Skechers to Pay $40 Million Over Toning Shoe Claims
Skechers advertised that its toning shoes would help people lose weight, build muscle and get in shape, claims that will now cost the company $40 million in a settlement with U.S. regulators.
The Federal Trade Commission announced today that 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. Consumers who bought the shoes are entitled to refunds.
"Skechers' unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health," David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "The FTC's message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims."
The FTC also 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 marketng executive and that Skechers paid him to conduct the study, which the FTC alleges did not support the claims in the ad.
Skechers denies its ads were unsupported and says it "believes its advertising was appropriate." [continue]