The false advertising claims over Skechers’ “Shape-Up Shoes” have reached a conclusion. Yesterday, Skechers (owned by Skechers USA, Inc.) reached an agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pay $40 million to consumers who were deceived by Skecher’s advertisements that Shape-Ups and other products would help people lose weight and strengthen flabby rear-ends, legs, and abs.
The FTC settlement was part of a larger investigation led by the Tennessee and Ohio Attorneys General Offices and included attorneys general from 42 other states and the District of Columbia.
“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”
Some of the highlights of the investigation involved the “doctor’s endorsement” that Skechers’ ads featured. Shape-up ads contained an endorsement from chiropractor Dr. Steven Gautreau, who claimed he recommended Shape-Ups based on an “independent” study — but failed to disclose that he was actually married to a Skecher’s marketing executive.
For consumers defrauded by Shape-Ups, the FTC has set up a website at www.ftc.gov/skechers for more information.