Damage control? Balenciaga hires new VP of Communications with a special emphasis on crisis communications after backlash over THOSE ads
- Balenciaga is hiring a VP of Communications amid recent campaign backlash
- The position would assist with ‘crisis communications’ and pay up to $200,000
- Balenciaga took massive hit after featuring children inappropriately campaigns
French fashion house Balenciaga is hiring a new Vice President of Communication for crisis control as the brand attempts to save its reputation following their campaign that featured children holding bondage teddy bears.
The embattled brand opened the New York based position on Tuesday emphasizing the need for the VP to ‘support in the development and execution of external and internal crisis communications strategy and responses.’
Balenciaga received extreme backlash in November when they launched their inappropriate holiday campaigns with toddlers and then later released a spring 2023 collection, set in an office, including papers featuring text from a 2008 Supreme Court ruling relating to child pornography.
The brand apologized for the campaigns and later attempted to amend their mistake by partnering with a children’s charity.
Now, Balenciaga appears to be taking their crisis response a step further by hiring assistance for the estimated salary of $150,000 to $200,000.
Balenciaga is hiring a VP of Communications after receiving backlash for a campaign picturing child models posing with BDSM-styled bears on a set that was staged to look like a party
The embattled brand opened the New York based position on Tuesday emphasizing the need for the VP to ‘support in the development and execution of external and internal crisis communications strategy and responses’
In December, Balenciaga’s creative director and chief executive officer both apologized for the now-infamous advertising campaign.
The campaign likely impacted the label’s fourth quarter sales with one analyst calling it a ‘PR blow-up.’ The annual earnings report is due out on February 2021. In 2021, Balenciaga did around $1.8 billion in sales.
At the time, Balenciaga released a statement apologizing for both photoshoots as several celebrities condoned their choices, including Kim Kardashian.
The statement reads: ‘We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.
‘We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign. We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot. We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children safety and well-being.’
Separately, the Kering-owned label issued a statement signed by Charbit outlining new internal processes, including naming an ‘image board’ to evaluate content.
To avoid future crisis’, the new VP will help with decision making for the brand image and maintain media relationships.
The job description also seeks candidates who can assist with PR strategies across the region, maintain and develop relationships with ‘key editors’, work on communication plans for product launches and manage communications across different platforms.
Balenciaga apologized for what some believe is a photoshoot that amounts to child pornography, with a child holding a teddy bear dressed in a BDSM outfit
French actress Isabelle Huppert is shown posing in front of a book by artist Michael Borremans whose work includes depictions of naked, castrated toddlers
Photos containing an excerpt from the US Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Williams, which upheld part of a federal child pornography law, was in another shoot
Outrage: There is continued anger over Balenciaga’s campaigns. Actress Anna Lynne McCord leads a protest outside the Rodeo Drive store in December
Balenciaga previously had two images of young children cuddling up with the plush handbags on their website that now appear to have been wiped.
The first photo on the online store shows a young ginger-haired child standing on a plush pink bed while holding a white teddy bag by its leather strap.
As well as having spiky leather bracelets around the bear’s arms and legs, the soft toy is dressed in a mesh crop top with a chain and padlock around its neck.
The gift shop section of the website features another image of a child standing on a sofa and holding a purple furry toy bag.
To amend their mistakes, the the label and its parent company Kering Foundation announced in February that they have begun a three-year partnership with the National Children’s Alliance, which is based in Washington DC.
According to a statement, Balenciaga will work with the NCA in helping children to heal from the trauma caused by abuse, promoting public awareness of child abuse and child protection, the NCA will educate Balenciaga on the actions that adults can take to further protect children.
‘We were confronted with the reality and magnitude of childhood trauma during our listening tour where we engaged with several leading organizations and experts in the field of childhood trauma,’ the company said in a statement.
THE BALENCIAGA SCANDAL: BONDAGE BEARS, CHILD PORN DOCS AND AN ARTIST KNOWN FOR DEPICTING NAKED KIDS
The Bondage Bears Christmas campaign
The scandal erupted when Balenciaga released its 2022 Holiday ad campaign that featured children posing with its Plush Toy Bag. The bags look like teddy bears and are dressed in BDSM gear.
In the photo shoot, the kids also appeared surrounded by empty wine and champagne glasses.
The distinctly adult themes immediately troubled many who asked why children had ever been used.
Balenciaga ignored the scandal at first and seemingly allowed the photographer who was involved, Gabriele Galimberti, to take the heat.
He released a statement saying he had no control over the content of the shoot and eventually, Balenciaga released its own statement agreeing with him and taking responsibility for the campaign.
It has now been pulled from the internet.
The hidden child porn documents
After the BDSM bears fiasco, eagle-eyed critics started examining the rest of Balenciaga’s campaigns closely.
They soon discovered that in the background of an image from the Spring ’23 campaign was a printout of a Supreme Court ruling on whether or not internet child porn can be legally considered free speech.
On the back of the bears scandal, many critics said it pointed to a troubling pattern within Balenciaga.
Balenciaga was quick to blame North Six, a production company that helped arrange the shoot, for the inclusion of those documents.
They claimed that they entrusted all of the props from the photoshoot to North Six, and that their team was assured everything that was included was fake.
The troubling book of artist whose work depicts naked, castrated toddlers
Balenciaga is yet to answer for the inclusion of a book by Michael Borremans in the background of two of the images from the Spring ’23 campaign.
Borremans is a Belgian painter whose work includes a troubling 2017 series called Fire From The Sun.
It depicts naked toddlers – some of them castrated – playing in a group and at times alone.
Lawyers for the brand are yet to address DailyMail.com’s questions about how the book ended up on the photoshoot.
In this image from Balenciaga’s scrapped Spring ’23 campaign, Isabelle Huppert sits in front of a stack of books including one that celebrates Michael Borremans, a Belgian painter whose work is known to include depictions of castrated toddlers
Borremans’ other work includes his 2017 series Fire From The Sun, which features castrated toddlers and babies holding what look like severed limbs, while playing together nude in a large group
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