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Balenciaga Issues Lengthy Apology After Backlash Over BDSM Bear Campaign



After receiving backlash over their recent campaign where kids are seen modeling with teddy bears dressed in BDSM gear, Balenciaga has issued a lengthy apology over the ads.


The ad campaign also featured an image of the Supreme Court ruling from United States v Williams about child pornography.


Here's their statement:


“We would like to address the controversies surrounding our recent ad campaigns. 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 read. “The first campaign, the gift collection campaign, featured children with plush bear bags dressed in what some have labelled BDSM-inspired outfits. Our plush bear bags and the gift collection should not have been featured with children. This was a wrong choice by Balenciaga, combined with our failure in assessing and validating images. The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone.”


The statement continued,


“The second, separate campaign for spring 2023, which was meant to replicate a business office environment, included a photo with a page in the background from a Supreme Court ruling ‘United States v. Williams’ 2008 which confirms as illegal and not protected by Freedom of Speech the promotion of child pornography. 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. The inclusion of these unapproved documents was the result of reckless negligence for which Balenciaga has filed a complaint. We take full accountability for our lack of oversight and control of the documents in the background and we could have done things differently.”




Balenciaga also revealed that they are taking three distinct steps in response to what transpired.


First, the brand said, “we are closely revising our organization and collective ways of working.”


Secondly, they are “reinforcing the structures around our creative processes and validation steps. We want to ensure that new controls mark a pivot and will prevent this from happening again.”


Finally, they say, “we are laying the groundwork with organizations who specialize in child protection and aims at ending child abuse and exploitation.”


You can read the full post below.





I call BS on their apology. I feel the apology is to save face, and the lawsuit is to deflect from taking any responsibility for agreeing to this sort of campaign.


You can't sit and think that we're stupid enough to think that you weren't aware that parading children around an idea suited for adults was a good idea that would go over with the viewing public.


The person who came up with this campaign idea should be investigated, because while the campaign isn't child porn, anyone that thinks involving children with BDSM fashion has some pretty messed up thoughts.

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