sun isn't the right comparison here.
Take the case of Ryan Sit.
Sit was collecting thousands of dollars a month in Google AdSense revenue by having robots scrape images from Craigslist. Sit's site (say that five times fast) combined the volume of Craigslist with a post-1999 interface. Everything was going well until The Man got wise to the project.
The Man, aka Craig Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster, sent a clear message to Sit: "Cease and desist."
So will The Swedish Man now remove Seger and his renegade actors the next time they're seen in IKEA? And even if they don't, does the series still have any web street credit if The Man is in on the prank?
Seger recognizes the problem. On his blog, he says the future of the show could be in trouble:
"Any time I see another article or more views I think 'F***, episode five is gonna be impossile [sic]' and then I feel guilty for getting attention…" Seger posted.
"I don't really know how we turn all this attention into a good fifth episode. It could easily steer us into a wall. Can we even walk into Ikea Burbank with a camera now? There's no way to not blow it, right? What a bunch of a******, building a show around deception and lies," Seger posted.
And so now, we wait. Will we finally see episode 5, or has Seger flown too close to the sun?