It's been criticized as sexist, compared to an episode of Black Mirror, and linked to a steep drop in the company's share price—but Peloton is standing by its controversial holiday ad. The ad, which can be seen here, features a woman, who is already slim when she starts out, recording a video diary over the course of a year after her husband give her a Peloton exercise bike for Christmas. A Peloton spokesperson tells People that the company often hears from people whose lives have been "meaningfully and positively impacted" by receiving one of its bikes as a gift. "Our holiday spot was created to celebrate that fitness and wellness journey," the spokesperson says.
"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," the rep says. The company's share price, which had surged in recent weeks, dropped 9% Tuesday after the ad went viral and continued to slide on Wednesday, AdAge reports. Ash Bendelow, managing director of the creative agency Brave, tells the Guardian that the ad is "cringe, old-fashioned, and tone deaf." It has, however, raised the profile of Peloton, whose bikes start at $2,245: The ad has now been viewed more than 3.3 million times on YouTube. (Read more advertising stories.)