High-end French fashion brand Balenciaga has issued an apology and pulled their recent holiday campaign which featured children holding a teddy bear dressed in bondage gear.
According to Yahoo, the campaign, which sparked a wave of backlash on social media, is a series of adverts featuring children carrying the brand's 'plush bear bags', which are wearing S&M style harnesses.
In a statement posted to their Instagram Stories, Balenciaga apologised for causing any offence with the adverts featuring young children holding the bags, which many called “disgusting” and “over-sexualised”.
"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. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms," the statement read.
Two hours later, Balenciaga issued a second apology after it was pointed out that on a table in another of their adverts, documents appearing to show court filings related to a controversial child pornography-related case were on display.
This second statement in full reads: "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 abuse of children in any form. We stand for children safety and well-being."
Yahoo said that commenting on the adverts, one Twitter user labelled the brand's approach to marketing as “disgusting” and accused them of taking the “shock factor” way too far.
Another called the brand out by writing: "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".
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