Reebok Refund Issued for Deceptive Advertising

Sep 29, 2011, 10:36 by R.E. Christian

Reebok International Ltd. said it would refund customers $25 million to settle a case of deceptive advertising, U.S. regulators said Wednesday.

The case involves shoes Reebok advertised as "toning shoes," the Federal Trade Commission said in a statement.

The FTC had charged Reebok with advertising shoes "which it claimed would provide extra tone and strength to leg and buttock muscles."

The regulator said the funds would be made available to customers of EasyTone and RunTone shoes "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.

The EasyTone and RunTone shoes sold for up to $100, while the EasyTone flip flops sold for "about $60 per pair," the FTC said.

Ads claimed the soles of the shoes had air spaces that created "micro instability," which toned muscles while the wearer walked or ran.

The settlement is known as a consent decree, which does not constitute an admission of guilt.

The consent decree was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and requires court approval to become valid.

Source: UPI