Peloton’s market value plunges by £1bn after backlash to ‘sexist’ Christmas advert

Commercial showing woman given exercise bike present from man branded ‘dangerous’ and ‘out-of-touch’

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 05 December 2019 12:01
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Peloton bike commercial:'The Gift That Gives Back'

An exercise bike company’s market value has fallen by nearly $1.5bn (£1.1bn) in the wake of backlash over a “sexist” Christmas advert.

Peloton has been criticised for its commercial, which shows a woman receiving a Peloton bike as a gift from her husband and then recording her workouts over a year and sharing them with him through a video blog.

​"A year ago, I didn’t realise how much this would change me,” the woman says in one video.

The video went viral in early December, coinciding with a significant dip in Peloton’s market value.

The company was worth around $10.3bn (£7.8bn) on Monday, but dropped $1.5bn in just two days amid the controversy, reaching around $8.8bn (£6.7bn) on Wednesday.

However, the value of its shares appeared to be rising again on Thursday and remained above September and October levels throughout the dip.

The Peloton advert has received backlash online, with some calling it “sexist” and saying it could be construed as a man pressuring the slim woman in the advert to exercise.

“I kind of think that everyone defending the Peloton ad thinks that men should be allowed to force their wives to exercise,” Jennifer Wright tweeted.

A post by Sydney Chandler called the advert “dangerous”, “sexist” and “out-of touch”.

Another person joked you could “save yourself $2,500” and “just tell her you think she’s getting fat”.

Peloton has turned off comments beneath its advert on YouTube.

Some replies to its commercial said they did not find it offensive.

The exercise bike company said in the advertisement was meant to celebrate a “fitness and wellness journey”.

A Peloton spokesperson said: “While we’re disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial, we are encouraged by – and grateful for – the outpouring of support we’ve received from those who understand what we were trying to communicate.”

Peloton exercise bikes costs just under £2,000 and come with a tablet to access live and on-demand classes from home, for an additional monthly membership fee.

The Independent have approached Peleton for comment.

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