Like any good workout buddy, Reebok is dedicated to keeping hesitant gym goers on that treadmill.
But the general public was less than thrilled when the athletic shoe/apparel company released a poster with the motivational message: “Cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout.“
The what-were-they-thinking ad has been met with the expected fire, brimstone, and pitchforks. Radar Online got its virtual hands on a letter that CheaterVille.com, a website dedicated to calling out cheaters from around world, sent to Reebok threatening a boycott.
“CheaterVille will not stand by and let you keep this ad running wih tout a fight,” founder James McGibney wrote. “We will start informing our millions of followers to boycott Reebok until the ad is removed and a public apology is given.”
After a few hours of silence, Reebok did just that.
Reebok spokesperson Dan Sarro told CBSBoston.com that the ad wasn’t a part of a global marketing campaign but only appeared in one German gym. Reebok’s statement reads:
“We regret that some offensive Reebok materials were recently printed. The signs were removed as soon as we were made aware of them. I can assure you that Reebok does not condone this message or cheating in any way. We apologise for the offensive nature of these materials, and are disappointed that they appeared at all.”
Reebok also failed the golden rule of poor taste: if an ad is going to be offensive, it should be clever as well.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article chronicling Reebok’s recent struggles. Sales dropped 3 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to a year prior (while Adidas sales grew by 14 per cent). While this gaffe seems to be an isolated incident, it certainly doesn’t do much to improve Reebok’s faltering image.
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