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Attorney General Schneider Announces Settlement with Skechers for Deceptive Shoe Advertising
May 16, 2012
AUGUSTA – Attorney General William J. Schneider announced today that Maine reached a settlement with Skechers USA, Inc., the makers of Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups and the Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes, to resolve allegations that the company made unsubstantiated health claims about its rocker-bottom products.
Maine, along with 43 other states and the District of Columbia, filed consent judgments in conjunction with a settlement the company reached with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The aggregate settlement amount between the FTC and the states is $45 million, the largest ever truth-in-advertising case of its kind that will result in consumer restitution. Of the total $5 million payment to the states, Maine will receive $74,715.
“Fitness-conscious consumers paid a premium for shoes that Skechers aggressively marketed as achieving almost magical calorie burning and muscle toning results,” said Attorney General Schneider. “This victory for consumers will require Skechers to pay refunds and stop making claims without reliable scientific evidence.”
The complaint filed today by the attorney general alleges that 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 were not adequately substantiated at the time the claims were made.
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.
Under the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making these claims without adequate substantiation.
Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, or the Skechers Resistance Runner may be eligible for a partial refund. For information about filing a claim, go to http://www.ftc.gov/skechers or call toll free at (866) 325-4186.
Attorneys General of the District of Columbia and the following states participated in today’s settlement: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, 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.
Assistant Attorney General Carolyn A. Silsby handled this matter for Attorney General Schneider’s Consumer Protection Division.