Twitter users slam Gymbox advert for using sexual harassment as 'marketing tool'

Caroline Allen
Contributor
The advert makes references about sexual harassment. [Photo: Getty]

Adverts cashing in on the new year, new you mentality are everywhere at the moment, with gyms in particular looking to sign up new members before the month is out.

Not all the gym adverts are having the intended effect, though.

Twitter users have slammed Gymbox, a London-based gym with 11 locations, for its sexual harassment references.

The advert shows a flow chart suggesting that if you have a “sleazy boss” you can go to Gymbox and learn Muay Thai to knee them in an undisclosed (although pretty obvious) area.

The last box says #Knee_To, which Twitter users are calling out as a potential reference to the #MeToo movement.

READ MORE: Over three quarters of women fear being harassed in the gym

The original tweet read: “Are you kidding me? Gymbox advertising themselves by saying if you get sexually harassed at work... go work out.”

“Must only conclude that either this is DESIGNED to get a furious response and shared e.g let's milk that #MeToo outrage coverage, or that advertising firms really are just living in 1998. Have you all got brainworms?” The follow up comment said.

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This isn’t the only part of the advert that caused controversy.

The large billboard also featured two other reasons people should go to Gymbox. The first suggested that men with a fetish for women’s clothes should go to Gymbox to lose weight to fit into them.

The second flow chart said that if you’re being “ridiculed by the kids on the local estate” you should go to Gymbox, learn to box and gain “respect”.

READ MORE: Working out with your partner could improve relationship

It’s not the first of Gymbox’s adverts to raise eyebrows, either.

The company has adopted a tongue-in-cheek style, which the pubic feel comes a little to close to the mark sometimes.

Last year, the company launched a “creepy” advert which read: “Get hot and sweaty with a teacher, without getting punished.”

In January 2018, actress Carrie Fletcher called out Gymbox for their advert with the slogan “punish yourself buff”.

The Instagram caption said: “Exercising regularly should be something you do because you LOVE your body and you want to care for and nurture it. It should be about self care. Not punishment.”

Gymbox’s advert escaped a ban in 2009, but it seems the gym’s marketing team have not been perturbed by the public’s opinion.

The advert showcased “chav fighting” as “one of the 100 different classes” it has on every week.

“Martial arts with Burberry belts and a fist full of sovereign rings.” The advert added by way of explanation as to what “chav fighting” entails.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that this advert did not “condone violence”.

Yahoo UK has approached Gymbox for comment.

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