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    Press Release
  • Refund Checks Issued to Eligible Tennesseans for Alleged Deceptive "Toning" Shoe Ads

    July 11, 2013, #13-17

    If you filed a refund claim for Skechers-brand toning shoes, you should be receiving a check for approximately $34 from BMC Group, a court-approved settlement administrator, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper and Tennessee Commerce and Insurance's (TDCI) Consumer Affairs Director Gary Cordell announced today.

    Nationwide 509,175 checks will be issued to consumers from a settlement fund totaling $38 million. Consumers who filed claims should receive $34 for each pair. Officials estimate hundreds of thousands of the shoes were purchased in Tennessee although not everyone filed refund claims. The checks must be cashed on or before Oct. 10.

    "I am pleased consumers are receiving refunds and want to encourage consumers to cash their Skechers refund checks before October 10," Attorney General Cooper said.

    "Consumer Affairs appreciates the outstanding work of the Attorney General's office in fighting for the citizens of Tennessee," says Director of Consumer Affairs Gary Cordell. "Our partnership continues to produce real results and we're incredibly proud of that."

    Today's announcement follows settlements reached with Skechers and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a group of 42 other states led by the Tennessee and Ohio Attorneys General Offices, and a class action. The FTC and multistate agreement calls for the company to pay $40 million in restitution less costs of administration.

    The agreements resolved alleged deceptive advertising complaints against Skechers USA, Inc., one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the country. Under the settlements, the refunds were allocated for consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runners and made claims – the largest such pool in history for an advertising substantiation case. As part of the settlements, Skechers paid an additional $5 million to the states.

    The multistate lawsuit alleged Skechers made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering, and selling of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products including Shape-ups, Tone-ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runner that were not adequately substantiated at the time the claims were made.

    Specifically, the lawsuit alleged Sketchers advertisements claimed its rocker-bottom shoe products caused consumers to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite, and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock, and back muscles. Skechers did not admit any wrongdoing and denied the factual allegations asserted in the Attorney General's complaint.

    For more information on the Tennessee's documents, visit www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral and click on "Filings of Interest."

    Consumers who have complaints about unsubstantiated health or advertising claims or any consumer matter should contact the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs for more information at 1-800-342-8385 (toll free inside Tennessee), (615) 741-4737 or online at www.tn.gov/consumer/. To file a complaint with the FTC or for more consumer tips, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.