National Advertising Division Refers Advertising Claims for Gravity Defyer Shoes to Federal Trade Commission for Possible Enforcement Action

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – September 14, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs is disappointed that Gravity Defyer Medical Technology Corporation declined to participate in the industry self-regulation process. As a result of the advertiser’s failure to participate, NAD has referred advertising claims for their Gravity Defyer shoes to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review.

Through its routine monitoring program, NAD challenged the claims:

  • “Clinically Proven to Relieve Pain: Back, Knee, Ankle & Foot Pain. According to a 2017 double-blind study conducted by Olive View UCLA Medical Center.”
  • “And ease discomfort associated with: arthritis; joint pain; heel spurs; and more”
  • “85% -- less knee pain”
  • “91% -- less back pain”
  • “92% -- less ankle pain”
  • “75% -- less foot pain”

 

During the inquiry, the advertiser permanently discontinued the challenged claim “Live Life Without Pain: Plantar Fasciitis; Arthritis; Joint Pain; Heel Spurs; Back & Knee Pain” and the reference to “plantar fasciitis” in the claim “. . . ease discomfort associated with: fasciitis; arthritis; joint pain; heel spurs; and more,” as well as the testimonial “I’ve had lower back pain for years. Walking in these shoes was life changing for me. I feel like I’m walking on air.” Therefore, NAD did not review these claims on the merits. 

In 2019, NAD requested that Gravity Defyer Medical Technology Corporation provide evidence that it complied with a 2011 NAD decision to discontinue certain health-related claims for Gravity Defyer shoes. After the advertiser referred to new clinical evidence in support of the 2011 challenged claims, NAD closed that compliance inquiry and granted the advertiser’s petition to reopen the case. 

After initially agreeing to participate in the reopened case, and shortly before the issuance of NAD’s decision, the advertiser stated that it will no longer participate in the NAD process. Thus, NAD has referred the matter to the FTC for possible enforcement action.

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.