FTC Charges Athletic Shoe Company with Making False
and Unsubstantiated Claims in Its Advertising
Consent Agreement to Settle Charges
FTC News Release
January 28, 1991
The Federal Trade Commission has charged the Asics Tiger Corporation (Asics), a California manufacturer of athletic shoes, with making false and unsubstantiated claims in advertising for its "gel" athletic shoes. Under a consent agreement announced today for public comment, Asics is prohibited from making performance and injury-reduction claims about its athletic shoes unless it possesses competent and reliable evidence to substantiate those claims.
Asics introduced athletic shoes containing gel pads, polyvinyl chloride packets containing a silicone substance, in 1986. Since then the company has incorporated gel into most of its sport shoes.
According to the FTC's complaint, Asics has advertised that:
- Asics' GT II running shoes absorb 28% more shock than athletic shoes relying on air as a shock absorber, including the leading "air" shoe;
- Asics' GT II and Gel-Lyte shoes absorb more shock than New Balance 995, Brooks Nexus, and Nike Air Conditioner;
- Asics' Ensemble aerobic shoes absorb 15% more shock than Reebok Instructor, 17% more shock than Avia 440, and 23% more shock than Nike Air Conditioner; and,
- Wearers of Asics' athletic shoes will suffer fewer impact-related injuries than wearers of other athletic shoes, including "air" shoes.
At the time Asics made these claims it implied that it possessed competent and reliable evidence to substantiate them when, according to the complaint, it did not. In addition, the complaint charges that Asics falsely claimed that scientific tests prove the accuracy of these claims.
The proposed order prohibits Asics from misrepresenting the contents, validity, results, conclusions or interpretations of any test or study. It also requires Asics to have competent and reliable evidence to substantiate any future claims about performance characteristics of its shoes.
The Asics Tiger Corporation is located in Fountain Valley, CA.
- FTC File No. 872-3150.
This page was posted on August 27, 2006.