The largest consumer refund settlement in Federal Trade Commission history has just been announced.
Skechers has agreed to pay out $40 million toward those consumers who were allegedly misled by the physique-building properties of the company’s Shape-ups, as well as other sneakers that purported to make a person’s posterior look better and help the user lose weight just by wearing the shoe. The FTC had stated that many of these claims had no basis in reality.
Now, in addition to the payout, Skechers can no longer make allegedly unsubstantiated claims in relation to their Toners, Tone-Ups, Resistance Runners, Shape-ups, or other shoes. The FTC said that, among other outlets, the company made such false claims in ads during the Super Bowl that featured celebrities touting the product.
In addition, the FTC took to task certain research held up as supporting those claims alleged to be deceptive. For instance, one ad found a chiropractor who recommended the shoes after looking at the results of a clinical study he said was independent. That same individual said said the shoes were tested against the benefits of regular footwear. However, what this ad failed to disclose, according to the FTC, was that the chiropractor in question was paid by Skechers and was in fact married to an executive with the company. They also said that the study did not support the statements made in the ad.
A website has been set up for those customers wishing to be reimbursed for the shoes they bought.