(CNN) — Peloton hears the criticism lobbed at that holiday ad. But the company says critics just misread its inspiring message.
The much-maligned spot features a fit woman documenting her progress on a Peloton stationary bike, a gift from her husband. Users criticized the ad’s purported sexism and deafness to the privilege of its subjects in this and previous commercials.READ MORE: 3 Boston Police Officers, City Sued For Alleged Excessive Force On 4 Protesters In May 2020 Riot
But that wasn’t the company’s intent at all, it says.
“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 Peloton spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. “Our holiday spot was created to that fitness and wellness journey.”
“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 spokesperson said.
However, some say the ad is sexist and creates negative body images.
“I just think that commercial is just horrible. I mean, what kind of man gives a woman that kind of gift?” said one woman in Boston.
“I love to spin, and I know most spin classes are primarily women, so I was like, of course, it’s a girl who gets the bike,” said another woman.
One person on Twitter wrote, “I love you Peloton but not seeing the before and after or the authenticity that I know this brand stands for. She literally looks the same.”READ MORE: Massachusetts Gas Prices Rise To Nearly $3 A Gallon; 'Likely To Push More Expensive'
Peloton stock tumbled
The backlash synched up with a significant tumble in the company’s stock.
Marketing expert Garrett Mehrguth said, “My first reaction is genius.” He believes the negative reaction may have a positive outcome for Peloton in the long run.
“Public perception plays a large part in publicly traded companies, but I simultaneously believe that Twitter is not public perception, as we’ve seen through elections and all sorts of things over the last five years,” Mehrguth said.
The controversy is not expected to dent holiday sales, though.
Raymond James analysts said “Peloton has been a meme in the past and it has not hurt trends,” so it’s unlikely the drops will last, CNBC reported.
The company has supporters
Peloton sent CNN three emails from people who said they supported the ad, including one from a man who said he and his wife loved the commercial for the stationary bike and “if we could afford one would absolutely buy one ourselves.”
“There’s nothing wrong with getting your spouse what they want for Christmas as far as I recall,” the email continued. “I honestly think more people would do the same if they could afford to.”
Another viewer wrote that a Peloton bike became her sister-in-law’s “saving grace” after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and couldn’t work out at a gym.MORE NEWS: Girl Scouts Have Millions Of Unsold Cookies This Year
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN’s Scottie Andrew contributed to this report.)