Fashion company, Balenciaga has withdrawn a recent advertisement featuring children with sexualized teddy bears, but not fast enough to avoid incurring the wrath of customers and potential customers.
The company also issued an apology for the ads, which show two young girls posing with teddy bears that appear to be wearing BDSM-style harnesses.
In one photo, one of the girls posed on a pink-coloured bed clutching one of the plush bear bags, surrounded by other purses and accessories that include what appears to be a chain leash as well as a Balenciaga branded dog collar choker.
“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. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms,” the apology posted on its Instagram page read in part.
The ads, which were already posted this week, supported Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, which debuted this fall at Paris Fashion Week.
Some keen online commentators, while reacting to the ads, said one of the shots featured an excerpt from the U.S. Supreme Court opinion on United States vs. Williams (2008), which upheld part of a federal child pornography law.
the brand "Balenciaga" just did a uh….. interesting… photoshoot for their new products recently which included a very purposely poorly hidden court document about 'virtual child porn'
normal stuff pic.twitter.com/zjMN5WhZ0s
— shoe (@shoe0nhead) November 21, 2022
In its apology, Balenciaga said, ”We apologize 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 abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and well-being.”
However, some online commentators pooh-poohed the apology, which they described as an afterthought.
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