Peloton Defends 'Misinterpreted' Controversial Commercial as Stock Falls 9 Percent in One Day
Peloton is standing by their controversial holiday commercial, despite a seemingly correlated drop in their market value amid backlash.
On Wednesday, the high-end fitness equipment company responded to criticism they’ve received since releasing the ad in late November.
“We constantly hear from our members how their lives have been meaningfully and positively impacted after purchasing or being gifted a Peloton Bike or Tread, often in ways that surprise them,” a company spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement.
“Our holiday spot was created to celebrate that fitness and wellness journey,” the spokesperson continued. “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 commercial follows a woman’s yearlong fitness journey after her husband gifts her one of the company’s expensive stationary bikes, ending with the woman thanking her husband for changing her life.
Twitter users were quick to mock the ad, calling out its supposed message of a husband wanting his seemingly already fit wife to lose weight and her being “nervous” about riding an indoor bike.
However, Peloton also shared a series of emails with PEOPLE from customers who reached out to say they supported the ad.
One woman named Melissa shared a story about her sister-in-law who had been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She said that the bike had been her sister-in-law’s “saving grace” through treatment.
In another email shared with The New York Times, a 60-year-old woman named Tami said she felt that the commercial shared an important message about health.
“I can relate to her being surprised she did it for a year,” she wrote, according to the Times. “Bad health comes in all shapes and sizes. Glad you acknowledged that EVERYONE needs to be healthy regardless of how you look.”
Regardless of the pushback against the criticism, Peloton still saw a nine percent drop in their stock on Tuesday, their largest single-day drop since October, Markets Insider reported. It cost the company nearly $942 million, bringing their total market value down to roughly $9.4 billion.
Analysts from Raymond James, an investment banking company, told CNBC the drop would not impact the company in the long run.
“While reactions to the holiday ad are disappointing, we do not expect it will adversely affect holiday demand,” the analysts told the outlet. “We do believe Peloton may review its marketing strategy, given the frequency in which its ads are parodied on social media.”