With the latest ad portraying a woman thanking her husband for giving her an exercise bike for Christmas, social media users have heaped ridicule on Peloton Interactive. "Nothing says 'maybe you should lose a few pounds' like gifting your already rail thin life partner a Peloton," one Twitter user said, as others piled on to scorn the commercial, which is set in a large, richly furnished home. Many note that Peloton bicycles are worth at least $2,245 and require a paid subscription to the video exercise classes.

"Before you buy a Peloton, you must have a luxurious home with a spotless picture window so everyone can see you work out," another commentator noted. The ad, which ends with the couple watching the woman's video montage about her year of exercise, has been broadcast nearly 7,000 times since its appearance on November 4, costing about $13.8 million, according to the specialized site iSpot.tv. It has been viewed more than 600,000 times on YouTube, and also is featured at some US movie theaters in the pre-show packages.

Others commentators wonder about the family dynamic portrayed. "But she's the only one exercising. He just sits on the couch and watches video of her exercising," said another Twitter user. Peloton, which aims to revive stationary bicycles and treadmills from their role as clothes hangers, by combining them with online sessions led by dynamic and smiling young instructors, has been routinely criticized for its marketing featuring luxurious apartments and models with perfect physiques.

While some on Twitter could not contain their visceral hatred of the commercial - "Every time it plays my blood boils," one said - others noted that the campaign was a success since people are talking about it. "Someone in the marketing department did a good job." After a difficult Wall Street launch in late September, Peloton shares have gained ground, hitting a high point Monday night of $36.84, or 27 percent above its IPO price. - AFP