Skechers to Pay $40 Million Over Toning Shoe Claims

May 16, 2012 | Ian Stonebrook |

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Toning turmoil has been put to rest thanks to the Federal Trade Commission. Following previous lawsuits┬áinvolving New Balance and Reebok, the FTC recently announced that Skechers has agreed to pay a $40 Million settlement on charges that it “deceived customers by making unfounded claims” pertaining to their Shape-ups, Resistance Runner, Toners, and Tone-ups sneakers.

“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health.” David Vladek, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated. “The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”

In addition, the FTC alleges that Skechers manipulated results from studies to support their claims. In one case, the FTC says that Skechers touted the endorsement of a chiropractor, but did not disclose that he was married to a Skechers marketing executive and that Skechers paid him to conduct the study. The FTC alleges that the said study did not support the claims in the ad.

“While we vigorously deny the allegations made in these legal proceedings and looked forward to vindicating these claims in court, Skechers could not ignore the exorbitant cost and endless distraction of several years spent defending multiple lawsuits in multiple courts across the country,” David Weinberg, Skechers’ chief financial officer, said in a statement.

The FTC’s settlement with Skechers is part of a larger agreement that resolves an investigation that included attorney generals from 44 states. Under the settlement, Skechers is not allowed to make any claims regarding health or fitness benefits from its toning shoes unless they’re backed by scientific evidence.

Refunds are available here for consumers that purchased the shoes.

Source: Good Morning America

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