The exercise brand Peloton says it's "disappointed in how some have misinterpreted" its inadvertently viral holiday commercial.
The commercial, which centers on a woman being gifted an exercise bike by her partner, was criticized for its tone and general cringeworthiness. In a statement to CNBC Wednesday, a rep explained their stance on the controversy, which investor analysts now say is not expected to have any long-term impact on sales despite initial stock drops amid Thanksgiving week airings.
"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 said in an email. "Our holiday spot was created to celebrate 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."
To drive home the "outpouring of support" part of that statement, the rep also sent CNBC a trio of emails they claim were sent by those who supported the ad, as well as a Facebook post. "I think it is a thoughtful commercial," one email reads. "The first time I saw it I thought 'That was a sweetly portrayed ad.'"
The ad—which some specifically slammed as being "sexist"—debuted early last month but picked up additional steam by way of tweeted mockery in recent weeks. Amid all this, Peloton launched its Apple Watch and Fire TV apps.