The Federal Trade Commission announced today that Reebok will be paying $25 million to the many consumers who purchased its toning shoes because of unsupported advertising claims made by the company.
“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, in a press release posted to the FTC’s website.
But what about the rest of those sneaker companies who try to convince us that wearing hideous, clunky kicks will make our butts perkier?
According to the FTC, Reebok was just too specific, citing exact percentages its shoes could increase strength and toning. They would have been better off sticking to Skechers’ style of vague pronouncements like “promote weight loss” and “tone muscles.”
We’re just glad the FTC is finally paying attention to these egregious get-fit-without-a-gym claims. Maybe now they’ll take a look a similarly implausible product: toning clothing.
—Lisa Elaine Held