Earlier today, we wrote about the $25 million settlement between the Federal Trade Commission and Reebok over the shoemaker’s misleading ads for its EasyTone line of shoes. And while that $25 million in refunds is a nice slab of cash, it’s chump change compared to what Reebok has spent marketing the shoes — and what it’s earned off their sales.
According to AdAge, in just the U.S. alone, Reebok spent $23 million in 2009 to advertise EasyTone. That number jumped up to $31 million in 2010. In the first half of 2011, it had already spent $10 million on the shoe line.
AdAge didn’t have numbers on overseas spending, but when you consider that Reebok says the U.S. market only accounts for about a third of the number of EasyTones sold, it wouldn’t be shocking to see more than $100 million spent worldwide on deceiving people into thinking that these shoes will help firm up their butts.
But it was worth it. The company told AdAge last year that it had sold 5 million pairs of EasyTone shoes in the U.S., with double that number being sold overseas. So with an estimated 15 million pairs sold at a retail price averaging around $100, Reebok more than made up for the money it spent advertising the shoes — and it will still have plenty left over when the refunds have all been handed out.
Speaking of which, Reebok has issued a statement saying that, in spite of the huge settlement and the fact that it is barred from running the misleading ads, it is not admitting guilt:
The allegations suggested that the testing we conducted did not substantiate certain claims used in the advertising of our EasyTone line of products. In order to avoid a protracted legal battle, Reebok has chosen to settle with the FTC. Settling does not mean we agreed with the FTC’s allegations; we do not.