Reebok fined for EasyTone claims

SHOE manufacturer Reebok has been ordered pay a $350,000 fine for misleading consumers about the benefits of its EasyTone shoes.

The Federal Court on Thursday ruled the company needed to pay the penalty for making "false and misleading representations" about the shoes.

Reebok had claimed on EasyTone shoe boxes and packaging that if people walked in a pair they would increase the strength and muscle tone of the calves, thighs and buttocks; more than if they walked in other sneakers.

The claims, the court found, contravened Australian consumer law, and the company had no reasonable grounds for making such claims.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which brought the case, said such claims had to be accurate and supported by credible evidence.

The court also ordered Reebok to provide a $35 refund to people who bought a pair of the shoes between September 2011 and February 2013.

Reebok will also have to create an 1800 phone number that consumers can use to obtain the refund.

It must also advertise "corrective notices".