Angry customers ask how Ikea justifies having three stores in Saudi Arabia – but boycotted GB News
Ikea’s backlash: Angry customers ask how the chain justifies having stores in Saudi Arabia – where you can be executed for being gay – but boycotted GB News because it didn’t fit its “humanist values “
- Ikea was one of ten organizations to remove ads from the broadcaster last week.
- Swedish retailer faced backlash from customers after he bowed to a crowd of awakened activists
- Instead, consumers blasted the company for its Saudi Arabia operations
Ikea was accused last night of “breathtaking hypocrisy” after joining a boycott of new TV channel GB News – despite opening stores in Saudi Arabia where homosexuality can be punished with death.
The Swedish retailer has faced a backlash from customers after it bowed to an online crowd of awakened activists and suspended advertising with the chain, claiming it was not in line with its “humanistic values”.
Andrew Neil, chairman of GB News, said he started the channel because “the leadership of the news debate in Britain is increasingly awake and out of touch with the majority of its population.”
Ikea, the world’s largest furniture company, was one of ten organizations to remove its ads from the broadcaster last week following an online campaign by left-wing advocacy group Stop Funding Hate, which began vilifying the channel months before it aired last Sunday. . Ikea said it is investigating how its advertisement appeared on GB News, adding, “We have put in place safeguards to prevent our advertising from appearing on platforms that do not conform to our humanistic values.”
But the move backfired dramatically as consumers lambasted the company for its operations in Saudi Arabia, where it opened stores in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran. Homosexuality is illegal under Sharia law in Saudi Arabia and punishable by death, while women cannot apply for a passport or travel outside the country without the approval of their male guardian.
Critics have pointed out how Ikea was forced to apologize in 2012 after it was revealed that images of women were airbrushed from its Saudi catalog in an apparent attempt not to upset Arab customers.
Andrew Neil, chairman of GB News, said he started the channel because “the leadership of the news debate in Britain is increasingly awake and out of touch with the majority of its people”
The Ikea store in Riyadh is just eight kilometers from Deera Square, known as Chop Chop Square, where public executions take place.
“I’m gay and Ikea has outlets in Saudi Arabia where homosexuality is illegal and people are being killed for being gay,” said Mark Wilkes, 60, a business headhunter from the north. from London, in a message to Ikea on Twitter. “Does this correspond to your ‘humanist values’? “
Dr David Jeffrey, professor of politics at the University of Liverpool, sent this message to the company: “How to have… stores in Saudi Arabia, where being gay is punished with death and where women are not allowed to go. live their lives freely, does it align with your ‘humanist values’?’
David Waddell, a senior producer for the BBC, wrote: “Ikea has stores in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, the Philippines, Russia and Egypt. But a news channel regulated by Ofcom in the United Kingdom is a step too far for its “humanist values”. ‘
Critics also pointed out how Ikea was forced to apologize in 2012 after it was revealed that images of women were airbrushed from its Saudi catalog in an apparent attempt not to upset Arab customers. .
Ikea was accused last night of “breathtaking hypocrisy” after joining a boycott of new TV channel GB News – despite opening stores in Saudi Arabia where homosexuality can be punished with death
A Swedish newspaper has revealed how a Swedish version of the catalog showed a mother standing next to her child in an Ikea bathroom, with a man in the background.
In the Saudi catalog, the man and the child remained but the image of the woman was deleted. Ikea reversed its decision to suspend advertising on GB News last week, saying it was “just too early to make an informed decision” on whether to advertise to the broadcaster. Vodafone and MoneySuperMarket also reconsidered their decision and said they were not boycotting the channel.
Last night, a spokesperson for Ikea, whose Saudi stores are run by a franchisee, said he regretted the women’s airbrushing of his Saudi catalog and revised his guidelines in the wake of the incident.
Energy supplier Ovo Energy also faced backlash for boycotting GB News. Client Jim Skinner, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, said: “How dare you censor my choice of news channels. I am one of your clients but I will NOT renew with you at the end of my contract. ‘