One year ago, The U.S. FTC fined shoe manufacturer Skechers $40 Million over its ads for “Shape-Ups” shoes. The shoes were marketed as being able to help users lost weight and tone the muscles in their lower bodies. Skechers was banned from running the ads further and customers who bought the shoes could receive refunds from the FTC or join a class-action lawsuit against the shoe company.
“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health. The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”
This week, a federal judge approved the $40 million class-action settlement between Skechers and “Shape-Ups” customers. According to an Associated Press report on the lawsuit, more than 520,000 people can claim up to $80 for a pair of “Shape-Ups,” $84 for a pair of “Resistance Runner” shoes, $54 for a pair of “Podded Sole” shoes, and $40 for a pair of “Tone-Ups.” $5 million of the settlement was awarded to the lawyers in the case.
Skechers has denied that its ads are misleading and stated that it settled to avoid a drawn-out lawsuit. The company’s “Shape-Ups” ads featured celebrity endorsements from the likes of Brooke Burke and Kim Kardashian.