Clicky Compliance Alert: Unsubstantiated Claims Bite Sneaker Line in the Bottom

The Federal Trade Commission recently settled a Complaint against sneaker company, Reebok, for making unsubstantiated claims as to the effectiveness of their “Easy Tone” and “Run Tone” lines of sneakers. These are the “too good to be true” line of sneakers which were heavily marketed by Reebok through Print, Television, and Internet advertising. You know, the ones that were just slightly less ugly than the Sketchers brand competition?

The company made claims that the sneaker line gives you “better legs and a better butt with every step.” As seen in this hard-to–believe-they-actually-didn’t-know-better video released by Reebok and posted on the FTC website, the model is heard and seen making particularly specific claims that the shoes are proven to strengthen hamstrings and calves “by up to 11 percent,” and that they tone the buttocks “up to 28 percent more than regular sneakers, just by walking.” Regretfully for the company, they never backed up those claims with the proof of where those numbers came from. Instead, they just showed a beautiful model pointing at a chart/graph without explanation. http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/09/video/fitness.shtm

Clickbooth has strict compliance guidelines in place for Advertisers and Publishers in its Health and Fitness markets. The guidelines are not only there to protect consumers, but the compliance procedures also protect the advertisers and affiliates. Monetary damages in an FTC complaint for making unsubstantiated claims in advertisements can be large enough to effectively shut down your business.

So, if you’re planning to use specific claims as to the effectiveness of a product in your marketing plans, make sure that those claims are completely true and supported by specific scientific evidence. Or else you might just find yourself running to your lawyer’s office. . .

For more information, read the full settlement and stipulation here http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/1023070/110928reebokorder.pdf

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