Being sexy and deceptive is profitable

Reebok's shoes said they'd help give women
a sexy little butt.

The shoe company Reebok got in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission, which said their ads for EasyTone shoes were deceptive. The FTC claimed Reebok falsely said that the shoes would tone and strengthen leg and butt muscles more than regular shoes without proper scientific evidence.

Reebok based its claims on a "scientific" study which only had five participants.

The FTC said Reebok had to stop making those claims, plus provide refunds of $25 million to consumers who bought their shoes.

The web site Consumerist looked at some numbers, and estimated that if Reebok spent at least $100 million marketing their shoes and added this $25 million refund penalty, those costs came to $125 million, but since Reebok sold 15 million pairs at an average price of $100, the shoes have likely grossed over 1.5 billion dollars.

Due to legal delays, Reebok was able to advertise the shoes for over two years with their dubious claims before they had to stop.

And they can still run ads with tiny athletic women's butts.

"Easy-tone shoes help tone your 
butt and legs with every step."
(Click to enlarge)

My ad critique ahead:
I can't resist talking about this amazing ad. Our model - whose upper body and head are hidden so women can see themselves in that body as they aspire to be her - shows off her Reebok shoes as she's about to step down a staircase. Where is she? An older urban hallway outside her condo on a sunny day? Or is she inside her expensive house? Is she a mother? Does the little kid's tricycle belong to her own kid? Or is she tolerant of her neighbor's kid's trike because she's a cool neighbor? Look how strong she is carrying those bottles. Are they full water bottles? Or is she carrying the empties to be recycled? Of course, the first thing our eyes are drawn to is her small butt, the result of wearing those shoes. She's so confident about the size of it that she's wearing small see-through bikini... what are they? sexy lingerie? mesh runner's shorts? everyday panties? She's strong, young, smooth, sexy, confident, feminine (see her red fingernails), and she has a skinny little tight butt. What woman wouldn't want to be like her? (And what man wouldn't want to be with her?)
Here's a link to the FTC where they show a TV commercial touting the benefits of the Reebok shoes:
FTC "Fitness Instructor" ad>>

- Reebok to Pay $25 Million in Customer Refunds To Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Advertising of EasyTone and RunTone Shoes - Settlement Order Prohibits Reebok from Making Unsupported Claims that ‘Toning Shoes’ Strengthen, Tone Muscles, FTC>>
- Reebok Spent At Least $64 Million On Deceptive EasyTone Ads, The Consumerist>>
- Reebok Agrees to $25M Settlement Over Butt-Shaping Shoes, Ad Age>>
- Why Reebok Will Love the FTC's $25M Ban on Its EasyTone Ads, CBS Marketwatch>>

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