Refunds from Reebok
–> The Federal Trade Commission announced this morning that it has reached a $25 million settlement with Reebok, which has marketed toning shoes and apparel for several years. The sporting goods company will pay the money into a fund intended to return money to consumers who bought Easytone and RunTone products, which retail for upwards of $100.
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“[We’re here] to remind advertisers big and small that they must have adequate proof for the claims they make in their ads,” said David Vladeck, director at the Federal Trade Commission. Reebok’s claims that the shoes strengthened and toned leg and buttock muscles “didn’t withstand scrutiny. Consumers expected to get a workout, not worked over.”
Ad Age named Reebok EasyTones one of America’s Hottest Brands in 2010. The award is based on sales and marketing buzz. As of Nov. 2010, the company said it had sold 5 million pairs in the U.S. and double that globally. Advertising was handled by DDB and Reebok spent $31 million on measured media for EasyTone in 2010.
[Editor’s note: This story will be updated]