Reebok forced to pull controversial 'Cheat On Your Girlfriend, Not Your Workout' ad campaign after public backlash
19:31 GMT, 21 March 2012
A controversial Reebok ad has been removed from display following widespread complaints.
The poster, which ran at a gym affiliated with the brand in Germany, was intended to motivate, with the slogan: 'Cheat on your
girlfriend, not on your workout.'
Instead, however, it was met with a consumer backlash, and the sportswear firm pulled the ad and acknowledged that it was 'offensive'.
Reebok's relationship advice: An ad by Reebok telling gym-goers to cheat on their girlfriends not their workout got pulled after public outrage
The promotional gaffe was not part of a worldwide marketing campaign, but thanks to social media, the reaction has been global.
Radar Online obtained a letter to
Reebok from Cheaterville.com, a site that calls out philandering
partners online, which urged a boycott of the brand.
letter read: 'This form of advertising shows a dishonest and
disrespectful attitude towards women and your company should be ashamed
to have even placed this ad in various places thinking it would be
perceived in any other way.'
Yesterday, a spokesman issued a public apology. Dan
Sarro told CBSBoston.com: 'We regret that
some offensive Reebok materials were recently printed.
Too easy: Reebok was fined $25million last year for its Easytone shoes after the FTC found them guilty of falsely advertising the shoe's benefits
'The signs were
removed as soon as we were made aware of them.'
He continued: 'I can assure you that
Reebok does not condone this message or cheating in any way. We
apologize for the offensive nature of these materials, and are
disappointed that they appeared at all.'
Although this ad appears to be an isolated incident, it certainly does nothing to help Reebok's continued tarnished image after the company was publicly criticised last year because of its 'toning shoes' campaign.
The Federal Trade Commission deemed the Easytone campaign false advertising in its unsubstantiated claims about exercise benefits, and Reebok was made to pay a $25million fine.
Earlier this month an article in the Wall Street Journal revealed the financial impact of Reebok's recent struggles.
Sales dropped 3per cent in the fourth quarter compared to the previous year, while Adidas sales grew by 14per cent.