- Peloton, a company that sells indoor bikes, released an advertisement at the end of November that has gone viral.
- The 30-second commercial depicts a husband gifting his wife a Peloton bike. The woman then films herself using the bike over the next year and shows her spouse the compiled clips the following Christmas, thanking him for the present.
- Many have criticized the ad of being sexist and only catering specifically to an affluent audience.
- Others have defended the video and claimed that it was successful as it got people talking about the brand.
Peloton, a cycling brand that sells indoor bikes with internet access and virtual fitness classes, released a new advertisement at the end of November that has come under intense scrutiny.
The 30-second video begins with a man gifting his wife a Peloton bike on Christmas morning. The woman walks downstairs in her pajamas with her eyes covered, holding her daughter’s hand.
“A Peloton?” she says, elated by the sight of the bike.
The ad then switches to a montage of the woman filming herself on her fitness journey, from her first ride to clips of early morning workouts and moments of celebration. The video concludes with a scene from the following Christmas where the woman shows her husband her homemade video diary.
“A year ago, I didn’t realize how much this would change me,” she says in the vlog. “Thank you.”
Since its release almost two weeks ago, the ad has gained much attention. Posted as a YouTube video from Peloton’s channel, the ad has accumulated over 849,000 views. However, the negative feedback far outweighs the positive which is apparent by the over eight times as many dislikes on the video in comparison to likes.
Many have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the video. One criticism of the ad is that it pushes sexist ideologies, as it portrays a husband giving his wife a gift designed for self-improvement as well as a woman seeming to lack confidence in certain scenes.
Others are ridiculing the commercial because the woman’s physique doesn’t seem to change at all. She is slender at the beginning of the ad and appears to be the same size at the end of her year-long experience using the Peloton bike.
Additionally, the video is receiving backlash for portraying seemingly wealthy people in an expensive-looking home, a common thread throughout Peloton ads. The backdrop of the woman’s cycling vlog is her large, well-kept house, the living room window showing a view of an expansive yard.
As terrible as this ad is, it might also be a slam dunk for its target demographic.— Mike Wacker (@m_wacker) December 2, 2019
E.g., it might convince a lot of rich housewives in LA to buy a Peloton bike.
Peloton has been ridiculed in the past for catering to wealthier people, perhaps most notoriously by a popular Twitter thread that emerged in January.
I had my carpenter build a $9,000 finished wood riser for my Peloton bike in my glass-enclosed zen garden/home gym pic.twitter.com/VJSOjctYtO— Clue Heywood (@ClueHeywood) January 28, 2019
I have a Peloton at home, at work, and also one placed by the ocean-facing living room windows of our four bedroom beach cottage pic.twitter.com/F21Y1f7eop— Clue Heywood (@ClueHeywood) January 28, 2019
The brand’s marketing lead, Carolyn Tisch Blodgett, admitted to the Wall Street Journal in 2017 that the company had been catered toward affluent riders in the beginning, but that they hoped to shift their audience to a wider range of consumers. The Peloton bike’s starting cost is $2,245.
Defense of the Ad
While many took issue with the advertisement, some people found no problem with it, claiming that it was clear that the woman wanted the bike from the start and it was not forced upon her by her husband.
Some Twitter users were also quick to point out that exercise doesn’t always involve weight loss and that the ad was not wrong to promote a healthy lifestyle without visible changes.
Others even praised the Peloton advertisement, for despite some negative feedback it did successfully generate a lot of talk about the brand.
Genius ad campaign. Anything that gets people talking about your brand, and which puts eyeballs on your expensive ad, is a win. #peloton— a brutal ruin (@ColdMou18809692) December 3, 2019
Florida School Says Students Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Must Stay Home for 30 Days
The school falsely claimed that people who have just been vaccinated risk “shedding” the coronavirus and could infect others.
Centner Academy Vaccination Policy
A private school in Florida is now requiring all students who get vaccinated against COVID-19 to quarantine for 30 days before returning to class.
According to the local Miami outlet WSVN, Centner Academy wrote a letter to parents last week describing COVID vaccines as “experimental” and citing anti-vaccine misinformation.
“If you are considering the vaccine for your Centner Academy student(s), we ask that you hold off until the Summer when there will be time for the potential transmission or shedding onto others to decrease,” the letter reportedly stated.
“Because of the potential impact on other students and our school community, vaccinated students will need to stay at home for 30 days post-vaccination for each dose and booster they receive and may return to school after 30 days as long as the student is healthy and symptom-free.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has debunked the false claim that those newly vaccinated against COVID-19 can “shed” the virus.
According to the agency’s COVID myths page, vaccine shedding “can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus,” but “none of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.”
In fact, early research has suggested that vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus than unvaccinated people.
Beyond that, unvaccinated people are more likely to spread COVID in general because they are much more likely to get the virus than vaccinated people. According to recently published CDC data, as of August, unvaccinated people were six times more likely to get COVID than vaccinated people and 11 times more likely to die from the virus.
Centner Academy Continues Spread of Misinformation
In a statement to The Washington Post Monday, Centner Academy co-founder David Centner doubled down on the school’s new policy, which he described as a “precautionary measure” based on “numerous anecdotal cases that have been in circulation.”
“The school is not opining as to whether unexplained phenomena have a basis in fact, however we prefer to err on the side of caution when making decisions that impact the health of the school community,” he added.
The new rule echoes similar efforts Centner Academy has made that run counter to public health guidance and scientific knowledge.
In April, the school made headlines when its leadership told vaccinated school employees that they were not allowed to be in contact with any students “until more information is known” and encouraged employees to wait until summer to get the jab.
According to The New York Times, the following week, a math and science teacher allegedly told students not to hug their vaccinated parents for more than five seconds.
The outlet also reported that the school’s other co-founder, Leila Centner, discouraged masking, but when state health officials came for routine inspections, teachers said they were directed in a WhatsApp group to put masks on.
See what others are saying: (WSVN) (The Washington Post) (Business Insider)
Katie Couric Says She Edited Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quote About Athletes Kneeling During National Anthem
Couric said she omitted part of a 2016 interview in order to “protect” the justice.
Kate Couric Edited Quote From Justice Ginsburg
In her upcoming book, journalist Katie Couric admitted to editing a quote from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in 2016 in order to “protect” Ginsberg from potential criticism.
Couric interviewed the late justice for an article in Yahoo News. During their discussion, she asked Ginsburg about her thoughts on athletes like Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem to protest racial inequality.
“I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg is quoted saying in the piece. “Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”
According to The Daily Mail and The New York Post, which obtained advance copies of Couric’s book “Going There,” there was more to Ginsburg’s response. Couric wrote that she omitted a portion where Ginsburg said the form of protest showed a “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life…Which they probably could not have lived in the places they came from.“
Couric Says She Lost Sleep Making Choice
“As they became older they realize that this was youthful folly,” Ginsberg reportedly continued. “And that’s why education is important.“
According to The Daily Mail, Couric wrote that the Supreme Court’s head of public affairs sent an email asking to remove comments about kneeling because Ginsburg had misspoken. Couric reportedly added that she felt a need to “protect” the justice, thinking she may not have understood the question. Couric reached out to her friend, New York Times reporter David Brooks, regarding the matter and he allegedly likewise believed she may have been confused by the subject.
Couric also wrote that she was a “big RBG fan” and felt her comments were “unworthy of a crusader for equality.” Because she knew the remarks could land Ginsburg in hot water, she said she “lost a lot of sleep” and felt “conflicted” about whether or not to edit them out.
Couric was trending on Twitter Wednesday and Thursday as people questioned the ethics behind her choice to ultimately cut part of the quote. Some thought the move showed a lack of journalistic integrity while others thought revealing the story now harmed Ginsburg’s legacy.
See what others are saying: (New York Post) (The Daily Mail) (Insider)
Biden Administration Orders ICE To Halt Workplace Raids
The Department of Homeland Security will now focus on targeting employers who exploit undocumented workers, instead of carrying out raids that dissuade those workers from reporting labor violations.
DHS Reverses Worksite Raid Policy
The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it was ordering Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop workplace raids.
The move marks a reversal from Trump administration policies that have been strongly criticized by immigration activists who argue the efforts created fear in immigrant communities and dissuaded them from reporting labor violations or exploitative employment practices.
In addition to stopping the raids, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a memo that the administration will refocus enforcement efforts to instead target “employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities or impose unsafe working conditions.”
Mayorkas added that the immigration agencies housed in DHS will have the next 60 days to identify harmful existing policies and come up with new ones that provide better deportation protections for workers who report their employers.
In the Tuesday memo, the secretary argued that shift of focus will “reduce the demand for illegal employment by delivering more severe consequences to exploitative employers” and “increase the willingness of workers to report violations of law by exploitative employers and cooperate in employment and labor standards investigation.”
Labor Market Implications
The new policy comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing a critical labor shortage, including in many sectors that rely on immigrant labor.
Some companies that use undocumented workers pay them wages that are far below the market rate, which is not only exploitative but also undercuts competitors.
According to Mayorkas, the pivot to employer-based enforcement will help protect American businesses.
“By exploiting undocumented workers and paying them substandard wages, the unscrupulous employers create an unfair labor market,” he said in the memo. “They also unfairly drive down their costs and disadvantage their business competitors who abide by the law.”
It is currently unclear how effective the new efforts will be, but historical precedent does not paint an optimistic picture.
The Biden administration’s efforts closely mirror a similar move by the Obama administration, which attempted to reverse workplace raids authorized under President George W. Bush by targetting those who employ undocumented workers rather than the workers themselves.
That effort, however, still led to thousands of undocumented workers being fired.