Online Staff Report
CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) joined the Federal Trade Commission, 44 other states and the District of Columbia to announce a settlement with Skechers USA Inc. for $45 million to resolve allegations that the shoe company deceived consumers into believing its rocker-bottom athletic shoe line would help them lose weight and get in shape.
In a complaint filed May 16, along with the settlement, the FTC and the states alleged Skechers made deceptive, unsubstantiated claims in marketing and advertising its line of rocker-bottom athletic shoes: Shape-ups, Tone-ups and the Skechers Resistance Runner. Skechers misled consumers to believe wearing the shoes would cause them to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite and strengthen muscles.
“Companies that make health claims without scientific proof to support them are using deceptive tactics that may unfairly influence consumers’ purchasing decisions,” Madigan said.
Under the settlement, Skechers is barred from making health claims unless it has adequate evidence. Skechers will also pay $40 million back to consumers who bought the shoes and $5 million to the states for costs of investigation.
Consumers who purchased Shape-ups, Tone-ups or the Skechers Resistance Runner should visit the FTC website at www.ftc.gov or call (866) 325-4186 for information in obtaining a refund.
Joining Illinois in the settlement were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, 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, Hawaii’s Office of Consumer Protection, and Georgia’s Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection.
Assistant Attorney General Colleen Bisher handled the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.
Posted May 16, 2012