After receiving angry comments on social media about its holiday ad campaign, Balenciaga, the French luxury fashion brand, has publicly apologized for presenting children with “harnessed” teddy bears.
Balenciaga took to Instagram to post a story addressing so-called “unapproved items” and released a public apology along with announcing that the luxury brand would remove the advert that had been published across all media outlets.
In the statement, Balenciaga stated: “We sincerely apologize for any insult our Christmas campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign.”
In addition, the company said it had removed the campaign from all platforms.
“We apologize for displaying disturbing documents in our campaign. We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set containing unauthorized items for our Spring ’23 campaign photo shoot,” Balenciaga said in a further statement.
Balenciaga’s holiday ad campaign featured children holding the company’s plush bear bags that featured harnesses or bondage gear around the product.
Additionally, another photo shoot by the French luxury brand for the Spring ’23 campaign featured an hourglass placed on a table around court documents mentioning cases of child pornography.
As a result, both ads on social media platforms have been hit with the brunt by several netizens due to the indecent use of children in their ad campaigns. Netizens also criticized the brand for allegedly promoting pedophilia in its marketing campaign.
BALENCIAGA should never be forgiven.
Your children’s campaign has dozens of sick references that are so obvious. So much dark symbolism. Truly unforgivable and criminal.
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) November 24, 2022
The “Balenciaga” brand recently did an er…interesting…photo shoot for their new products that included a very intentionally badly hidden court document on “virtual child pornography”.
normal stuff pic.twitter.com/zjMN5WhZ0s
— Shoe (@shoe0nhead) November 21, 2022
After public outcry #Balenciaga has apologized for the incredibly disgusting ads that sexualize children.
Keep talking if you see evil like this. Don’t ignore it. be vigilant. Your voice makes a big difference. pic.twitter.com/X9sCn7xkdN
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) November 22, 2022
Some of the netizens also pointed out that the ad campaigns contained “sick references” and used a plethora of “dark symbols” – as they not only glorified child abuse but also violence against women.
Remember when Balenciaga dumped Kanye West for being anti-Semitic? Well here is her new campaign featuring kids, teddy bears in bondage and court papers talking about pedo stuff. Seems like they don’t have the moral high ground anymore #Balenciaga pic.twitter.com/7UQjBIpac3
— Purple Unicorns (@Purple_Unicornz) November 22, 2022
Another photo from Balenciaga’s new ad campaign. A model with makeup that looks like she has black eyes.
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) November 21, 2022
Folks, zoom in. It’s not just fetish clothes, the teddy bear has two black eyes.
Cancel this mark for life.
— Nicole Arbor (@NicoleArbor) November 23, 2022
#Balenciaga runs an ad of a little girl holding a BDSM teddy bear and court documents on a table detailing child pornography cases…
No problem… I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence. No reason they would put those images on our faces or our subconscious.
— Barrington Martin II (@_BarringtonII) November 23, 2022
While Balenciaga had publicly apologized and announced legal action against those responsible, Gabriele Galimberti, a photographer for Nat Geo who was hired to do the Balenciaga photoshoot, also posted a public statement on Instagram stating that it was the brand of the asked him to take pictures in his own “signature style”.
Galimberti had also added that the image of the hourglass bag containing the court documents mentioning pornographic cases was not taken by him and was part of another photoshoot that had been mistakenly linked to his photoshoot.
Following the release of the statement, Galimberti had also removed the context and pretext of his post on Thursday, exiting the social media platform with a bare image of “STATEMENT.”