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Tulfo: Balenciaga ads cause for concern

by Malou Talosig-Bartolome

SOCIAL Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo said his department is taking a strong stand against child abuse in whatever form, including the recent controversial ad campaign of international luxury brand Balenciaga.

“Hindi kami sang-ayon dito at hindi maganda ito,” Tulfo said, referring to the Balenciaga advertising photos of children holding teddy bear with shackles on feet and wrists and a lock on neck.

The Spanish-French elite fashion house is facing a maelstrom for its Spring/Summer 2023 ad campaign with photos of children posing with teddy bears wearing BDSM fetishwear, which many people found offensive.

Tulfo said he already saw the Balenciaga ads in his social media newsfeed a few days ago but he initially dismissed it.

But when he looked again at the comment section, especially on issue of use of a child holding a teddy bear with fetish bondage gear, he became alarmed.

“I saw comments from celebrities. And so I started reading,” he said.

“Kasi all I can see from the post is a child holding a teddy bear. Parang normal diba? Teddy bear, usually what people give to their children. Pero may symbolism pala yung teddy para sa kanila. Yun ang binibigay sa mga bata na na-abuse. So, parang may meaning. Kaya may kumontra, parang ganun,” he added.

Tulfo said the stand of DSWD has always remained the same.

“Basta anything that has to do, that violates the rights of the children, we are against it. Like child labor, pornography, we are against it.” Tulfo said.

The company was also criticized for a separate ad including a printout of a Supreme Court decision relating to child pornography. A Balenciaga purse was photographed among papers scattered across a desk.



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