IKEA is a household name for many budget-conscious furniture and interior design enthusiasts. Many of those people may well be women, but it seems IKEA has pissed off an entire gender! IKEA airbrushed women right out of their ads.
IKEA has since apologized for their Photoshop fiasco, but that still doesn’t take the sting out of their blatant disregard to women. Here’s their apology:
“We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the IKEA Group values.”
According to Business Insider, IKEA went as far as taking out a female designer from her own ad! Women in Saudi Arabia don’t have many rights, but there is no policy against them being in ads. The powers that be in Saudi Arabia would rather women be omitted than to run the risk of seeing too much skin.
It’s been reported on The Guardian that “Women appear only infrequently in Saudi advertising, mostly on Saudi-owned television channels that show women in long dresses, with scarves covering their hair and long sleeves. In imported magazines, censors black out many parts of a woman’s body including arms, legs and chest.” It’s crazy because they’ve even removed the barely recognizable woman in the Starbucks ads as well! If you know the brand, you’ll know that there’s a mermaid missing.
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When IKEA apologized and mentioned their “values,” I wondered what values they were referring to. It seems they allowed whoever was in charge of ads in Saudi Arabia to bully them into deleting women. IKEA had to know this would receive some push-back from more then just self-righteous feminist groups.
Women are usually the ones buying, decorating and the most interested in IKEA as a brand, so why take us out of that?
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