FTC Says Reebok to Pay $25 Million for 'Deceptive' Advertising

September 28, 2011 Updated Sep 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM EDT

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FTC Says Reebok to Pay $25 Million for 'Deceptive' Advertising

September 28, 2011 Updated Sep 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM EDT

In a news release Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Reebok International Ltd. has agreed to resolve charges that the company deceptively advertised “toning shoes,” which it claimed would provide extra tone and strength to leg and buttock muscles. 

Reebok will pay $25 million as part of the settlement agreement.  The funds will be made available for consumer refunds either directly from the FTC or through a court-approved class action lawsuit.

“The FTC wants national advertisers to understand that they must exercise some responsibility and ensure that their claims for fitness gear are supported by sound science,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. 

Reebok’s EasyTone walking shoes and RunTone running shoes have retailed for $80 to $100 a pair, while EasyTone flip flops have retailed for about $60 a pair.  Ads for the shoes claimed that sole technology featuring pockets of moving air creates “micro instability” that tones and strengthens muscles as you walk or run.

Read the FTC news release HERE.