Thursday, May 17, 2012
It has been reported Skechers have settled a claim for an estimated $40 million for falsely advertising their toning shoes as being able to help people lose weight. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the company has agreed to the settlement on charges that it "deceived consumers by making unfounded claims" about its Shape-ups, Resistance Runner, Toners and Tone-ups lines of shoes. The FTCalso alleges that Skechers manipulated and "cherry-picked results" from studies to support their claims. In one case, the FTC says Skechers touted the endorsement of chiropractor Dr. Steven Gautreau, but did not disclose that Gautreau was married to a Skechers marketing executive and that Skechers paid him to conduct the study. According to the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, Skechers' unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health. Consumers who bought the shoes are able to apply for a refund. The FTC's settlement with Skechers is part of a broader agreement that resolves an investigation that included the attorney generals from 44 states. Under the settlement Skechers is not allowed to make any claims about its toning shoes involving health or fitness benefits unless they are backed by scientific evidence. The Skechers' settlement comes less than a year after Reebok agreed to pay $25 million to settle charges it misled consumers with false claims about EasyTone walking shoes and RunTone running shoes.