Friday, October 5, 2012

Famous photos defeminized for IKEA's Saudi market

Thanks to an overly culturally "sensitive" editor who photoshopped all adult women out of the Saudi version of their catalogue, the IKEA brand has taken quite a hit this week.

And the hits keep coming. The latest salvo is a Tumblr in which users share pictures in which iconinc women have been replaced by IKEA products:

Another example of how brands are in the hands of the masses these day. IKEA will no doubt recover, but their willingness to throw toss aside the brand's human rights "values," just to expand the business into an area that does not share them, is an albatross they will have to bear until they truly redeem themselves.

UPDATE: People have been asking me how IKEA could have handled this differently, without offending Saudi sensitivities about female modesty.

Are you listening, IKEA? This is a freebee:

For countries in which the portrayal of casually-dressed westerners is not the cultural norm, shoot your catalogues as furniture-only. This will incur a slightly higher photo shoot cost, but might have some significant savings in talent fees.

Add a disclaimer to the catalogue:
IKEA respects sensitivities towards modesty and western modes of dress in some cultures. However, we are a company that believes absolutely in sexual equality. For that reason, we have produced a catalogue for some regions that shows only product. Because we cannot, as an equal opportunity company, treat men and women differently.

Tip via Copyranter

No comments:

Post a Comment