The ACCC alleges Reebok Australia made “false, misleading or deceptive” representations about the shoes

The ACCC alleges Reebok Australia made “false, misleading or deceptive” representations about the shoes

Australia's consumer watchdog has started legal proceedings against Reebok Australia over misleading claims about its EasyTone shoes.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said today (18 December) it has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Reebok for alleged contraventions of the country's consumer law.

The ACCC alleges Reebok Australia made "false, misleading or deceptive" representations that the shoes would increase the strength and muscle tone of calves, thighs and buttocks more than if wearing a traditional walking shoe.

The watchdog concluded that use of the EasyTone shoes do not result in these increases in strength and toning, and that Reebok did not have reasonable grounds for making such representations.

"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," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

Reebok Australia has imported and sold Reebok EasyTone shoes in Australia since December 2009. The proceedings, however, relate to conduct since September 2011.

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 for 14 February in the Federal Court, Perth.

Reebok Australia could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.