Balenciaga Files $25 Million Suit Against Producers Of ‘Malevolent’ Ad
Balenciaga has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the producers of its campaign ad that featured Court decision on child pornography laws.
The photo ad of a $3,000 purse from Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection included a printout of the 2008 United States v. Williams decision, which ruled on the constitutionality of a federal law banning the “pandering” of child pornography.
Social media users unearthed the ad amid another controversy the French fashion house is already under fire for: a childrenwear campaign that featured kids holding teddy bears dressed in bondage.
As of this writing, the hashtags #BalenciagaGate, #BalenciagaGroomers and #BalenciagaPedos appear as top search results on Twitter, with users still slamming the company after it issued back-to-back apology statements.
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The suit filed on Friday centers only on the Supreme Court printout. Balenciaga is seeking $25 million from production company North Six, Inc. and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins, who both allegedly included the document without its knowledge.
The luxury brand described the document’s inclusion as “malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless.” The ad first appeared at Paris Fashion Week.
“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. Defendants are liable to Balenciaga for all harm resulting from this false association,” the suit alleges.
A North Six representative said the company managed the logistics and contracted the set designer, according to the New York Post. On the other hand, Gabriela Moussaieff, Des Jardins’ agent, told The Washington Post that the court papers used in the ad “were obtained from a prop house that were rental pieces used on film [and] photo shoots.”
Moussaieff believes Des Jardins is “being used as a scapegoat” in the scandal. “Everyone from Balenciaga was on the shoot and was present on every shot and worked on the edit of every image in post production,” Moussaieff said.