Saturday, August 2, 2014
Deceptive advertising: Sport shoe buyer's beware
Do you believe everything you read in marketing material? Seems a significant number of us do despite laws to help protect consumers from manufacturer’s erroneous claims. Three major shoe manufacturers have recently been involved in class action suits where deceptive advertising was claimed. In all three cases, the companies were found guilty and required to pay multi-million dollar settlements after it was revealed no scientific research was found to support the advertised health claims for their shoes. Organisations like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) want national advertisers to understand they must exercise responsibility and ensure any claims for fitness gear are supported by sound science. The situation exemplifies a tendency to prefer theory over evidence. Whilst it might be nice to think wearing a certain pair of shoes can help increase muscle tonality or assist in weight loss, there is simply no evidence to support these claims. So buyer beware.
Robbins J and Waked E 1997 Hazard of deceptive advertising of athletic footwear. Br J Sports Med. Dec 1997; 31(4): 299–303.