Sketchers agrees to pay $40 million for deceptive claims

Consumer Alert

POSTED: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 4:45pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 4:49pm

If you're one of the many women who bought Sketchers to achieve the perfect curves, the Federal Trade Commission wants you to know their claims are sketchy at best.

A settlement was announced today in a case alleging the footwear company deceived consumers with their celebrity advertising campaigns.

Sketchers USA will pay $40 million to settle charges by the FTC that it made false claims about the health and fitness benefits of their “Shape-Ups” toning shoes.

"When comparing its toning footwear to standard fitness shoes, Sketchers put its foot in its mouth by making unproven claims that its toning footwear strengthens muscles, increases weight loss, reduces body fat and improves circulation and aerobic conditioning," said David Vladeck with the FTC.

The FTC also alleges Sketchers made deceptive claims about their “Resistance Runner”, “Toners” and “Tone-Ups” shoes.

The FTC says this is an important step in getting marketers to ensure they have valid evidence before making health and fitness claims about their products.

Consumers who purchased the shoes will be eligible for refunds, though it’s not clear how much money they will get. 

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