Balenciaga’s shocking holiday ad campaign: the luxury fashion brand apologised for its promo featuring kids holding teddy bears in bondage – but social media users have already deemed it ‘disgusting’

Balenciaga is in hot water for its controversial holiday campaign featuring inappropriately dressed teddy bears. Photos: Balenciaga, Getty Images

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

Balenciaga recently quit Elon Musk’s Twitter platform. Photo: Balenciaga
The luxury fashion brand issued a statement on November 22, on social media, stating that it had pulled the ads from all of its platforms.
Balenciaga’s controversial teddy bear campaign sparked criticism and uproar. Photo: Instagram

“We sincerely apologise for any offence 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 closer examination of the documents reveals that they refer to a Supreme Court ruling that upheld a law that criminalises child sexual abuse images.

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“We apologise 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, claiming that they included “unapproved items” in the campaign.

Balenciaga issued a statement on its Instagram account on November 22.
Balenciaga apologised on Instagram Stories for its controversial holiday campaign. Photo: @balenciaga/Instagram

The photos drew sharp criticism online, particularly from conservative influencers who accused the brand of sexualising children, calling it “disgusting”.

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“Balenciaga severed their ties with @ kanyewest due to a tweet. Yet they expect us to just ‘accept their apology’ after they get caught up sexualising children?” CJ Pearson, a conservative activist, tweeted.

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

This article originally appeared on Insider
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  • Netizens criticised Balenciaga for the campaign, which shows a Supreme Court document upholding a law criminalising child sexual abuse images, especially after the brand cut ties with Kanye West
  • Balenciaga issued an apology on Instagram, but its parent company Kering, which also owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, has yet to comment