AG announces settlement with Skechers
Today, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced that Virginia has joined 43 other states, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Trade Commission in settling causes of action against Skechers USA, Inc., arising from its unsupported advertising claims regarding the health benefits of its Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, and Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes.
The lawsuits filed by the attorneys general allege that Skechers made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering, and selling of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products that were not adequately proven. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Skechers claimed that these shoes caused weight loss, improved circulation, reduced cellulite, and firmed, toned, or strengthened thigh, buttock, and back muscles. Under the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making these claims unless it has adequate proof to do so. It has also agreed to pay up to $40 million in consumer refunds and an additional $5 million to the states. Virginia will receive approximately $115,000, which will be deposited into a fund for future consumer protection enforcement.
“Manufacturers must be able to support the claims they make in advertisements,” said Cuccinelli. “Consumers should have all the facts before they make a purchase. It’s my hope that this settlement will send a clear message to manufacturers and sellers: we won’t tolerate false advertising in Virginia.”
Under the terms of the settlement, Skechers does not admit any wrongdoing and denies the factual allegations in the states’ complaint.
Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, or the Skechers Resistance Runner should go to
www.ftc.gov/skechers for information about how to obtain a partial refund. Consumers who have complaints about unsubstantiated claims in advertisements or any other consumer matter should contact the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs at (804) 786-2042 in the Richmond area, or (800) 552-9963 statewide.
For more information on making a claim for restitution under the settlement, consumers may call the toll-free hotline, (866) 325-4186.