On Tuesday, RedState reported that the high-end fashion brand known as Balenciaga released an ad campaign that featured children holding teddy bears that were dressed in BDSM gear as well as pictures of court documents referring to a Supreme Court case regarding child pornography.
The backlash against Balenciaga was nothing short of massive, and as the company had withdrawn from social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, the silence from the company as the outrage grew was deafening.
But now, the company has apparently returned to Instagram and is apologizing for the disgusting campaign. Firstly, it apologized for putting children alongside the BDSM bears and informed the public that it has removed all of these photos. It added that it apologizes for the “unsettling documents” displayed in the campaign as well and that they are “taking legal action against the parties responsible” for the creation of the ad.
“We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form,” it added. “We stand for children [sic] safety and well-being.”
Update: Balenciaga has now publicly apologized and is “taking legal action” against the creator of their disturbing ad campaign featuring children with teddy bears in bondage gear alongside court documents about the legalization of virtual child sexual abuse. pic.twitter.com/e9IEDYoMne
— Laila Mickelwait (@LailaMickelwait) November 23, 2022
The question now is whether or not they should be believed — whether they’re actually sorry, or just sorry that the campaign suffered such a massive blowback. Not everyone buys the idea that the company was wholly ignorant of what was happening. For instance, one Twitter user who combed through the photos closely noticed that there was police tape containing the word “Baalenciaga,” which is a reference to Baal, the Canaanite deity to which children were often sacrificed. According to him, this would have had to be approved of and made by the company itself.
Looking closely you can see a lot more symbolism referring to child sacrifice.
This conclusively proves that this all goes higher then the photographer. If the photographer slipped a CP court document in a shoot that's one thing, but a Balenciaga factory had to print this tape. Wtf
— Vade 𓁼 (@pope_head) November 23, 2022
In the ad world, corporations often contract with major ad agencies to create and execute ad campaigns for them. Each ad campaign has to go through an approval process by the company before it can be released. Either Balenciaga approved of the entire thing or the people who sold the campaign to them did so while furtively keeping the details to themselves.
As you can see, the details are many and the majority of people wouldn’t know what they’re looking at when they saw it. However, the internet is very good at analyzing and discovering things, making it harder for details to go unnoticed. Details such as a book referencing an artist named Michaël Borremans, known for unsettling paintings, including one that features nude children cannibalizing others.
It’s entirely possible that the people who approved the ad campaign at Balenciaga didn’t know what they were looking at, but even the obvious things should have given them pause, making it harder to believe that they didn’t know what they were doing when they did it.
So either the company truly didn’t understand the mistake they were making, or they did and are now attempting to put out fires they intentionally started after a severe miscalculation. Whatever legal action is taken will likely reveal more, and RedState will stay on top of the story as it progresses.