A few weeks ago you may remember Ikea's attack on product photography. Today news has spread that the Saudi Arabia franchise has photoshopped all females out from catalogs distributed throughout the Islamic nation. Women aren't the only ones being censored, however, as even glasses of wine have been transformed into less offensive "festive cups". What does Ikea have to say about the post processing changes found in their catalogs?
Ikea is one of the world's largest producers of home furniture. Each year they print over 200 million catalogs and distribute them to roughly 40 countries around the world. Besides obvious changes in text, layout, and language, all of the catalogs look pretty similar: except those published in Saudi Arabia.
Ikea spokes person Sara Carlsson has issued a response stating:
"We should have reacted and acknowledge that eliminating women in Saudi Arabia version [of the catalog] conflicts with Ikea's values."
As photographers, we often have to compromise our creative visions for the companies that hire us. A company like Ikea has every right to change or alter something in a photograph they paid us to produce. But should those same companies have to change their image and company branding based on cultural and political ideals in different regions of the world?