Reebok’s EasyTone walking shoes and RunTone running shoes retailed for $80 to $100 a pair, while EasyTone flip flops retailed for about $60 a pair.
This move against Reebok is part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to put a stop to overhyped advertising claims, the agency said. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive; advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and advertisements cannot be unfair. The FTC pays closest attention to ads that make claims about health or safety.
“Advertisers can’t make claims about their product without having some basis for it,” said David Vladeck, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Protection Bureau. “That’s the law.”
To find out if the shoe really shaped the bottom and lower legs, the American Council on Exercise recruited a dozen young women, monitored their muscle and exercise response to toning shoes. The organization concluded that the shoes did nothing more for strength or tone than regular running shoes, ElBoghdady reported.
Reebok issued a statement saying that it chose to settle only to avoid a drawn-out legal battle over shoes that have received “overwhelmingly enthusiastic feedback” from customers.
Under the settlement, Reebok is barred from:
•Making claims that toning shoes and other toning apparel are effective in strengthening muscles, or that using the footwear will result in a specific percentage or amount of muscle toning or strengthening, unless the claims are true and backed by scientific evidence;
•Making any health or fitness-related efficacy claims for toning shoes and other toning apparel unless the claims are true and backed by scientific evidence; and
•Misrepresenting any tests, studies, or research results regarding toning shoes and other toning apparel.
“Settling does not mean we agreed with the FTC’s allegations; we do not,” the company said.
If you bought the shoes and want to be part of this settlement, submit a claim here.
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Men At Work
Is it wrong for a woman to be attracted to a man with a good job – a good paying job that is?
Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax gave her two cents to a reader who wanted to know why women overlooked him because he rather read a book than work long hours.
“I work as a security guard, which enables me to read for 40 hours a week, which I just love to do,” the man wrote to Hax. “When women find out how much money I make, their contempt for me can barely be hidden. I wonder when I am going to be valued by a woman for who I am, and not my ability to be a ‘provider.’”