A fitness centre in Dubai has removed an online advert which attracted criticism for apparently suggesting that if women are overweight, they risk turning straight men gay.

The campaign video, titled “Bent: Getting Our Priority Straight”, was criticised by internet users, and was eventually removed from the Facebook page of the Circuit Factory.

On removing the video from YouTube, the organisation released a statement saying: “We took the video down because of the press coverage and negative sentiments. This was a major compromise. We weren’t going to remove it. It didn’t feel like our convictions led our hearts there. But, in the end looking upon it as a whole our sole purpose is to deliver weight loss results in people’s lives.

“If we can improve their lives in some way beyond that it’s a privilege. And, not having this campaign doesn’t detract from that core purpose.”

Before removing the video, the company posted on its Facebook page to defend it, saying that it had not been intended to offend, and claimed that the message behind the ad was that men would be less attracted to their female partners if they put on weight.

It said: “Freedom is a big part of The Circuit Factory’s culture. We aren’t advocating anything with our video. It’s just us being ridiculous. We don’t take ourselves that seriously. We believe in freedom, and our video is an expression of that.”

A static version of the advert still appears on the website for Circuit Factory, but the video has been made private.

Back in January 2012, the founder of the Circuit Factory said he had sacked the marketing team he had been using, after an ad campaign which used images of a Nazi concentration camp, caused outrage.

The gym had been criticised on social media after posting an image of the Auschwitz death campaign, along with the slogan: “Kiss your calories goodbye”.