After receiving infuriating comments on social media for its holiday ad campaign, Balenciaga, the French luxury fashion brand, has issued a public apology for showcasing children with ‘harnessed’ plush bears.
Balenciaga took to Instagram to post a story addressing what it termed were “unapproved items” and issued a public apology along with an announcement that the luxury brand would be taking down the ad posted across all mediums.
In the statement, Balenciaga stated, “We sincerely apologise for any offence our holiday campaign may have caused. Our Plush Bear Bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign.”
Furthermore, the company also went on to state that they had removed the campaign from all platforms.
“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,” another statement by Balenciaga read.
In Balenciaga’s holiday ad campaign, children were featured holding the company’s plush bear bags, which had harnesses or bondage gears around the product.
Furthermore, the French luxury brand’s another Spring 23 campaign photoshoot showcased an hourglass placed on a table around court documents mentioning child pornography cases.
As a result, both the ads faced the brunt on social media platforms from several netizens owing to the indecent usage of children in their ad campaigns. Netizens also slammed the brand for allegedly promoting pedophilia in their marketing campaign.
BALENCIAGA should never be forgiven ever.— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) November 24, 2022
Their kids campaign has dozens of sick references that are so obvious. So many dark symbolism. Truly unforgivable and criminal.
Balenciagas executives must be held accountable! #balenciaga #BalenciagaGate #BalenciagaGroomers pic.twitter.com/KJ7rTxsqcq
the brand "Balenciaga" just did a uh..... interesting... photoshoot for their new products recently which included a very purposely poorly hidden court document about 'virtual child porn'— shoe (@shoe0nhead) November 21, 2022
normal stuff pic.twitter.com/zjMN5WhZ0s
After public outcry, #Balenciaga has APOLOGIZED for the incredibly disgusting ads sexualizing children.— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) November 22, 2022
Keep speaking out when you see evil like this. Don’t ignore it. Be vigilant. Your voice makes a a huge difference. pic.twitter.com/X9sCn7xkdN
Some of the netizens also went on to point out that the ad campaigns had ‘sick references’ and used a plethora of ‘dark symbols’ - as they were not only glamorising child abuse but also violence against women.
Remember when Balenciaga dropped Kanye West for being anti-semitic? Well, here is their new campaign featuring children, teddy bears in bondage and court papers that talk about pedo stuff. Seems like they no longer have the moral high ground #Balenciaga pic.twitter.com/7UQjBIpac3— Purple Unicorns (@Purple_Unicornz) November 22, 2022
Another photos from Balenciagas new ad campaign. A model with makeup to look like she has Black eyes.— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) November 21, 2022
Now now only is Balenciaga glamourising child abuse it’s also glamourizing violence against women! #balenciaga pic.twitter.com/YL9o2Ru51Q
Guys, zoom in. It’s not just fetish gear, the teddy bear has two black eyes.— Nicole Arbour (@NicoleArbour) November 23, 2022
Cancel this brand for life.
This isn’t a “conspiracy” or an accident. This is gross. #Balenciaga pic.twitter.com/hJh90mfrYN
#Balenciaga drops an ad where a little girl is holding a BDSM teddy bear, and court documents on a table detailing child pornography cases...— Barrington Martin II (@_BarringtonII) November 23, 2022
No biggie... I'm sure this all is just a coincidence. No reason why they would place these images in our faces or our subconscious.
While Balenciaga had posted a public apology and announced that it’ll be taking the legal action against those responsible, Gabriele Galimberti, a photographer for Nat Geo, who was assigned the Balenciaga photoshoot also posted a public statement on Instagram stating that it was the brand who had requested him to take pictures in his own ‘signature style’.
Galimberti had also added that the image of the hour glass bag with the court documents mentioning pornographic cases weren’t shot by him and were a part of another photoshoot which had wrongly been associated with his photoshoot.
After posting the statement, Galimberti had also removed the context and pretext of his post on Thursday, leaving the social media platform with a mere image of ‘STATEMENT’.