Trends & Features

ASA bans Reebok ads in the UK

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned two adverts for Reebok EasyTones for what it says were unsubstantiated and misleading claims made in them.

The brand’s magazine advert stated: ‘Get up to 28 per cent more of a workout for your bum. And up to 11 per cent more for your hamstrings and calves’.

The TV advert featured women walking, dancing, jumping, spinning around and standing, with the camera fixed on their bottoms and legs; all were wearing trainers.

The voice over stated: “Reebok EasyTone. Helps tone legs and bum more than regular trainers. Reebok EasyTone with balanced ball inspired technology. Better legs and better bum with every step.”

Reebok said the claims were substantiated by a third party test study it had commissioned

The company explained the study was designed to test the effectiveness of EasyTone shoes on lower muscle activity and measured the electrical activation of select muscle tissue while walking in the EasyTone shoes, compared to walking barefoot and in regular walking shoes.

Reebok believed the claim ‘Helps tone legs and bum more than regular trainers’ in the TV advert was also substantiated by the independent study, because increased muscle activation meant that the muscle worked harder and therefore became toned.

It did not believe the advert claimed attributes, capabilities or performance beyond those that could be achieved through normal use.

The company provided four studies it said showed that electromyography data, used in the independent study, could be used to measure muscle activation.

It said, because EasyTone trainers helped tone legs and bottom, viewers could understand that the wearer could achieve ‘Better legs and better bum with every step.’

However, the ASA said the unpublished Reebok study’s sample size of participants was not adequate to support the claims made in the adverts that consumers would achieve an improvement in muscle tone.

The ASA also believed the five 30-second measurements taken during the EasyTone study were not suitable to demonstrate that muscle activity, or any corresponding effect on muscle tone, would be maintained over time, or as consumers adapted to wearing the EasyTone trainer.

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