Dear Reebok...

Recently Reebok has been running commercials that I don't like. To say the least. (I will post the ads at the bottom of this post). The first time I saw them I said, "Ew, yuk, how sexist!" and moved on about my business. The second, the third, and so on.....I had ENOUGH. I wrote to Reebok and have pasted the letter below. I hesitated at first, and thought, "What does it matter? They won't pull the ads, or apologize." But then I looked at my 3 month old daughter smiling away at me. I did it for her. Someone needs to stand up for the next generation. I'm not sitting silent anymore. I will carry my soapbox around with me and climb up on in whenever I feel like it and well, just read for yourself:

To whom it may concern:

I wanted to take a moment to contact you regarding your ads. I am an avid runner and in the fitness industry as a certified personal trainer and life coach. I am also a mother of two young children. I am horrified at your latest commercials, three of which are so sexist they are cringe-worthy. Two of the ads feature women and their faces are never shown, obviously an indication that these women are merely tits and ass. And speaking of T & A, one of the commercials shows those two body parts having a conversation. Have you cowered so low that you have to only show this in order to sell what is obviously a fitness gimmick?

I hope that my daughter grows up in a world where companies like Reebok are long gone, companies that view women as sexual objects and nothing more all in the name of the almighty dollar. We have come too far to put up with crap like this. I can only assume that your marketing team is made up of chauvinistic men, preying on the insecurities of women. Well then, good for you. I hope your mothers are proud of you. I am here to tell you that I will NEVER buy your products again.

Shame on you, Reebok. Have some integrity and apologize for your lack of respect for women.

Andrea Owen

Here is one ad that I suppose it supposed to be funny...

This one promises a better butt and legs, because obviously yours aren't good enough if they don't look like hers:

And this one is my favorite. It speaks for itself:

If you would like to drop Reebok a line, here is the email I used:


Edited to add:

Here is the response I received from Reebok:

Hello Andrea,

Thank you very much for your feedback. All consumer feedback is helpful, as it provides us with an understanding of the public perception and opinion of our products and marketing.

The Reebok EasyTone ads were created to clearly illustrate the unique benefits of the footwear in a fun and bold way. The feedback we have received tells us that many consumers look at the ads in exactly that light, however we acknowledge that some consumers do take exception with the content of the ads.

You can be assured that your feedback will be relayed directly to our marketing team.

Reebok Corporate Communications


Michelle said...

OH ... MY ... GOD ... I am speechless. Needless to say, I have not seen these ads, and I am absolutely appalled. Good for you for writing this letter. Maybe it's time to start a Reebok boycott, and let them know with our wallets that these types of ads are absolutely unacceptable.

Michelle Bloom said...

i just emailed reebok too. we ought to be a voice of reason that drowns out reeboks voice of idiot.

karen pery said...

That's it? That's the best they could do. Come on, Reebok! We are savvy consumers and deserve better.

Andrea said...

I wrote them back and told them I highly doubt people tell them their ads are "bold and fun". Give me a break. I also said it was a shame that they couldn't come up with something more original than selling sex.

Murphy Family Ministry said...

Awesome that you wrote, return letter feels prepared. They still don't 'get it.' I would love to see the demographics on those who liked it! ;-)

Believe and Excel-Mai Vu said...

WOW, I have to say these ads are effective. I hate running. But for a moment there I considered getting some of these shoes if my body is going to look like that. That's a tough one isn't it? These commercials hit right in my gut and my psyche of wanting to look hot and beautiful (for myself, let alone for other to look at). It's my insecurity and need that they went after. So who is at fault, me for craving to look like that? or them for taunting me with promises that I can look like that, and that I am gullible enough to believe it.

Either way, thank you for raising the issue, for taking a stand or pick a side to stand on. You do good work.

Jenny B said...

Oooooh you go girl!!! My blood started boiling after I watched those videos - especially the last one! Absolutely LOVED your letter - major kudos to you for sending it.

Elizabeth Patch said...

Andrea: great letter to Reebok, and stupid answer back from them! My whole family, including 20 something boys, were in the room when one of these ads came on TV, and everyone was clearly embarrassed by how sexist and offensive these ads are. Imagine the outrage if they played long lingering shots of a man's "package" instead of a close-up of a woman's butt, in very short, tight shorts...

Steph said...

Unbelievable. I've just sent Reebok an e-mail to express my disgust about these ads. Ladies, it's time to speak out and stop being silent about such horrid examples of sexism and objectification of women. If you're aware of such things, being silent=being tacitly complicit. We deserve better.

sian said...

WOW! I have never seen these commercials before....we just finished reviewing these shoes..yikeees

Anonymous said...

It'll be a pleasure purchasing the Skecher's Shape Ups, instead. I bet that would bite Reebok in the ass.

I'll be giving Reebok a piece of my mind soon.

I had never noticed the last ad shown, maybe it's too risque for East Coasters (or maybe I'm too ADD to have noticed that one, but I can honestly say...those are the most disturbing, sexist, unoriginal ads I've ever had to watch). *shakes head in disapproval.