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By Michael Tedder
December 3, 2019
Roberto Machado Noa—LightRocket via Getty Images

Most companies love it when their ads go viral on social media. But Peloton is probably not so happy about all the attention its new holiday ad is getting online.

Peloton, the cult-favorite interactive exercise bike brand that’s been growing rapidly lately, released a commercial recently in which a woman gets a Peloton bike for Christmas from her husband. The ad, which tracks how the Peloton gift changes the woman’s life over the course of a year, was … not well-received.

The Peloton Christmas ad went viral this week, as it became the subject of widespread Twitter mockery, with various Internet wiseguys making fun of the overacting, the stress-inducing idea of being forced to exercise every day, the unhealthy body images and sexist undertones propagated by the advertisement, and the general existence of online influencers.

As many commenters also pointed out, it’s generally a horrible idea to give your wife or girlfriend any exercise equipment — because of the not-so-subtle message such a gift could send.

Now, some investing analysts are asking the question: Can an advertisement be so bad it hurts a company’s bottom line?

As reported by CNN, Peloton’s stock prices initially surged by 5% when the ad began receiving widespread attention yesterday. But on Tuesday morning, Peloton shares dropped as much as 7%.

Peloton has a cult-like following of 560,000 paid subscribers, who watch motivational, instructional videos while spinning, so it will likely be fine in the long-run. Nonetheless, the brand perception at the moment is undeniably a bad look for the company.

It’s also a sign that in these increasingly interconnected times when young consumers want companies and brands that reflect their values, one wrong move can hurt your image and bottom line. Just ask Victoria Secret CEO Les Wexner.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

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Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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