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Balenciaga files $25M suit against ‘BDSM teddy bear’ ad producers

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Balenciaga has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the producers of a controversial ad campaign that included a baby pornography court ruling and BDSM teddy bears, latest court papers show.

The style house brought the suit Friday against production company North Six, Inc. and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins and his eponymous company for the inclusion in one among the ads of legal documents from a US Supreme Court decision on child porn laws.

The style brand ad also showed unsettling pictures of a baby holding teddy bears wearing bondage outfits. The 2-page court summons doesn’t mention the BDSM teddy bears.

Balenciaga is bringing the case “to hunt redress for extensive damages defendants caused in reference to an promoting campaign Balenciaga hired them to supply,” the Manhattan Supreme Court summons alleges.

Amid controversy over BDSM teddy bears an eagle-eyed investigator of the ad spotted the court decision in a single ad.

A Balenciaga ad is pictured with a purse on top of the court papers.
Balenciaga is suing the producers of a controversial ad campaign that featured a court decision on child pornography.

Balenciaga claims North Six and Des Jardins included the photographs of the court docs without its knowledge – which was “malevolent or, on the very least, extraordinarily reckless,” the filing states.

“Consequently of Defendants’ misconduct, members of the general public, including the news media, have falsely and horrifically associated Balenciaga with the repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision,” the court papers charge. “Defendants are liable to Balenciaga for all harm resulting from this false association.”

Little girl holding a teddy bear dressed in bondage.
The ads first got here under fire for 2 children holding teddy bears which might be wearing bondage.

A child is seen holding a teddy bear dressed in bondage.
The ads were taken down amid the general public backlash.

The advertisements got here out at Paris Fashion Week and supported the corporate’s spring/summer 2023 collection.

On Tuesday, the corporate issued an apology and announced it had pulled the teddy bear ads.

“We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign can have caused. Our plush bear bags mustn’t have been featured with children on this campaign. We have now immediately removed the campaign from all platforms,” read the statement posted on Instagram.

Amid scrutiny of the contentious campaign, one eagle-eyed watchdog spotted the high court documents about child pornography laws.

The corporate also apologized “for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign,” and said it’s “taking legal motion against the parties accountable for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot.”

“We strongly condemn abuse of youngsters in any form. We stand for youngsters’s safety and well-being,” the corporate concluded.

Meanwhile, the photographer of the bear ad, Gabriele Galimberti, wrote on Instagram he wasn’t in charge of the “direction of the campaign and the selection of the objects displayed.”

Last month, the luxurious brand became embroiled in one other dispute after rapper and fashion entrepreneur Kanye West — who has collaborated with the corporate’s art director several times – made anti-Seminitic threats.

Balenciaga, which has close ties with the rapper’s ex Kim Kardashian and her family, has also cut ties with him.

North Six and a rep for Des Jardins didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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