FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, May 16, 2012
Miller, State Attorneys General Settle with Skechers
Over Deceptive Shoe Marketing Claims
(DES MOINES, Iowa) Attorney General Tom Miller joined state attorneys general in 43 states plus the District of Columbia, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in reaching settlements with Skechers USA, Inc., over its health claims in the marketing of certain athletic shoe products.
Skechers USA, based in Manhattan Beach, California, manufactures and markets footwear, including “Shape-Ups,” “Tone-Ups,” and “Skechers Resistance Runner” shoes. Under the settlements, up to $40 million will go to consumers who purchased the shoes. Skechers will pay an additional $5 million to the states.
The lawsuit alleges that the Skechers made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering, and selling of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products including Shape-ups, Tone-ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runner that the company did not adequately substantiate at the time it made the claims.
The lawsuit alleges that without having adequate support for its claims, Skechers claimed that these rocker-bottom shoe products caused consumers to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite, and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock, and back muscles.
“We allege that Skechers made exaggerated and false claims about the health benefits of its rocker-bottom shoes,” said Miller. “Despite the company’s marketing claims, we don’t think these shoes provided consumers with any more exercise benefits than regular shoes. And that’s why we allege that this was a case of deceptive advertising.”
Under the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making these claims without adequate substantiation.
Skechers does not admit any wrongdoing and denies the factual allegations asserted in the Miller’s complaint.
Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, or the Skechers Resistance Runner should go to www.ftc.gov/skechers or call 1-866-325-4186 for information about how to obtain a partial refund. Consumers can also file complaints with the FTC.
Consumers who have complaints about unsubstantiated health or advertising claims or any consumer matter may file a complaint with the Iowa Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division:
Phone: 515-281-5926, or 1-888-777-4590 (outside of the Des Moines area)
Mail: Consumer Protection Division, Hoover Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319
In addition to Miller’s settlement, the FTC and attorneys general of the following states also filed settlements: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, the State of Hawaii’s Office of Consumer Protection, and the State of Georgia’s Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection.
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