Balenciaga issues apology, recalls controversial ad featuring children and bondage teddies


French luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has apologised after their recent ad featuring children holding teddy bears dressed in what appeared to be BDSM-style harnesses, sparked outrage on social media.

The ad featuring two little girls holding bondage-themed toys was termed “disturbing” by several social media users. Many claimed that the ad over-sexualised children. The brand not only issued an apology but also recalled the ad campaign.

“We apologise for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign. We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot,” read the statement by the fashion label.

“We strongly condemn the abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and well-being,” it added. In an Instagram story, the brand said that the images featuring the children have been removed from all its platforms.

The advertisements were posted earlier this week and showed children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage gear, including fishnet tops, collars with locks, and ankle/wrist restraints.

Another ad showed an hourglass bag on a table with court documents discussing child pornography cases.

The images received sharp criticism from social media users, with many slamming Balenciaga for sexualising children. The apology issued by the brand did not sit well with many users.

“Balenciaga is now apologizing for their child porn marketing campaign. The apology should not be accepted,” commented a Twitter user. Some questioned why the brand posted the apology on their Instagram stories and not on their page.

“I find it interesting that Balenciaga post their apology on their IG Story, which will be gone in 24 hours instead of posting it on their actual page,” said one user.

“Is Balenciaga dodging accountability by blaming the set designers or am I trippen?…” wrote another.

Balenciaga has been hitting headlines over the past few months. It had become a topic of discussion after the brand quit Twitter earlier this month.

Before the Twitter controversy, the brand was in the headlines for severing ties with rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West after he made anti-Semitic remarks.

Balenciaga
Balenciaga logo/ Adrock182, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons





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