Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012 --- 11:16 a.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Claims that Skechers' fitness shoes can help shed pounds and tone muscles are sketchy at best, says the government -- and they're going to cost the company millions of dollars.
The footwear company will pay $40 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that Skechers made unfounded claims that its Shape-ups shoes would help people lose weight and strengthen their butt, leg and stomach muscles.
The settlement also involves the company's Resistance Runner, Toners and Tone-ups shoes. The FTC alleges Skechers made deceptive claims about those shoes, too.
The FTC says Skechers falsely represented that clinical studies backed up the company's claims about its toning shoes.
Consumers who bought the shoes will be eligible for refunds.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.
Press Release from the Wisconsin Attorney General's Office:
The state of Wisconsin, the federal trade commission, 43 other states and the District of Columbia reach settlement with Skechers over Charges of Deceptive Advertising of athletic Shoes
Settlement allocates up to $40 million for consumer refunds to those who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups and the Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes.
MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Wisconsin has joined 43 other states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Trade Commission in a settlement with Skechers USA, Inc., the makers of Shape-ups, Tone-ups and the Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes. The State of Wisconsin’s complaint filed today alleges that Skechers made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging and selling of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products, including Shape-ups, Tone-ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runner, that were not adequately substantiated at the time the claims were made, and that Skechers claimed that these rocker-bottom shoe products promote weight loss, burn more calories, improve circulation, and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock, and back muscles, without having adequate support for its claims.
Under the settlement, up to $40 million is being allocated for refunds to consumers who purchased the shoes. Skechers also will pay an additional $5 million to the states.
Attorney General Van Hollen stated, “I am pleased to provide a remedy to the consumers of this state who were taken in by Skechers’ claims. With all of the information in the marketplace, people need to know that they aren’t going to be misled by product-related health claims.”
Under the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making the challenged claims unless it has adequate substantiation to do so. Skechers does not admit any liability or wrongdoing.
Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups or the Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes should go to www.ftc.gov/skechers for information about how to obtain a partial refund, or call toll free at 1-866-325-4186.