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Reebok has advertised their EasyTone walking shoes, RunTone sneakers, and EasyTone flip-flops as these magical little things that will tone your butt and the areas around it through some newfangled sole technology. Allegedly, the shoes include moving air pockets that create "micro instability" when you run, which (surprise!) turns out to not do much of anything.
So the the FTC has officially stuck it to them to the tune of $25M bucks. David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, says: "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."
Jaime Bianchi, a lawyer for the FTC, also says: "If a company is going to claim that a product has secondary effects that are related to the use of the product other than the product itself, like health related, they need to make sure they have adequate support for the claims," which as it turns out, Reebok could not. If you fell victim to their promises of leaner legs, a firmer butt, and toned hamstrings, you'll be able to get your money back directly from the FTC, or through "a court-approved class action lawsuit."
· Reebok to Pay $25M in Customer Refunds for Deceptive Advertising [WWD]