A Reebok advertisement encouraging men to stick to fitness with the slogan “Cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout,” has been pulled after a firestorm of criticism. Although the ad only ran at a chain of partner gyms in Germany, the poster quickly spread across the internet and had people wondering how a multinational corporation could advocate infidelity.
The website Cheaterville.com wrote Reebok to complain that “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.”
In typical “oops, our bad” fashion, Reebok issued a statement announcing the repeal of the campaign and its regret for having had the ads created at all. A spokesperson wrote, “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.”
While it’s unlikely that these ads will make guys have a lightbulb moment that keeps them on the treadmill and on the creep, it’s understandable why women would find this slogan irritating and a bit insulting. But is this just a lame attempt at politically incorrect, “bro” humor gone wrong? Are people too sensitive?