Balenciaga Apologises After Backlash Over Ad That Featured Children With Bondage Teddy Bears

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The fashion label posted a statement on its Instagram Story

Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has issued an apology after backlash over a recent ad campaign, which featured 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 users.

On Tuesday, the fashion label posted a statement on its Instagram Story. “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,” the statement read.

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.

See the pictures here:

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The advertisements, which were originally posted earlier this week, were being used to promote the site’s holiday gift shop. The pictures featured children posing with teddy bears dressed in bondage gear, including fishnet tops, collars with lock and ankle/wrist restraints.

Here are the images in question:

The photos drew sharp criticism online, with many accusing Balenciaga of sexualising children. Many called out the ”problematic” campaign and slammed the brand while questioning the appropriateness of the photos.

Even after the brand apologised for the pictures, some online users said that they are not buying Balenciaga’s apology. One user reacted to the apology and said, “Nice try Balenciaga. Let’s just get rid of all law enforcement and have apology enforcement. Imagine that kind of world? Ho wait we are in it NOW! Enough with child exploitation! Balenciaga- leave the children ALONE or pay the LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.”

Another user questioned why the brand chose to post the apology on their Instagram stories instead of posting it on their page. He wrote, “Is Balenciaga dodging accountability by blaming the set designers or am I trippen? What were the unapproved items? Did they JUST realize children shouldn’t be involved after being called out? lmaoo this apology solves nothing.”

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

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