Reebok Australia is under fire for promising consumers toned thighs and calves if they use its EasyTone shoes. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched legal action against the sports company for making false, misleading, or deceptive representations about the workout shoes.
According to the consumer watchdog, from September 2011, the Adidas subsidiary company has been claiming that its EasyTone shoes could help increase the strength and muscle tone of users’ calves, thighs, and buttocks more than a pair of traditional walking shoes could.
But the ACCC alleged that that isn’t the case at all. Using EasyTone shoes would not help users achieve the promised goals.
“Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that accurate information is given to consumers, particularly where consumers may pay a premium to purchase products that are promoted as delivering particular benefits,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a press release.
“The ACCC alleges that Reebok Australia did not meet its obligations under the Australian Consumer Law to ensure the claims it made to consumers about the benefits of EasyTone shoes were accurate, and that it had reasonable grounds for making them.”
EasyTone shoes were first sold in Australia in December 2009, but ACCC is only after the company to its alleged conduct from September 2011. It’s because from that date, Reebok Australia had become aware of similar claims about its shoes in the U.S., but still continued selling its products.
In September of that year, Reebok International paid USD25 million in consumer rebates after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission contended that the company’s claims about its EasyTone shoes were unproved.
Reebok International claimed at that time that it had settled with the FTC to avoid a “protracted legal battle,” but denied agreeing with the FTC’s findings.
However, instead of discontinuing the line or coming clean about its alleged unproved claims, Reebok Australia continued selling EasyTone shoes using the same marketing.
The company’s Australian division is set to go to federal court in Perth on February 14.
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