ACCC alleges Reebok did not act on EasyTone claims

Reebok Australia is being prosecuted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over claims it alleges were made for its EasyTone shoes.

Proceedings in the Federal Court under Australian consumer law allege claims it says Reebok made from September 2011 that a person walking in EasyTone shoes would increase strength and muscle tone of their calves, thighs and buttocks were “false, misleading or deceptive”.

The ACCC alleges that use of the EasyTone shoes would not result in these increases in strength and toning, and that Reebok Australia did not have reasonable grounds for making these representations.

Reebok Australia has issued a press statement today: “At this time Reebok Australia wishes to make no comment on this matter other than to state that our customers are our number one priority, and we will continue to deliver quality products that our customers have grown to trust over the years.”

Chairman Rod Sims says the ACCC alleges that Reebok Australia did not meet its obligation to ensure the claims were accurate, and that it had reasonable grounds for making them. It says Reebok Australia imported and sold the shoes in Australia from December 2009, but the proceedings relate to alleged conduct since September 2011 when it says, the company was aware that similar claims about the shoes were the subject of a settlement following enforcement action taken by the US Federal Trade Commission against Reebok International Ltd in relation to the same representations.

The ACCC is seeking pecuniary penalties, declarations, injunctions, orders for corrective notices, non-party consumer redress and to establish and implement a compliance programme and costs.

A directions hearing has been set down for February 14 before Justice McKerracher in the Federal Court, Perth.



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