CLEVELAND - The Federal Trade Commission says Reebok will pay $25 million to customers to settle advertising claims about its toning shoes.
The case was filed in Cleveland, even though Reebok is based in Massachusetts. The Cleveland FTC regional office said these products were sold all over the country including Ohio, and Cleveland handled the investigation for a number of reasons.
"The FTC wants national advertisers to understand that they must exercise some responsibility and ensure that their claims for fitness gear are supported by sound science," said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
The FTC said the ads claimed to provide extra tone and strength to your leg and buttock muscles more than regular shoes just by walking. The FTC says in one ad a claim was made that the shoes would tone the buttocks “up to 28-percent more than regular sneakers, just by walking.” Reebok began making these claims in 2009 in print, television, and Internet advertisements. The claims also appeared on shoe boxes and displays in stores.
Under the settlement, Reebok can’t make claims that toning shoes or apparel are effective in strengthening muscles or refer to a specific percentage or amount of toning or strengthening unless the claim is back by scientific evidence. Reebok also can’t make any health or fitness related claims unless they’re backed up. The company also can’t misrepresent tests, studies or research results.
You can apply for a refund if you bought the Reebok EasyTone walking shoes, RunTone running shoes, or EasyTone flip flops on the FTC’s website. Follow this link if you want to place a refund request: https://cert.gardencitygroup.com/rbk/fs/ftc-1.
Reebook responded with the following statement:
"We stand behind our EasyTone technology – the first shoe in the toning category that was inspired by balance-ball training. Settling does not mean we agree with the FTC’s allegations; we do not. We have received overwhelmingly enthusiastic feedback from thousands of EasyTone customers, and we remain committed to the further development of our EasyTone line of products. Our customers are our number one priority, and we will continue to deliver products that they trust and love."
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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