‘Censored’ Swimming Pool Ad In Saudi Arabia Turns Woman Into A Ball

A Saudi retail company has been criticized for deleting a woman from an advertisement.

A Saudi hardware giant created a furor online after it tweeted an ad promoting swimming pools but replaced a woman in the photo with an inflatable ball.

Saudi retail company SACO shared the ad while highlighting its latest offers, stating that the store has a large number of pools on promotion. The ad features a family in the pool with a man and three children, with pixilated faces, fully dressed. However, the woman is completely Photoshopped and an inflatable ball and its reflection is inserted in her place.


Apparently, this is what the original photo looked like.


The ad left people on Twitter shocked.







This is not the first time for such an incident in Saudi Arabia. Women are often completely removed from ads in the Gulf kingdom and in some cases only their eyes are visible. Previously, IKEA erased women out of the Saudi version of its furniture magazine — which was previously identical across the world.


The Swedish furniture retailer later apologized and said in a statement that it “regrets the decision to delete all woman and most girls from the Saudi printed edition and website, after questions were raised over the company's commitments to gender equality.”

Although Saudi Arabia has made some minor advances on women’s rights in the past few years — such as lifting the ban on sports for girls at schools, permitting women to run and/or vote in municipal elections in 2015 without male approval and allowing them to travel abroad without male supervision — it still has a long, long way to go.

Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters 

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