Ad Sparks Controversy at Local Gym - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/7/04

Ad Sparks Controversy at Local Gym

A flyer sent out by Gold's Gym, both nationally and here in Lubbock, is causing a stir because of a clever play on words. The flyer started arriving in Lubbock mailboxes Tuesday. It pictures a small donkey and reads "Small Ass for Sale." Of course, the idea is to go join the gym and lose fat from your backside, but Jan Payne is one grandmother who was not pleased when the play on words wound up in her mailbox. "When I called to talk to the manager, he said it was a health issue and I don't see anything that amounts to a health issue in that. It's all sexist."

Jan is worried flyers like the Gold's flyer desensitize young children to inappropriate words and she doesn't plan on letting this one go. "I think Lubbock won't stand for this and if they do, then we're going to see worse things start coming in our mailboxes."

According to Gold's Gym, they're getting a largely positive response to the flyer and they'll continue to send it out as long as that's the case. Ty Cobb, Gold's Gym General Manager, says, "We didn't intend to offend anybody, just something to send out to be cute and shake people up." Shake people up, and motivate them to get into the gym. But did it work? Ty says, yes. "It worked, it worked. There were a lot of people that came in fired up and ready to change their life and that's what it's all about."

But, Randy Christian, President and CEO of RC&P Marketing says short term success may result in a long-term loss. Gold's has upheld a good reputation for several years, even decades. Randy believes the ad will hurt Gold's brand. He says, "They (people) won't think of Gold's gym as the best place to go work out and get back in shape. They'll think of Gold's Gym, the people who sent out the 'small ass for sale' ad and then they'll snicker."

Gold's Gym management says they received over 100 calls about the ad. They say the majority were positive and they signed several people up for memberships as a result.

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