Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Media Moment: "IKEA removed women from Saudi version of Catalog"

ht ikea catalogue saudi dm 121001 wblog IKEA Regrets Women Erased From Saudi Catalog

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2012/10/ikea-regrets-women-erased-from-saudi-catalog/ (abcNEWS)

What happened?

IKEA is being criticized for removing image of women in their Saudi Arabia version of catalog.
People who noticed this complain about unfairly portraying female image in the catalog.

According to news sources, IKEA in Sweden, defended themselves from this situation says "We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalog is in conflict with the IKEA Group values", and "IKEA Saudi Arabia is run by a franchisee outside the IKEA group".

IKEA apologized for this situation and regret that they offended women customers.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I think the discrepancy lies not only in the two pictures but also in the media reporting about this issue.

I'd hear more what Saudi Arabian women felt about this picture. Two major news sources I linked this post have not put any quotes from Saudi Arabian women's reaction.

And I curious about this, is this only IKEA's fault?

In my opinion, IKEA respectfully published Saudi Arabian version of the catalog, isn't it. According to abcNEWS's reporting people complained about the retouching of original picture. But this is only their point-of-view (Westerners), but in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations may not allow female to wearing scanty cloth that expose to public.

So, do people right to accuse IKEA's misconduct?

What can be a solution? in terms of marketing in Islam countries.

1 comment:

  1. I was JUST about to post this on the blog!
    Coincidently, I am from Saudi Arabia and the last checked I was a woman, so my opinion should be somewhat valid.
    In a country where I can't even get from place to place without a male driver (women cant drive there) I can safely say that we have felt like we've always been put on the back burner. Weather its an IKEA catalogue or bringing in magazines from outside, there has always been a problem with how we feel we are seen by the Arab men.
    You will also never EVER find comments from Saudi women, at least not unless you ask them yourself, because like I said, our opinion doesn't matter over there.
    As of right now, anything from kids toys to kitchen appliances that have a picture of a woman are usually blacked out with a sharpie marker from the neck down, even going as far as ripping pages out of any western magazines that are sold with too many women on the pages.
    IKEA Saudi Arabia is in fact privately owned by a prince (don't get excited, theres about a million of them), so anything that was put in the shop was carefully selected to be "Arabia friendly".
    They have been retouching their catalogues forever to be respectful of the country's religious beliefs in that a woman's body should be covered from the neck down in loose clothing.
    It is however RIDICULOUS that the men in my country are so incredibly backwards that they felt the retouching wasn't enough. I can tell you from experience that the only women who are ok with this are those who are brought up to believe that they are no one until they are married, and even then they have to live by what their husbands say, these women are usually less educated and have never left the country. As for more modern and westernized women such as myself, this comes as no surprise whatsoever because we have been fighting the system for years, and this is just one more thing they want to shove in our faces to push us back.
    I also don't think that those who are bothered by it will care to try to handle it because again, we cant drive, clearly we have bigger battles we are fighting.