In 2010, the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division recommended that Reebok discontinue certain claims for its EasyTone toning shoe line made in print and Internet advertising and the company agreed to do so.
NAD, which monitors advertising in all media, requested substantiation from Reebok for certain performance and establishment claims like “Better legs and a better butt with every step” and “It’s the shoe proven to work your hamstrings and calves up to 11% harder and tones your butt up to 28% more than regular sneakers just by walking.”
The NAD determined that a 2008 study commissioned by Reebok did not support the advertiser’s quantified performance claims.
The study included just five subjects who were assigned to wear Reebok’s EasyTone shoes, regular walking shoes, or no shoes at all on an indoor treadmill at a freely chosen pace for five minutes, with electrodes attached to key muscle areas. Given that the testing submitted in support of the advertiser’s performance claims involved only five subjects and that the researcher concluded only that test results suggested that the shoe design might potentially produce toning, NAD found the evidence insufficient to support the claims and recommended Reebok discontinue the claims.
Reebok noted that while it disagreed with NAD’s findings, it would comply with the decision.
Yesterday, the FTC announced a $25 Million dollar settlement. In announcing the settlement, the FTC referenced the company’s willingness to discontinue the advertising as a positive factor. Consumers who wish to apply for a refund should visit: http://reeboksettlement.com/FTC