UK-owned gym pulls ad claiming fat women turn men gay

Dubai gym Circuit Factory has said it is a 'major compromise' to take down the advertising campaign, labeled 'tasteless' and 'inappropriate' by customers

UK-owned gym pulls ad claiming fat women turn men gay
16 August 2013

A UK-owned gym in Dubai has removed an advert suggesting overweight women turn men gay.

Circuit Factory has decided to take down the controversial advert titled ‘Bent: Getting Our Priority Straight’ after it received international criticism.

The 12-minute explicit video showed the British founder Phil Parkinson as a man whose relationship had become stale due to his girlfriend gaining weight.

Parkinson is seen watching 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, which starred Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger as a gay cowboy couple, and showing an interest in other men.

The character’s girlfriend then joins the gym, loses weight, and wins back the attention of the male character.

After running the advert, customers said the gym had ‘gone too far’ in its ‘inappropriate’ advertising.

‘We took the video down because of the press coverage and negative sentiments,’ the gym said on their Facebook page.

‘This was a major compromise. We weren’t going to remove it. It didn’t feel like out convictions led our hearts there.

They added: ‘But, in the end looking upon it as a whole our sole purpose is to deliver weight loss results in people’s lives.

‘If we can improve their lives in some way beyond that it’s a privilege. And, not having this campaign doesn’t detract from that core purpose.’

Customers have said they are not satisfied with the gym’s statement, with one saying Circuit Factory needs to say sorry to the global LGBT community.

‘Sad and distasteful video by British-owned Circuit Factory,’ one said. ‘Bad PR strategy, not to mention lack of respect.’

Parkinson has been under fire for controversial adverts before. He was forced to apologize when he advertised his gym using images of starved people in a Nazi concentration camp, with a slogan saying: ‘Kiss your calories goodbye.’

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