FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 16, 2012) — Kentucky has joined 43 other states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Trade Commission in reaching a $45 million settlement with Skechers USA, Inc. over allegations of deceptive advertising involving the company’s rocker-bottom shoe products, according to Attorney General Jack Conway.
Under the settlements, up to $40 million is being allocated for consumer refund money to be paid back to consumers who purchased the shoes. An additional $5 million will be paid to the states.
“Skechers has made millions from a deceptive advertising campaign that couldn’t deliver on its promises to consumers,” Conway said. “I am pleased that a settlement has been reached and that it will prevent Skechers from engaging in these types of illegal marketing practices in the future.”
The complaint filed today in Franklin Circuit Court by Conway alleges that Skechers made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering and selling of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products including Shape-ups, Tone-ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runner that were not adequately substantiated at the time the claims were made.
The suit further alleges that without having adequate support for its claims, Skechers claimed that these rocker-bottom shoe products caused consumers to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite, and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock, and back muscles.
Under the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making these claims unless it has adequate substantiation to do so. Skechers does not admit any wrongdoing and denies the factual allegations asserted in the Attorney General’s complaint.
Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, or the Skechers Resistance Runner should go to www.ftc.gov/skechers or call 1-866-325-4186 to determine if they are eligible for a partial refund.
Potential refunds for eligible consumers vary from $20 to $80 per pair of shoes.