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Balenciaga Releases an Apology Following Claims It Sexualized Children in Ads

Balenciaga, a high-end French fashion label, has apologized and canceled its holiday campaign after receiving widespread criticism online. In one marketing campaign, kids are shown toting about “plush bear purses” that are harnessed in the shape of the brand’s initials, S&M. Also, in an ad for their “hourglass bag,” the Supreme Court records from child pornography cases were featured.

The brand issued an apology on its Instagram Stories after receiving backlash over advertisements depicting young children carrying bags deemed “disgusting” and “over-sexualized” by some consumers online. This ad campaign featuring our cuddly bear bags with youngsters was inappropriate. We have terminated the advertising campaign immediately across all channels.

Balenciaga issued a second apology two hours later after it was brought to their attention that another of their advertisements featured what appeared to be court documents from a controversial child pornography-related case.

To quote the second statement: “We apologize for exhibiting frightening materials in our campaign.” As a result of the seriousness with which we view this situation, we have decided to pursue legal action against whoever was responsible for building the set and inserting the prohibited props in the photographs used in our Spring 23 ad campaign. Any sort of child abuse is unacceptable to us. In defense of children’s rights and well-being, we declare our support.

One Twitter user commented on the ads, calling the brand’s approach to marketing “disgusting” and accusing them of going “shock factor” far. “I realize that much of Balenciaga’s marketing is the shock element’ of it all but this is just horrible,” they remarked.

Somebody criticized the company, saying, “the brand “Balenciaga” just staged an uh…..interesting… photoshoot for their new products recently which contained a very purposefully badly hidden court paperwork concerning ‘virtual child porn’ regular stuff.”

Others have wondered if Kim Kardashian, the brand’s ambassador, will issue a statement condemning the advertisement. The reality star has been silent thus far. Bella Hadid, another model who has collaborated with Balenciaga, has removed an Instagram post in which she promoted the brand.