Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna, addresses the controversial ad campaign.
Demna, Balenciaga's creative director, is admitting his mistake following the brand's controversial teddy bear ad, which featured children posing with teddy bears dressed in BDSM-like attire and received backlash as soon as it was published.
Demna took to social media to share a statement in which he apologized for the inappropriate artistic choice of theory for the gift-giving advertisement with the children and took responsibility, adding that having the kids encourage objects that had nothing whatsoever to do with them was unsuitable.
The creative director went on to say that, even though he would like to spark debate through his artwork at times, he could never do so with such a terrible subject as child abuse, which he denounces. Period. In his assertion, he also stated that he has to learn from this, listen, and start engaging with child protection nonprofits to figure out how he can make a contribution and help with this terrible subject.
Balenciaga's creative director indicated his statement by having to apologize to anyone who was offended by the graphics featured in the advertising campaign and going to add that the brand has done promise to not only avoid similar mistakes in the future but also to assume responsibility for safeguarding child welfare in any way they can.
Earlier this month, the luxury label launched a "Toy Stories" campaign on its website, featuring pictures of young children from various backgrounds holding Balenciaga's plush bear bags. The accessories were spotted buckled into harnesses and other unsuitable items, sparking outrage online.
On November 28th, the brand responded to the ad by issuing a statement in which they stated that they strongly condemn child abuse and that it was never their intention to include it in their narrative. According to the statement, the two separate advertisements in question reflect a sequence of unfortunate errors for which Balenciaga took responsibility, as well as a bad choice made by Balenciaga, in conjunction with a failure to assess and legitimize images. Balenciaga bears sole responsibility for this.
The company also spoke on the campaign image, which included Supreme Court documents from the 2008 United States v. William case, which criminalized child pornography. The second, separate campaign for spring 2023, which has been meant to recreate a business office setting, does include a picture with a document from a 2008 Supreme Court ruling, "United States V. Williams," which validates the advertising of child pornography as unauthorized and not shielded by free speech.
They went on to say that third parties who confirmed in writing that the papers were forgeries provided all of the items used in the shoot. They claimed that it was real legal documents, most likely from the filming of a television drama. Balenciaga explained that the incorporation of the legal papers was not authorized, and he announced the commencement of both internal and external interrogations, as well as plans to protect children even more.
They also stated that they are currently reviewing their institution and collective working methods. According to the statement, Balenciaga is strengthening the structures surrounding their creative activities and confirmation steps to ensure that the new controls mark a turning point and will keep this from happening again. Along with establishing a framework with child protection organizations, we hope to put an end to child exploitation and abuse.
Kim Kardashian also broke her secrecy on the highly contested campaign, taking to social media and explaining that she has been quiet for a few days because she has been astonished and enraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns. But she would want a chance to speak with their team to figure out how this could have occurred. Kim went on to say that as a mother of four, the horrific images have shaken her, that the safety of children must be prioritized, and that any efforts to try to normalize child abuse of any kind ought to have no place whatsoever in our society.
She asserted by writing that she appreciates Balenciaga's removal of the initiatives as well as their apology. The beauty mogul stated that after speaking with them, she believes they recognize the seriousness of the situation and will take the necessary measures to ensure that it does not happen again. She also discussed her plans with Balenciaga, writing that she is currently re-evaluating her relationship with the brand, ability, and willingness to accept personal responsibility for something that should never have happened in the first place—and the actions she expects to see them take to protect children.
As soon as the commercial received backlash and many people expressed their displeasure with the images posted, the brand not only removed the pictures from their web page on November 22 but also apologized on social networking sites on November 28. They apologize sincerely for any offense caused by their vacation campaign, and their stuffed animal bear bags shouldn't have been starred with kids in this campaign, according to the statement. The brand recognized that the advertising had been quickly removed from all platforms.
The statement went on to say that they apologized and included disturbing paperwork in their campaign and that they will take this matter very seriously, filing legal action against the parties responsible for designing the set and including un - authorized items in their Spring 23 campaign photo session. Balenciaga categorically rejects all forms of child abuse, leading to the conclusion that they advocate for kids' welfare and well-being.
Balenciaga removed the images from its website on November 22.