Balenciaga apologizes after backlash over ad featuring children with Bondage teddy bears

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Balenciaga apologizes after backlash over ad featuring children with Bondage teddy bears
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The fashion brand released a statement on its Instagram story

Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has issued an apology after backlash over a recent advertising campaign featuring children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage gear. The ad campaign featuring little girls and bondage-themed toys was deemed “inappropriate” and “disturbing” by several netizens.

On Tuesday, the fashion brand released a statement on its Instagram story. “We apologize for posting disturbing materials 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 photo shoot. We strongly condemn child abuse in all forms. We stand up for the safety and well-being of children,” the statement read.

In another Instagram story, the brand said “the plush bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign” and added that the campaign images have been removed from all of the brand’s platforms.

See pictures here:

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The ads, originally posted earlier this week, were used to promote the site’s holiday gift shop. Footage showed children posing with teddy bears dressed in bondage gear, including fishnet tops, collars with locks and ankle/wrist restraints.

Here are the images in question:

The photos drew fierce criticism online, with many accusing Balenciaga of sexualizing children. Many denounced the “problematic” campaign and criticized the brand while questioning the relevance of the photos.

Even after the brand apologized for the photos, some netizens said they didn’t buy Balenciaga’s apology. One user reacted to the apology and said, “Nice try Balenciaga. Let’s just get rid of all the law enforcement and apologize. Imagine this kind of world? Wait, we’re in it NOW! Enough with exploitation Kids! Balenciaga – leave the kids ALONE or pay LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.”

Another user asked why the brand chose to post the apology on their Instagram stories instead of posting them on their page. He wrote: “Are Balenciaga ducking responsibility by blaming the set designers or am I tripping? What were the unapproved items? Did they JUST realize children shouldn’t be involved after being called out? lmaoo that apology doesn’t solve anything.”

The apology comes just days after the brand deleted its Twitter account.

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