In the past three years, you’ve probably noticed ads for Reebok’s EasyTones, a pair of regular (if not particularly ugly) looking sneakers, endorsed by the Kardashians. Reebok has claimed the shoes will lift and sculpt your butt and basically make you fit for the love of a man. Now, the Federal Trade Commission is forcing Reebok to cough up $25 million in refunds for all those consumers they fooled because–wait for it–wearing sneakers won’t make you look like Jessica Alba.
The main gist of the case against Reebok is that they didn’t have any real evidence for their claims and also tried to say that special pockets of air (?) in the shoes would somehow give you a better butt:
The FTC said ads for the shoes claimed that a special technology in the sole featured pockets of moving air that created “micro instability” that toned and strengthened muscles as a person walked or ran. In ads that began appearing in 2009, Reebok said walking in the shoes had been proved to provide 28% more strength and tone in the buttock muscles compared with regular walking shoes, 11% more in the hamstring muscles and 11% more in the calf muscles, the FTC said. The agency’s investigation found Reebok was unable to back up those claims.
David Vladeck, director of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, who is quite the wordsmith, said: ”Consumers expected to get a workout, not to get worked over,” (GONG) while announcing the settlement Wednesday. Consumers who purchased EasyTones beginning Dec. 5, 2008, can apply for a refund through the FTC, though the size of the refund itself will depend on how many people apply. Alas, the refund will not include the opportunity to throw rotten vegetables at a Kardashian sister for all the lies on which they subist.
I think what’s more absurd here is the ad campaign’s implication that once you’ve worn the EasyTones, you’ll find it acceptable to go out gallivanting in public wearing nothing by a camisole and underwear. But I guess those plastic bottles aren’t going to recycle themselves sexily.
(via The La Times)