How and why Peloton quickly walked away from actor Chris Noth


Peloton’s response to an emerging crisis situation highlighted an important good practice in crisis management: don’t wait to respond to a crisis. The faster you react to the situation, the sooner you can put the emergency behind you.

That’s exactly what Peloton did earlier this month. Twice.

What they did, why they did it, and how they did it provides important lessons in crisis management for business leaders.

Crisis n ° 1

According to New York Times, Peloton removed its online ad featuring actor Chris Noth after Hollywood journalist published an article in which two women accused the actor of sexual assault.

In a statement, Peloton said, “Every charge of sexual assault must be taken seriously. We weren’t aware of these allegations when we featured Chris Noth in our response to HBO’s reboot. Sex and the city. “As we seek to find out more, we have stopped promoting this video and archived associated social posts. “

Said nothing Hollywood journalist that “the accusations made against me by people I met years, if not decades ago, are categorically false. These stories could be from 30 years or 30 days ago – no always means no – that’s a line I haven’t crossed.

“The encounters were consensual. It’s hard not to question when these stories came out. I’m not sure why they are resurfacing now, but I know this: I didn’t assault these women,” he added.

“The peloton sets a good example”

Dan Ni is the Founder and CEO of the Email Marketing Automation Platform Messaged.com. He observed that “Peloton set a great example with their instant and clear response to the sexual allegations that surfaced. He showed how their company has zero tolerance for such behavior and their complete and instantaneous dissociation by issuing a clear and firm statement and removing the ad set. [as] a precedent for others to follow.

“This whole situation is a great example of how to react to a crisis. The first response and the action that follows the response sets the tone for the future … is the most crucial point of a crisis. And the peloton’s response teaches us how [your response time] is. The longer you wait, the more justification you will need, ”he said.

Crisis n ° 2

Ironically, the ad that was withdrawn was in response to a crisis days earlier that also involved Peloton.

According to Variety, “In the first episode of HBO Max Sex and the city reboot, Mr. Big (Chris Noth) dies of a heart attack after completing his 1,000th outing in a Platoon class led by his favorite instructor, Jess King. Shortly after the show aired, Peloton’s stock plummeted.

The fitness company got into spin control, releasing a statement from its cardiologist who insisted Big’s death should not be attributed to training but to his’ extravagant lifestyle – including cocktails, cigars and large steaks “.”

“An intelligent movement”

Aaron Gordon is a partner at Schwartz Media Strategies, a communications and public affairs firm. He said: “With its flagship in the throes of a crisis, Peloton has made a smart move by quickly bringing actor Chris Noth into the fold and pushing the tale of Mr. Big’s disappearance onscreen away.

“Peloton’s marketing campaign has found the right tone, reminding everyone that Sex and the city is indeed a work of fiction and that no actor was injured during the making of And just like that.

No time for due diligence

Gordon said: “[The] The problem is, Peloton’s quick reaction meant the company didn’t have time to do due diligence and the plan backfired when Noth was publicly accused of sexual abuse days later, forcing the company to do an about-face.

“This turn of events reinforces the importance of fully evaluating a potential partner before a company attaches its wagon to its personal brand. Peloton’s instincts to change the narrative quickly and creatively were there, but these decisions should not be made in a hurry, ”he said.

Learn from another crisis

Peloton is no stranger to crisis situations. Indeed, their swift response to Noth’s situation showed what they may have learned from their belated and criticized response to a self-inflicted crisis earlier this year.

In May, I reported that “several weeks ago the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an ‘urgent warning’ for Tread + and Tread treadmills manufactured by Peloton, urging people to stop using the products immediately. The home fitness company announced on Wednesday that it was recalling the exercise equipment.

According to New York Times, the recall came less than a month after Peloton fought the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, warning dozens of injuries and the death of a child were related to the machines. “Peloton is offering a full refund for the $ 4,295 machine with a 32-inch touchscreen that allows runners to train with the help of instructors,” according to the newspaper.

In a statement posted on the company’s website, Peloton CEO John Foley said, “I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Product Safety Commission request. consumption to recall the Tread +. We should have engaged more productively with them from the start. For that, I apologize.

“Today’s announcement reflects our recognition that by working closely with the CPSC, we can increase our members’ safety awareness. We strongly believe in the future of connected home fitness and are committed to working with the CPSC to set new industry safety standards for treadmills. We have the desire and the responsibility to be an industry leader in product safety.

Advice to business leaders

  • Don’t wait to respond to an emerging crisis.
  • Tell people what you did in response to the crisis and how and why you did it.
  • Learn from the successes and mistakes of how other businesses and organizations respond to their own crisis situations.

About Madeline Powers

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