Diana Bradley
Dec 12, 2021

Peloton ride on 'Sex & The City' steers brand into damage-control mode

The premiere episode of the reboot of the HBO show in the US sent the fitness brand trending—and its communications team into action.

Peloton ride on 'Sex & The City' steers brand into damage-control mode

One unexpected brand is trending following the premiere of Sex and the City’s reboot on Thursday in the US: Peloton. 

Spoiler alert: During the first episode, character John James "Mr. Big" Preston dies of a heart attack after riding on a Peloton bike. The death of one of the show’s recurring characters wasn’t only a shock to fans—Peloton also had no idea Mr. Big would bite the dust after using one of its products, BuzzFeed reported. Though the company did know the bike would be featured in the episode.

Following the episode, Peloton’s stock declined 11% in Thursday’s session alone

Dr Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventative cardiologist and member of Peloton’s health and wellness advisory council, said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that the character didn’t die due to the bike.

“Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle—including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks—and was at serious risk as he had a previous cardiac event in Season 6,” said Steinbaum. “These lifestyle choices and perhaps even his family history, which often is a significant factor, were the likely cause of his death. Riding his Peloton Bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event.”

Steinbaum added that more than 80% of all cardiac-related deaths are preventable through lifestyle, diet and exercise modifications.

“The good news is Peloton helps you track heart rate while you ride, so you can do it safely,” she said.

This isn’t the first time a household item has killed off a beloved TV character. On the show This Is Us in 2018, a Crock-Pot malfunctioned, lighting a house on fire, and killing off the character Jack Pearson.

The episode led to Crock-Pot owners taking to social media to claim they were throwing away their products or questioning if they would use them again. At the time, in response, Crock-Pot launched a Twitter account, @CrockPotCares, to ease the fears of upset consumers.

A Peloton spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.


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