Luxury fashion designer Balenciaga has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the advertisers who produced their brand-damaging, pedophile-themed ad campaign.
Balenciaga faced severe backlash and was accused of “normalizing child pornography” for its BDSM teddy bear ad campaign.
The fashion house filed suit Friday against production company North Six, Inc., and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins, particularly for including a portion of a U.S. Supreme Court case citing another case making virtual child pornography protected speech.
The inclusion of the case U.S. v. Williams citing Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition alongside children posing with teddy bears wearing BDSM outfits in an ad campaign caused massive public outcry about the company appearing to normalize the sexualization of children.
Balenciaga has since removed the pictures and issued an apology that to some was too little as they apologized for “any offense” that may have been caused by the pictures and said the children should not have been posing with the bears.
While the lawsuit does not specifically mention the teddy bears, the fashion house filed “to seek redress for extensive damages defendants caused in connection with an advertising campaign Balenciaga hired them to produce.”
Balenciaga also accused the defendants’ actions of being “malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless.”
“As a result of Defendants’ misconduct, members of the public, including the news media, have falsely and horrifically associated Balenciaga with the repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision,” it continues. “Defendants are liable to Balenciaga for all harm resulting from this false association.”
Nicole Kidman is featured in Balenciaga’s spring 2023 collection , while Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid have been brand ambassadors.