Case StudiesSports

Gold’s Gym terminates Egypt’s Dreamland over body-shaming ad

Gold’s Gym has issued an official apology to its community around the world, dodged with a termination action to the Egyptian independent franchise located in Hilton Dreamland in Cairo, over a Facebook post last week shaming girls for being fat and describing them as Pear bodies.

First post, August 10: “What you leave out of messenger, put it into Gold’s Gym.” The accompanying photo shows a woman standing next to a horse, but the photo is cropped to only show her face.

Photo: Facebook

Second post, August 12: “This is no shape for a girl.” alongside with a “Pear” photo referring to women’s bodies.

The franchise edited the post after three days to apologize for the sexist post “Our apology, this post was not meant to offend anyone, and not against God’s creation, or any type of women’s body. It was meant to refer to a healthy, fit body and cutting fats, NOT THE ACTUAL STRUCTURE OF THE BODY. So again, our apology for all the women out there.”

But it was too late, as the post was shared over 6K times and the impact gone wild globally.

Photo: Facebook

Social media backlash

Social media storm took place worldwide, asking Gold’s Gym for an explanation and apology on the offensive post by the Egyptian location.

Apparently, it wasn’t the first time

People started to share old sexist posts by the Dreamland page.

Gold’s Gym and its digital marketing agency in Egypt ‘AWstreams’ took a bold stance against sexism

Gold’s Gym “Global” quickly responded to the crisis with a statement on Facebook apologizing for the sexist post and confirming that behavior is against the brand values, also Dreamland franchise is no longer exist as the franchise agreement has been terminated, as well as its Facebook page which was removed yesterday. Here’s the full statement:

“Dear Gold’s Gym Members, Followers, Franchisees and Team Members Around the World,

Words cannot express how shocked and appalled we were by the recent posts of Gold’s Gym Dreamland, a sub-franchise in Cairo, Egypt. Not only were they offensive and disgusting, they go against everything we believe in and stand for. For years we have been dedicated to helping people feel empowered by fitness, not intimidated or ashamed by it. We believe that strength comes in many forms…be it physical, mental or emotional…and that our purpose (and rallying cry) is to help people Know Their Own Strength.

Upon learning of this sub-franchisee’s insensitive posts, we immediately took action by working with Facebook to have their page removed. Also, after consultation with our master franchise in Gold’s Gym Egypt, we are in the process of expediting the termination of this sub-franchisee’s agreement. This incident only confirms that Gold’s Gym Dreamland does not uphold the values and inclusiveness that Gold’s Gym promotes throughout our global network.

With all of this said, we sincerely apologize for these posts. Even though they were created and posted without our knowledge, they were associated with our logo and there’s no excuse for that. We are currently reviewing our internal procedures for how both domestic and international franchisees create and share social media posts so that nothing like this ever happens again.

More importantly, to our members, fans, team members and franchisees around the world, we share your anger. We are mothers, sisters & daughters too and this is unacceptable. We understand that as a brand with a presence in 30 countries, we have a responsibility to spread a message of empowerment. To let people know that no matter where you live or who you are, fitness should make you feel strong in every way possible.

That’s our commitment. Always.

We hope everyone will also take just a moment to see what Gold’s Gym is really all about. You can simply visit our website or Facebook page to see our official campaign, which features incredible people of all shapes and sizes from around the world using determination, passion and inner strength to achieve incredible things.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Gold’s Gym”

AWstreams: Women Safety Comes First

We reached out to AWstreams, Gold’s Gym digital marketing agency in Egypt for a comment and they confirmed that women safety comes first, addressing women in Egypt and the whole world, Gold’s Gym Egypt and AWstreams; the digital marketing agency handling Gold’s Gym official Facebook page in Egypt said that “both Gold’s Gym and AWstreams have felt angry as you all were feeling yesterday, upon the post that was published on Gold’s Gym Dreamland Facebook page, which was unauthorized and not under the supervision or guidelines of either AWstreams or Gold’s Gym by any means.”

The agency SPOC added “We have been partners with Gold’s Gym Egypt for a year now, regardless the fact that Gold’s Gym Dreamland page was unauthorized by either AWstreams or Gold’s Gym, that doesn’t make us any less responsible for your feelings. We apologize to every woman and girl around the world. We have been supportive to women all along our journey. Our major company population are females who support and empower one another. Disrespect was not and never will be part of our values.”

SPOC added, “We would like to assure you that we did not just come with an apology without actions. Gold’s Gym Dreamland no longer exists. The franchise is no more! We sincerely beg your pardon for the unexcused stumble. However, we own it! And to you, we present our apologies. Ultimate respect!

We take women rights and safety seriously, it’s not acceptable to be shamed for any reason, we work hand in hand with Gold’s Gym to encourage people to find their strengths, whether it be physical, emotional or intellectual. No one has the right to tell women how should they look like and no place or business will ever survive without being respectable to women.”

We have been and we will be always backing women up, with support and encouragement.” The SPOC said in an email to Digital Boom.

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