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Skechers to pay $40M for 'Shape Up' toning claims

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   May 13, 2013 at 6:31 PM   |   Comments

May 13 (UPI) -- A federal judge has finally approved a $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.

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.

According to MSN Money, more than 500,000 customers who purchased the shoes can receive refunds for $40 to $84 dollars worth of shoes from the "Shape Up" line.

The FTC and Skechers first reached the settlement agreement last year.

"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, in a statement. "The FTC's message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims."

Skechers' Chief Financial Officer David Weinberg said that while the company continued to support its advertising, it wanted to end the lawsuit for financial reasons.

While we vigorously deny the allegations made in these legal proceedings and looked forward to vindicating these claims in court, Skechers could not ignore the exorbitant cost and endless distraction of several years spent defending multiple lawsuits in multiple courts across the country.

Here's one of the commercials that the FTC included in its lawsuit.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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