Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has issued an apology after facing backlash over a recent ad campaign, which featured children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage gear. Many people found the advertising campaign, which featured young girls and toys with bondage themes, to be ‘inappropriate’ and ‘disturbing’.
Ina statement issued, the fashion label said, “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. We strongly condemn the abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and well-being.”
In another Instagram Story, the brand said that the ‘plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign’ and added that images of the campaign have been removed from all of the brand’s platforms.
The advertisements, which were originally posted earlier this week, were used to promote the website’s holiday gift shop. The photos showed children posing with teddy bears dressed in bondage gear such as fishnet tops, collars with locks, and ankle/wrist restraints.
The images sparked outrage online, with many accusing Balenciaga of sexualising children. Many criticised the ‘problematic’ campaign and the brand, while also questioning the appropriateness of the images.
On TikTok alone, the hashtag #cancelbalenciaga has over 105k views, with most of them attributed to content creators explaining why the holiday campaign is so deplorable.