Sketchers On the Hook for $40 Million in Consumer Refunds
The Federal Trade Commission announced that Skechers USA, Inc. has agreed to pay $40 million to settle charges that the company deceived consumers by making unfounded claims that Shape-ups would help people lose weight, and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles.
Besides Shape-ups, Skechers also made deceptive claims about its Resistance Runner, Toners, and Tone-ups shoes, the FTC alleged. Consumers who bought these “toning” shoes will be eligible for refunds either directly from the FTC or through a court-approved class action lawsuit, and can submit a claim here. The settlement with the FTC is part of a broader agreement, also being announced today resolving a multi-state investigation, which was led by the Tennessee and Ohio Attorneys General Offices and included attorneys general from 42 other states and the District of Columbia.
“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”
The claims made by both Skechers and Reebok were outrageous – nice to see a little justice (Reebok settled with the FTC for $25 million last year)!
PS – Back to “The Weight of the Nation” tomorrow.