Balenciaga had full creative control over a photo shoot that has been widely criticized for including references to child pornography, and the fashion house’s lawsuit against the agency that helped produce the ads is nothing more than a blame-shifting PR stunt, sources told TMZ.
Balenciaga is facing backlash for the ad, which features documents from a Supreme Court case dealing with child pornography. Instead of accepting responsibility for the release of the images, Balenciaga has attempted to deflect the negative attention by filing a $25 million lawsuit against ad agency North Six, according to TMZ.
Balenciaga claims in the lawsuit that the defendants “included certain documents” — presumably the printout of the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2008 case United States v. Williams — in the shoot without Balenciaga’s knowledge or authorization. A spokesman for set designer Nicholas Des Jardins, who worked on the ad that featured the SCOTUS documents, told The Washington Post the printouts “were obtained from a prop house that were rental pieces used on film [and] photo shoots.”
Sources close to the highly criticized photo shoot claim that North Six had no creative authority on the project, and only dealt with logistics such as crew management, equipment and locations, TMZ reported. North Six and Des Jardins were not involved in a separate Balenciaga photo shoot that featured young children holding stuffed bears dressed in BDSM gear.
Balenciaga hitting production company North Six with a $25 million summons after backlash from its ad campaign is all smoke and mirrors, so says a source close to the production. https://t.co/BWg2MFWZ09
— TMZ (@TMZ) November 30, 2022
A source close to North Six told TMZ that Balenciaga’s lawsuit is intended to re-direct negative media attention onto the agency. Balenciaga has faced increased pressure to remedy this situation.
Kim Kardashian released a statement to Twitter demanding that Balenciaga the issues with its marketing. Kardashian has long been a supporter of the brand and is known to endorse their designs on her social media outlets. Her tweet left the status of her involvement with Balenciaga ambiguous.
North Six claims it had nothing to do with the design of the set and blames Balenciaga for including the documents dealing with child porn, according to TMZ. (RELATED: Former Balenciaga Stylist Behind Gruesome Photos Of Children Addresses Allegations)
I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been disgusted and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened.
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) November 27, 2022
Sources close to North Six maintain this advertisement was for Balenciaga, and insist that a brand of its caliber would have seen the images and approved them before proceeding with the campaign, according to TMZ.