Peloton Christmas ad tagged 'sexist' on social media

Critics say ad portrayed 'controlling' husband who buys his wife exercise bike.

    Peloton's stock has risen 15 percent since its initial public offering in September as investors bet on the growing popularity of its bicycles, which offer on-demand workout programmes [File: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]
    Peloton's stock has risen 15 percent since its initial public offering in September as investors bet on the growing popularity of its bicycles, which offer on-demand workout programmes [File: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]

    Exercise bike and treadmill maker Peloton Interactive Inc's latest Christmas advertisement is being widely criticised on social media as being "sexist" and "dystopian".

    The advertisement, called "The Gift That Gives Back" shows a thin, young attractive mother receiving a Peloton bike as a gift from her husband, followed by a montage of her recording her workouts over a year. The commercial ends with her sharing her video diary with her husband and thanking him.

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    United States-based Peloton was not immediately available for a Reuters News Agency request for comment.

    The 30-second ad sparked a storm on Twitter, with several users pegging it as sexist. Some said the husband was "controlling" and "manipulative" and that buying his wife an exercise bike suggested that she needed to lose weight.

    Comedian and writer Jess Dweck compared the advertisement, which has been viewed more than two million times on YouTube, with an episode of Netflix's dystopian anthology series Black Mirror.

    Refinitiv's Eikon Social Media Monitor showed sentiment towards Peloton turned negative on Tuesday, having been firmly positive in the past couple of months.

    Founded in 2012, Peloton sells indoor exercise bicycles and offers packages requiring memberships to access live and on-demand classes from home. Its flagship product is a stationary bike priced at over $2,200.

    The company's stock has risen 15 percent since its initial public offering in September as investors bet on the growing popularity of the bicycles that offer on-demand workout programmes.

    Some Twitter users, however, supported the ad, calling the outcry an "overreaction". Some even said the commercial was a marketing trick to garner attention.