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Balenciaga CEO apologizes for inappropriately featuring children in ad campaign

French fashion house Balenciaga’s creative director and CEO apologized on Friday for an advertisement campaign that drew outrage on social media over concerns that it featured inappropriate imagery involving children.

The campaign controversy forced reality television star Kim Kardashian to reconsider her ties with the brand.

“I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids,” said creative director Demna Gvasalia, known as Demna, in a message posted on Instagram.

The Kering PRTP.PA-owned label’s CEO, Cedric Charbit, announced new internal processes, including naming an “image board” to review content.

The label was criticized recently for two web advertisements. Last month’s gift collection ad featured toddlers holding a handbag shaped like a stuffed teddy bear with bondage straps.

The second is an office-based ad for the label’s spring 2023 collection, featuring papers from a 2008 Supreme Court ruling on child pornography.

Balenciaga apologized and said investigations on the campaigns are underway.

It said the papers featuring the legal text on child pornography were props from a third party and that it had filed a complaint against the inclusion of the “unapproved documents.”

In Friday’s statement, Charbit said the label had opted not to pursue action.

“I want to personally reiterate my sincere apologies for the offense caused and take my responsibility,” said Charbit. BKM/ Expat Media


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