Ikea removing women from ads. Ads exist to sell things. If showing women in a bikinis helps to sell, then companies do that. If adding a dog or cat helps to sell, then companies do that. So it seems pretty obvious that a company trying to sell into a very misogynistic society that finds images of women to be highly offensive, would not show images of women. I suppose they could have removed all the people so that it was less...obvious?...but if people in the ads helps sales, and women hurt, then you will see ads with people but not women.
Now, the anti-woman attitude in Saudi Arabia is certainly highly offensive, and anyone who is really offended about this should be offended that Ikea is selling there at all, not that they removed women from the ads. Maybe Ikea should be trying to change the world by opening a store then publishing an ad that will offend the people who could shop there? Maybe by offending some, Ikea could have reaped huge rewards from all the women who would come to purchase things there in support? ...Or maybe it's all a clever ruse, and after they sell a certain amount they will announce that the entire supply chain producing furniture for Saudi Arabia was composed of lesbians...lesbians who had sex on all the furniture before it shipped infecting it with the highly contagious lesbianacervix bacterium which makes male dangly bits turn to sand and fall off.
Or maybe Ikea wants to make money and it's cheap and easy to Photoshop out the women...
Large companies can--and it is admirable when they do--challenge the status quo and be a force for good, but I don't really expect it of them--though maybe I should--and I get a little confused when other people do. In reality the bigger the company, the less concern it has for anything other than profit. Smaller companies and businesses care about their workers because the CEO has to see them every day. They care about the community because it affects their workers and because they live there (or at least have to drive through).