Balenciaga on campaign controversy: ‘We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent’ | The Financial Express

Balenciaga on campaign controversy: ‘We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent’

The Balenciaga ad featured children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage accessories and also had an image of a supreme court opinion on a child pornography case.

Balenciaga on campaign controversy: ‘We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent’
The French fashion label recently took to Instagram to share an apology, writing, "We sincerely apologise for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused." (Photo: Instagram/@demnagram)

Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has issued an apology amid the recent controversy around two of its ‘deeply disturbing’ and ‘inappropriate’ campaign photoshoots. It featured children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage accessories and also had an image of a supreme court opinion on a child pornography case.

It was displayed on their official website; however, it has now been taken down.

The fashion label has taken down all the posts from Instagram. There’s a lengthy statement on the matter — in which it is “strongly condemning child abuse”. It wrote, “We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in our narrative. The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility.”

The statement further explained that the first campaign, the “gift collection campaign”, for which children posed with “plush bear bags dressed in what some have labelled BDSM-inspired outfits”, was a “wrong choice” on the part of the brand, combined with their “failure in assessing and validating images”. “The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone.”

Explaining the second ad for Balenciaga’s spring 2023 campaign, the statement said it was “meant to replicate a business office environment”. “All the items included in this shooting were provided by third parties that confirmed in writing that these props were fake office documents. They turned out to be real legal papers most likely coming from the filming of a television drama.” “We want to learn from our mistakes and identify ways we can contribute. Balenciaga reiterates its sincere apologies for the offense we have caused and extends its apologies to talents and partners.”

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First published on: 29-11-2022 at 17:54 IST