Didn't it just sound great? You could just put on a pair of shoes and walk around during your normal daily business and you could tone your body. Of course, anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. When will the next iteration of the Shake-Weight hit shelves and infomercials anyway?
Reebok International, Inc. was caught in its claims that its shoes created "micro instability" that toned muscles as you walked or ran. The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") brought a claim against Reebok to stop its deceptive advertising. In the settlement that resulted, Reebok agreed to pay $25 million to those who filled out a claim form, according to the FTC. That amount divided among those that purchased the shoes should refund about 87% of the total purchase price of the shoes.
A false advertising claim is a type of fraud claim where a company can be liable for misleading the public about its product. The law is meant to protect customers from unscrupulous claims made by retailers and manufacturers.
Here, the FTC had a problem with the claims that the shoes helped tone the body more than regular shoes when there was no proof that they actually did anything. This is similar to the Skechers toning shoes pushed by none other than Kim Kardashian.
Now, you may ask, why is this false advertising when everybody hypes up their product? The difference is that hyping up a product, in legal terms "puffing," only goes so far as to say that the product is great, but is delivered as an opinion and not a statement of fact.
However, you can clearly see in the advertisement that they claim 28% more work on your buttocks and 11% more work on your hamstrings and calves. It is these claims that got Reebok in trouble with the FTC.
So, if you were one of the people that sent in your claim form, you can expect your partial refund check from Reebok International's toning shoe settlement relatively soon. But sadly, the money won't help tone you more while you walk either.
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