"Another brand to add to the trash": Burberry ad campaign controversy explained amid intense online backlash

Burberry is facing backlash over its new campaign. (Image via China Photos/Getty )
Burberry is facing backlash over its new campaign. (Image via China Photos/Getty )

Months after Balenciaga launched a controversial campaign, British luxury fashion brand Burberry has come under fire for their new advertisement.

On Monday, January 23, the fashion company introduced its new Valentine's Day campaign, B:Mine, by sharing a video on its social media handles. The footage shows several LGBTQ couples embracing and k*ssing their on-screen partners.

@libsoftiktok @Burberry Another brand to add to the trash.

One person also seemingly shows their scars from a double mastectomy, a surgical procedure where both breasts are removed partially or completely.

However, the new Valentine's Day ad campaign did not sit right with several users as they bashed Burberry.

Twitter reactions to Burberry's new ad campaign

After Burberry's latest Valentine's Day campaign went viral, Twitterati was furious. Several users slammed the luxe brand for promoting "activist" marketing even though the small demographic that they targeted does not buy from their stores.

Some also dragged Balenciaga into the conversation, stating these brands only target woke people with money.

Screenshot of a Twitter user criticizing Burberry's new ad campaign.
Screenshot of a Twitter user criticizing Burberry's new ad campaign.
Balenciaga and Burberry have both told us very clearly they don’t want your money unless you’re a woke person who accepts pedophilia & pronouns.Spend your money somewhere else.
Burberry clients vs ads
Genuinely wondering why @Burberry is generating entire add campaigns catering to an infinitesimally small demographic that doesn’t remotely shop at their stores… they aren’t the only high end designer engaging this nonsensical “activist” marketing. What could go wrong..?🤷🏼‍♂️🤭
Burberry now only wants customers who have had gender-changing mastectomies.No problem. I won’t be buying.
.@Burberry certainly has a lot going on with their latest ad campaign.Who exactly is the target audience for this?
Burberry’s new ad campaign has nothing to do with selling clothes but selling an ideology to young women that they were born in the wrong body and the only way to feel better is to become a boy. Stop glorifying and normalizing self-mutilation.
Burberry had one job: make baby shower shirts so we know who the father is.
Hmm, well making your customers throw up in their mouths isn’t my idea of solid marketing, but you do you @Burberry
@libsoftiktok @Burberry 😳🥵 will not be purchasing any Burberry anymore. EVER
@libsoftiktok @Burberry This is WAY beyond vile. Destroying kids lives should ABSOLUTELY be a punishable offense.
@libsoftiktok @Burberry Disfiguring young woman should be a far larger issue to people than it is.
@libsoftiktok @Burberry I just emailed Burberry and let them know I will never buy one of their products, ever, ever, as a consequence of this ad. I kept it short and courteous.

Burberry is not the first brand to face criticism for its ad campaign. Back in November 2022, Spanish fashion brand Balenciaga faced immense criticism for launching its Spring/Summer 2023 collection that showed kids playing with plush toys dressed in BDSM-style b*ndage.

Several pictures from the campaign also showed young kids standing on beds, with one photo reportedly featuring documents from a child s*xual abuse case.

Even though Balenciaga issued a formal apology for their controversial campaign, the brand was canceled online, with even its ad photographer claiming he had no control over its direction and shooting.

In a statement given to CNN on November 23, 2022, photographer Gabriele Galimberti stated:

“I am not in a position to comment (on) Balenciaga’s choices, but I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose (sic) the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same."

The ad controversy dragged several celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Salma Hayek, etc., into the backlash for not commenting or staying silent on the matter.

Kanye West also jumped in on the opportunity and said that all celebrities were "controlled" by these big brands.

Burberry is not the first luxe brand to feature transgender models in its ad campaigns. In 2019, Victoria's Secret announced that it signed a transgender model for walking the runways. The model was Valentina Sampaio from Brazil.

Chanel also hired Teddy Quinlivan and made them the company's new ambassador, the same year.

In 2022, New York Fashion Week showed a 10-year-old trans model who ran the runway for the label Renacio.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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