For a company that cashes in on its cool, Ikea blundered with its catalog decision in Saudi Arabia.
What did the furniture and home accessories company do? It airbrushed all the women out of the Saudi version of its furniture catalog.
The Swedish company has apologized for doing that, the Associated Press reports:
The report raised questions in Sweden about Ikea's commitment to gender equality, and the company released a statement expressing "regret" over the issue.
"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," the company said.
And to be fair, women show up rarely in Saudi advertising -- and when they do, they are wearing long sleeves, long dresses and scarves covering their hair.
It's one thing to tailor a catalog for particular audiences. But removing all the women? How does that sit with you? And what does it do to your opinion of Ikea, the much-loved retailer whose recent decision to open a store in Kansas City -- not St. Louis -- stung some in our area.