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Balenciaga partners National Children’s Alliance following sexualising children in ad saga

Balenciaga partners National Children’s Alliance following sexualising children in ad saga

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Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation has partnered with National Children’s Alliance (NCA), following the news of the luxury fashion house being accused of sexualising children in advertisements last year. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Balenciaga for a statement. The ad, which has now been deleted, showed children holding teddy bears that were wearing what seemed like bondage harnesses.

Don't miss: Balenciaga apologises after copping flak for sexualising children in holiday ads

Now, Balenciaga is supporting NCA. The partnership includes a three-year program that will focus on the following pillars:

  • Support National Children Alliance Mental Health Institute helping children heal from trauma by facilitating a significant increase in access to trauma-focused cognitive behavioral training.
  • Provide education for Balenciaga about child protection and actions adults can take to promote the safety and well-being of children.
  • Raise public awareness on child abuse and child protection and promoting a happy, healthy childhood.
  • Support from Balenciaga will enable NCA to train nearly 2,000 professionals specialised in child abuse and up to an estimated 55,000 children will benefit by receiving evidence-based mental healthcare over the three-year program.

According to the World Health Organization, globally, up to an estimated one billion children aged two to 17, have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence or neglect in the past year. To respond to these unacceptable statistics, Kering began to support children affected by abuse in Europe in 2019 – with la Maison des femmes and Face à l’inceste, Daveu adds. "In line with this commitment, I am proud that the Kering Foundation is beginning a new partnership with NCA and in particular its work on mental health.”

“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,” says Cédric Charbit, president and chief executive officer of Balenciaga. “Collectively, at Balenciaga we have listened and learned a lot through this experience, and we wanted to help, have a positive and lasting impact on children and their future who needed support but lacked access. We are grateful to support the work of NCA.”

Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability and institutional affairs officer at Kering, shares: “For fifteen years, the Kering Foundation has been dedicated to combating violence against women. During this time, we discovered another reality: the intersection between violence against women and violence against children."

Since 2008, the Kering Foundation has sought to end violence and improve the lives of women survivors of abuse according to Balenciaga's website on its partnership with NCA. To maximise its impact, the foundation works with a select number of local partners in the following countries: the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and China.

The foundation supports local survivor-centered organisations that provide comprehensive services to women and works to change behaviors and attitudes by engaging youth, in particular young men and boys, to promote gender equality. In 2019, the Kering Foundation began supporting programs to address the origins of gender-based violence, in order to break the inter-generational cycles of abuse.

In the last month, a popular Italian fashion brand, Benetton, was also under fire for using images of children in their underwear to promote their products in a new ad. Online netizens claimed the ad sexualises children and encourages pedophilia. The advertisement features child models posing in their underwear as well as T-shirts and jackets from the collection. Benetton has since deleted the ads after being called out publicly by American actress Busy Philipps for "sexualising" children. 

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