Class action suits worth hundreds of billions of won are expected to be filed against sporting goods makers like Reebok and New Balance.
YMCA Seoul announced on Sept. 29 that it has been receiving consumer damage reports against nine brands that have hyped their functional shoes and clothes as having a weight loss effects. The nine brands are Reebok, Sketchers, FitFlop, New Balance, Asics, Fila, Lecaf, Ellesse, and ProSpecs. The YMCA is going to inform the manufacturers of the cases of damages and ask them to return a part of the purchase cost. It is planning to file a class action suit unless the request is accepted.
Recently, the Fair Trade Commission judged that the companies’ ads for the clothes and shoes were exaggerated and imposed a combined fine of 1.07 billion won (US$1.01 million).
“No compensation plan at all has been suggested for the consumers who have bought the products,” the civic organization explained, adding, “Besides, the exaggerated ads had continued for a long period of time until the Fair Trade Commission ruling.”
In the meantime, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States had recently issued a consent order, ruling that Reebok pay consumer damages compensation of US$25 million and return 87 percent of the product price to every customer filing for a refund request.