A federal judge has approved the $40 million class-action settlement filed by the Federal Trade Commission, which requires Skechers USA to reimburse customers who purchased shoes from their “Shape Up” sneakers line between 2008 and 2012. As we reported in the May issue, the lawsuit charged Skechers with false advertising. U.S. regulators said that the shoe company claimed that “Shape-Ups” could help customers tone their legs and lose weight, despite scanty scientific evidence. David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, announced the court’s approval of the settlement last month:
Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. 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.
More than 500,000 customers who purchased the shoes can receive refunds for $40 to $84 worth of shoes from the “Shape Up” line. The FTC and Skechers actually reached the settlement agreement last year, but it took several months to bring it to where it could receive court approval.
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