Balenciaga apologizes for ad campaign that features children holding teddy bear bags in bondage gear

  • Balenciaga's latest holiday ad campaign sparked outrage on social media.

  • It featured children holding plush teddy bears accessorized with bondage gear.

  • The company apologized and said it would seek legal action against the creators of the campaign.

Balenciaga apologized for its latest ad campaign that featured children holding plush teddy bear bags accessorized with bondage gear after it sparked outrage on social media and drew accusations of sexualizing children.

The luxury fashion brand issued a statement on Tuesday on social media, stating that it pulled the ads from all of its platforms.

"We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign," the statement said.

Another aspect of the advertisement featured an image of Balenciaga's handbag laid atop a stack of documents. A close examination reveals that the documents refer to a Supreme Court ruling that upheld a law that criminalizes child sexual abuse images.

"We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign," Balenciaga wrote, adding that it strongly condemns the "abuse of children in any form."

The company said that it will seek legal action against the parties responsible for the photo shoot and claimed that they also included "unapproved items" for the campaign.

Screenshot of Balenciaga's Instagram story
Balenciaga issued a statement on its Instagram account on Tuesday.Screenshot via Balenciaga

The photos drew sharp criticism online, particularly from conservative influencers who accused the brand of sexualizing children.

"Balenciaga severed their ties with @kanyewest due to a tweet. Yet they expect us to just 'accept their apology' after they get caught up sexualizing children?" CJ Pearson, a conservative activist, tweeted Tuesday.

Kering, which owns Balenciaga, along with Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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