Dec. 9, 2019, 2:41 p.m. EST

‘Peloton Girl’ rescued in new ad from actor Ryan Reynolds’s Aviation Gin

Actress throws back a martini, and then some, in the cheeky Aviation Gin spot

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By Clive McKeef

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Peloton and its model of on-demand video cycling classes has come under fire after the release of a new commercial that has been criticized by some as both sexist and classist.

Aviation Gin, the liquor brand owned by the actor Ryan Reynolds, has mocked Peloton’s widely criticized holiday commercial with help from the same actress who appeared in a controversial ad for the exercise bike.

Peloton’s advertisement went viral for all the wrong reasons. People have been obsessed with the stationary-bike advertisement showing a woman receiving the popular apparatus from her husband as a Christmas gift. The actress, who’s been nicknamed “Peloton Girl,” shows the not-necessarily-enthusiastic reaction of a woman who has just been given a workout machine as a present.

Critics derided the Peloton commercial as sexist, arguing that the husband in the ad was pressuring his wife to stay fit. Some social-media users commented that the character in the commercial looked scared and should perhaps consider divorce.

See: Peloton says it’s ‘disappointed’ by how its viral ad was ‘misinterpreted’

But actor Reynolds, the “Deadpool” star, tracked down the actress and cast her in a commercial for his Aviation Gin brand. The ad picks up where Peloton’s left off.

In the Aviation Gin commercial posted to Reynolds’s Twitter account, the actress from the Peloton ad, Monica Ruiz, sits at a bar with two friends and their martini glasses. The friends console the actress, who offers a toast — “To new beginnings” — and throws back her entire cocktail in one go.

The other friend comfortingly says, “You’re safe here,” a clear reference to the fact that the wife she’d played in the Peloton ad looked, to many, as if she were being forced by her spouse to constantly work out.

“Exercise bike not included #AviationGin,” Reynolds wrote alongside the commercial in his tweet.

The spirits ad itself is called “The Gift That Doesn’t Give Back,” a riff on the title of Peloton’s commercial, which is titled “The Gift That Gives Back.”

Peloton /zigman2/quotes/208035743/composite PTON +3.72%  , known almost exclusively for its high-end exercise bike (which costs around $2,000 not including subscription to the video classes and other add-ons), saw its shares tumble last week, losing more than $1 billion in value as the market reacted to widespread criticism of its holiday commercial. The stock was showing some movement toward recovery Monday, when it was up nearly 7% by midafternoon.

See: The Peloton husband on that hated ad: ‘That’s not who I am’

Actor Sean Hunter, who played the husband in Peloton’s commercial, told “Psychology Today” this week that he has suffered a wave of negative feedback over the role, and he was criticized as a “symbol of the patriarchy.”

Read on: Ryan Reynolds says success means getting off the computer to ‘actually meet people’

US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 102.93
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Volume: 2.89M
Oct. 1, 2020 10:06a
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Clive McKeef is a MarketWatch editor and writer based in New York.

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