Reebok is in the crosshairs on the Web today for what is assumed to be its new ad campaign messaging, "Cheat on Your Girlfriend, Not on Your Workout." Radar Online reported on the ad campaign on March 19, and included a link to a letter sent to Reebok world headquarters from a Web site called CheaterVille.com. The letter states: "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."
Angry comments have filled the Reebok Women Facebook page and have lit up Twitter, predictably. Meanwhile, no one seems to know for sure where the image of the ad that has made the rounds was taken, whether or not it's part of a campaign based in the U.S. or overseas and whether or not it was officially sanctioned by Reebok headquarters.
Don't look to Reebok for answers, because so far the company is not talking about it on the Reebok Women Facebook page or through its Twitter account. Official word is bound to come at some point that either the whole thing was a hoax, the ad was created by a third party and never made it through official channels or it was approved—in which case it's a matter of a stupid, demeaning campaign that has backfired, much to Nike's delight.
In any case, Reebok has remained silent for too long and, however the situation plays out, the damage has already been done.
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