Reebok faces action from ACCC over claims it misled consumers about EasyTone shoes
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges Reebok made false, misleading or deceptive representations about the shoes.
The company claimed the shoes would increase the strength and muscle tone of the wearer's legs and buttocks, compared with regular walking shoes, enlisting the services of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Miranda Kerr to promote them.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims says Reebok did not have reasonable grounds for making the claims.
"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," he said.
"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."
The ACCC says Reebok Australia should have stopped making the claims after Reebok International paid a $US25 million settlement over the same claims to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2011.
At the time Reebok International said it had settled to avoid a "protracted legal battle", but "settling does not mean we agree with the FTC's allegations. We do not".
Reebok Australia has declined to comment on the matter.