IKEA is in trouble when the Swedish newspaper Metro wrote a story comparing the Swedish version of the IKEA catalog versus the Saudi Arabia version.
In the Saudi Arabian catalog, women were completely Photoshopped out of the catalog. Moreover, one of the female designers’ name was deleted from credits in the catalog. The newspaper questioned IKEA’s commitment to gender equality.
Here are some more examples:
According to Associated Press, the images and portrayal of women in Saudi Arabia are routinely censored, from the requirement to wear long dresses when on TV to blacking out imported magazine’s advertisements that display women’s arms, legs, and chest.
Even Starbucks was not immune to this censorship. When it opened up its chain in Saudi Arabia, it had to remove “the alluring, long-haired woman from its logo, keeping only her crown” (AP).
What do you think about the issue of Photoshop and ethics? Do you think IKEA should have held to its values or is it understandable when catering to a particular country’s societal values?