Peloton: Brand Damage from Holiday Advertising

D’Entremont, A.; Ward, J.; O’Rourke, J. S. (editor)
March 17, 2021
North America
Marketing & Sales, Strategy & General Management
16 pages
social media, Advertising, sexism
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

In preparation for the holiday shopping season, Peloton, a home exercise equipment manufacturer and workout streaming service, created controversy with one of its advertisements in 2019. A number of reactions accused the company of reinforcing sexist stereotypes. The aftermath included a loss of more than $1 billion in market value, social media outcry, and the creation of a number of parodies mocking the Peloton commercial. The company now hopes to rebound from its financial and reputational damage, just before the holiday season.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To highlight how companies inadvertently create and promote advertisements that may be perceived as sexist, and the brand damage caused by such advertisements;
  2. To provide an example of how one company’s perceived sexism in commercial advertising caused damage to its value and created swift repercussions both socially and financially;
  3. To encourage analysis of how brands are intricately tied to financial aspects of the company;
  4. To demonstrate how a corporation’s advertising decisions will be increasingly scrutinized, particularly with the accessibility of social media;
  5. To examine the role of commercial advertising in corporate reputation management.