Balenciaga addresses controversial advertising campaign
They weren’t content to just grin and “take it”.
Amid fierce backlash, Balenciaga has doubled down on its stance on the controversial ad campaign, which depicted children alongside bondage-style clothing and a child pornography court verdict. The Kering-owned fashion house shared its mea culpa in an Instagram post on Monday afternoon.
“We condemn in the strongest terms child abuse; It was never our intention to include it in the narrative,” the luxury couture company wrote in the statement. Balenciaga – who has been linked to the likes of Kim Kardashian – was referring to a series of ads featuring children in Balenciaga attire holding plush toys wearing bondage getups.
Needless to say, the brand quickly pulled the ads and is now condemning the controversial campaign, writing, “Our plush bear bags and gift collection should not have been shown with children.”
“This was a wrong decision by Balenciaga, combined with our failure to evaluate and validate images,” the fashion label added. “The responsibility for this lies solely with Balenciaga.”
Elsewhere in the apology, the company addressed the inclusion of legal documents from a Supreme Court case in one of the ads, which involved child pornography laws.
“The second, separate campaign for Spring 2023, designed to recreate an office environment, featured a photo from one side in the background of a Supreme Court ruling, ‘United States v. Williams’ 2008, which was upheld as illegal and unprotected freedom of speech the promotion of child pornography,” Balenciaga wrote. “All items included in this shoot were provided by third parties who have confirmed in writing that these props are counterfeit office documents.”
They added: “It turns out they were [real legal] Papers most likely from the making of a television drama.”
Balenciaga attributed the “insertion of these unauthorized documents” to “reckless negligence,” believed to be on the part of a contract worker hired for the photoshoot, against whom “Balenciaga has filed a complaint.” In fact, the brand has reportedly since filed a $25 million lawsuit against the parties allegedly responsible: production company North Six and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins and his eponymous company.
Nonetheless, Balenciaga wrote on Instagram that it “takes full responsibility for our lack of oversight and control over the underlying documents.”
The company added that it “could have done things differently” and vowed to continue to do so given the ongoing investigation.
“We’re rethinking our organization and our collective ways of working,” Balenciaga said. “We are strengthening the structures around our creative processes and validation steps. We want to ensure that new controls mark a tipping point and will prevent this from happening again.”
The company even claimed to work with “organizations that specialize in child protection and aim to end child abuse and exploitation.”
“We want to learn from our mistakes and find ways in which we can contribute,” the brand concluded. “Balenciaga reiterates its sincere apologies for the insult we have caused and apologizes to talent and partners.”
https://nypost.com/2022/11/28/balenciaga-addresses-controversial-ad-campaign/ Balenciaga addresses controversial advertising campaign