Ikea apologizes for Photoshopping women out of Saudi version of catalog
posted Monday, October 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM EDT
Ikea has issued an apology for apparently Photoshopping women out of a Saudi version of its furniture catalogue.
"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," the company said in a statement.
The issue came to light after the free daily Metro newspaper in Sweden did a story comparing the Swedish version of the catalog with the Saudi version, which showed women had been deleted out of identical images showcasing Ikea's products.
An example showing the before and after is above. More examples here.
According to Metro, along with removing images of women from the Saudi version of the catalogue, Ikea deleted the female designer of one of its lines of furniture from the publication.
"It's impossible to retouch women out of reality," Sweden's trade minster Ewa Björling told Metro. "These images are yet another regrettable example that shows we have a long road ahead when it comes to gender equality in Saudi Arabia."
Women seldom appear in advertising in Saudi Arabia and when they do, they are only shown in long dresses with scarves covering their hair and long sleeves covering their arms, according to a story by the Associated Press.