Chiropractor Who Gave Skechers Such A Great Quote Is Also Married To A Skechers Staffer

As we mentioned earlier today, among the many pieces of evidence in the FTC’s $40 million settlement with Skechers over deceptive advertising for the shoe maker’s toning sneakers is one claim about a supposed “independent” clinical study undertaken by a chiropractor — who may not have been totally unbiased in his research.

In ads for the shoes, a Dr. Steve Gautreau of California is quoted as saying:

After performing a six week clinical trial testing the benefits of SKECHERS Shape-ups, I am confident in recommending them to patients to increase their low back endurance and improve gluteal strength. Patients also benefited from weight loss and improved body composition.

But the FTC says that maybe Skechers should have gotten that quote from a different doctor, one that isn’t married to someone who works for the company:

The FTC alleges that this study did not produce the results claimed in the ad, that Skechers failed to disclose that Dr. Gautreau is married to a Skechers marketing executive, and that Skechers paid Dr. Gautreau to conduct the study.

Today’s Skechers settlement is the second such settlement reached in just the last year. Back in September, Reebok was hit for a $25 million bill on similar allegations, though we don’t recall any charges of familial bias in that case.

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  1. Derigiberble says:

    More important than any of that is that he was a chiropractor and not a real medical doctor and should not have been attesting to medical results.

  2. Bsamm09 says:

    “independent” clinical study undertaken by a chiropractor”

    There’s your problem — CHIROPRACTOR

    Why not just use one of those holistic faith healers for even more credibility.

    • Gman says:

      I think a psychic would be better:
      “After looking six weeks into the future, I am confident in recommending SKECHERS Shape-ups my clients. I see them all looking thinner, richer and thanks to the addition of a picture of Jamie Lee Curtis’s face as a graphic on the inside of the shoe – more regular. ”

    • Major Tom Coming Home says:

      A massage therapist would be more effective.

    • Costner says:

      Exactly! Notice they didn’t mention he was a back-cracker in the ad… they just said doctor. He could have been a doctor of Theology for all we know, although oddley enough that would have been just as relevant.

      Peer-reviewed science is what is necessary, and you aren’t about to get that from a chiro who can’t even produce any evidence to prove his techniques actually work.

  3. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    Not surprising. 90% of chiropractic is ineffective as practiced, and most chiropractors are stuck in the 1890s with their “subluxation” theory. Its almost all a big scam and most practitioners of it perform dangerous procedures. “Neck adjustments” can cause a stroke and don’t actually do anything beneficial.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      That’s an interesting opinion.

      • malraux says:

        I’ll take chiropracty seriously when they stop legally barring medical journals from evaluating its efficacy or lack thereof.

      • ovalseven says:

        He’s right. Read up on Subluxation if you’re not familiar with it. It’s both amusing and insulting what most chiropractors will try to sell to their patients.

        Or, just watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyxaGk75Mjo#t=15m50s

        • JennQPublic says:

          After watching that, I am neither amused or insulted. I’m angered and saddened. And fearful for the future of the human race… :-(

          • ovalseven says:

            My amusement comes from my own personal experience with one. Despite seeing that episode when it aired, I went to a chiropractor last year for my back pain. I wanted to know what was wrong.

            Instead, I got all the gimmicks. He took an x-ray, and had me stand on two different bathroom scales at the same time to prove my back was misaligned. For good measure, he also pressed on parts of my back and neck in a way that would cause pain to a healthy person. “That hurts because your spine is out of place”. I then got the sales pitch about “subluxations” and how they were the cause of any and all health problems I might have, or might get. It was hard to keep a straight face while he told me all of this.

            I left and never went back. Fortunately, the consultation was free. I’m sure the only purpose of that x-ray was to be sure my spine was healthy enough for endless back-cracking sessions at $50 apiece.

            My back still hurts, but I’ll find a real doctor for it.

        • Kisses4Katie says:

          I’m sorry but ‘baby-wringing mother f*cker’ bout did me in. Seriously, I cannot imagine torturing a child or a kitty that way. Awful!!

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    That chiropractor should be disbarred for life.

  5. Gman says:

    I wait for someone who actually is a real doctor not the internet degree equivalent of one.

    I think the bigger issue is they were making a “clinical study” claim by someone appearing to be a medical doctor or scientist. Instead it was a chiropractor. Under no circumstances should Chiropractors be allowed to use the “Dr.” honorific.

  6. HomerSimpson says:

    Sounds like one of those “doctors” that show up in TV commercials for weight loss products and stuff.

  7. rlmiller007 says:

    Just like the 7 doctors who head the panel that decides who’s obese, Allegedly 5 of the 7 work for companies that produce diet pills. Gee what a surprise.

  8. BlueHighlighterNextToACoozie says:

    Can’t the FTC or someone just already put out a bulletin that covers all future phony “exercise” products and put an end to this stupidity.

    “Attention all ya’ll. Yo ass needs to move to lose weigh/tone up/build muscle. If you ain’t doing da work, no product aint doing it fo yo neither”

    I think this bulletin would reach, and be understood by all. No future lawsuits allowed. Let the overweight couch exercise dreamers waste all the money they want on this crap. Our tax money should not be paying for trials because some lardo thought she would become skinny walking around walmart in sketchers. That person should be laughed at, be forced to listen to Jack and the Beanstalk three times over and be forced to take the stairs down from the courtroom.

  9. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Add me to the list of people pointing out that the biggest problem is that chiropractors aren’t doctors to start with. They’re not even scientists – the basis for chiropractic being the belief in a “vital force” that runs through the spine and magically makes everything either work or not work.

    …which is why no accredited colleges or universities offer chiropractic classes – if they did, they’d lose accreditation.

    Chiropractic != medicine (or science)

  10. longfeltwant says:

    It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this guy is a fraud. Chiropractors are frauds, all of them. Their form of “medicine” is a sham, based on magical nonsense. Their treatments could conceivably treat a narrow range of body disorders, but those treatments can be had from actual, real medical professionals, so there is nothing worth saving from Chiropractic practitioners.

    Get your medicine from doctors. Doctors have MD after their name.

    • nishioka says:

      > Chiropractors are frauds, all of them.

      Or as Penn Jillette called them, “baby-twisting motherfuckers”

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Penn is a hero.

      • dwtomek says:

        Eh, well I used to think they were all frauds. After a few years of dealing with back problems that were occasionally debilitating I decided to start throwing darts at the dartboard. After some moderate success (acupuncture was as effective as the painkiller/muscle relaxer regimen I had been put on by real doctors) I decided to swallow my pride and try chiropractic. After two visits to the chiropractor I have been absolutely pain free for 8 months now. To add perspective, my severe back spasms up to that point had been manifesting at least every other week. In my case, I would much prefer the quackery that works, as opposed to being continuously nauseated with only a slight decrease in constant pain. Obviously, YMMVW(ildly). Point being, either they aren’t all quacks or this guy is an honest to goodness wizard.

    • Major Tom Coming Home says:

      Everything you say is true.

    • caradrake says:

      I liked when I was able to go to the chiro while pregnant. It may not have actually done anything, but it sure as heck felt nice! It was pretty much a cheaper version of massage. Mmmm.

  11. Costner says:

    I have to say I’m very impressed that so many posters here have seen right through the Chriopractor scam. Considering how many of htem are in practice obviously the public at large seems to have fallen for the gimmick, but I’m happy that doesn’t apply to everyone.

    The fact that Chiropractors are still relying upon what Palmer “invented” in the 1800s and yet have never been able to prove these subluxations even exist should be evidence enough. The reality is Chiropractors have a lot more in common with Scientology than they do with actual medicine or science.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      The thing is, I think there probably is some *real* basis to what they do to alleviate back pain – but they’ve always approached it rooted in their mysticism. If someone sat down and did actual scientific research on the spinal work they do, I am guessing it could become real medicine.

      Naturally, all the other BS they spout about being able to help with, like high blood pressure, mood swings, weight problems, whatever, are utterly stupid. I just wish someone would find the kernel of truth in there and get it proven. Until then, these people are no better than antivax and acupuncture.

      • Costner says:

        Well there have actually been studies that have shown Chiropractic can be an effective treatment for lower back pain. Of course they also found it was no more effective than traditional therapy from a physical therapist or in some cases even a massage therapist, but the data is there of people are curious.

        In fact a Cochrane review of the data has shown Chiropractic to offer no significant benefit in long term pain relief, so this adds to the argument that what Chiropractic really offers is the benefit of human touch. Much like someone feels better after a massage or after someone has given them attention, they may feel better after a Chiropractice “adjustment” if for no other reason than they felt special. It is a pseudo (placebo) effect and is short lived which is likely why so many chiros have to schedule people for follow-up visits time and time again.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21248591

  12. quail says:

    I’m so glad that these shoes are not as prominent as they were a few years ago in the department stores. Oh, they’re there but their section is much, much smaller.

    Surprised there hasn’t been a class action law suit for people who’ve injured themselves while wearing them. If I see another tottering septarian or octogenarian wearing a pair of those stupid, wobbly shoes I’ll scream! Hey lady, you’re going to break a hip wearing those.

  13. AllanG54 says:

    I have these but hell, $40 is $40 so I’ve filed my refund claim already. My wife has about five different pairs of them and though they haven’t helped in the way they say they are quite comfortable to wear. But…I filed her claim as well.

  14. Squard says:

    Never buy anything endorsed by a Kardashian

    .., except plastic surgeons and divorce lawyers

  15. CrazyEyed says:

    Of the millions they could have paid to independent doctors, they chose one who was married to a Sketchers staffer. LULZ

  16. Cerealmom says:

    Skechers are shit-shoes anyway.I learned this very recently when I purchased a pair of those Skecher “Twinkle Toes” (shoes that light up) about three months ago for my daughter.Although she only wore them on the school days that she had gym,they are already coming apart.The sole is separating from the shoe on the left one.I do not dare wash them or they would disintegrate.These are not cheap shoes,either.At the store where we purchase athletic shoes,Skechers cost as much or more than proven brands like Nike and Reebok depending on style.WTF? I shelled out 45 bucks for them,so I expected her to at least outgrow them before they fell apart.She has a pair of Keds that are almost a year old and they are still in good shape,even after machine washings.She will outgrow them before they need to be tossed.Irony?The Keds were half the price of the “disposable” Skechers.
    Don’t fall for the shoe hype.

  17. FirePuff says:

    With all the hate on Chiropractors, I have to say that I have been to a few (one due to general alignment issues and the other after an accident).

    The first chiropractor was very honest and I did feel some great results over time. He focused on movement and back strength and gave me exercises to do at home to strengthen my neck and lower back which is pretty weak. He also, in contrast to many chiropractors I’ve heard and the other I’ve seen, put me on a plan to wean me off of needing chiropractic services as my back strengthened to hold my spine properly. He said long term chiropractic use wasn’t good for someone and that the muscles must be made to support the back.

    So… not all chiropractors are nuts. Just the vast majority of them. :)

    • jebarringer says:

      So you’re saying you really went to a physical therapist instead of a chiropractor.

  18. Bodger says:

    A chiropractor has as much believability as an astrolger. “Yes, absolutely, if anybody knew what a subluxation was and there was a way to detect them, Sketchers would surely minimize their effects…”