I want to first say that I have thought about buying a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, which is the product in question in the following video.
I’m a big believer in running, walking and exercising in shoes that don’t have a massive ball-to-heel drop.
So the Vibram’s look pretty cool and many of the sources I trust for information have confirmed these shoes offer good protection while giving you a natural barefoot feel while running.
However, this post isn’t about running. It’s a warning geared toward business owners and up-and-coming entrepreneurs who have, or are thinking about launching a new product into the market.
When it comes to the advertising plan of your product, it appears that you have to be ever more vigilant in how the promises you make about your product will be perceived (or in this case “twisted”) by the customer:
I know that the host in the video, Adam Kokesh, is obviously biased toward siding with Vibram on this one. So am I.
If you feel that the false advertising lawsuit actually has some real (moral) merit, then you just proved why we have to be so careful when promising benefits.
Even though Kokesh is a controversial anti-government type, I really feel his take on this lawsuit is really accurate:
- Vibram customers have taken advantage of the fact that the verbiage used by the company in their advertising could be perceived as “magical” or instant and requiring no work on the part of the wearer of the shoes. Put them on and the shoes will do the rest, sorta thing.
- And how Vibram neglected to mention the very common-sense side effects that could come from barefoot running, or running of any kind, such as puncturing your foot, twisting your ankle, etc.
Be careful folks. You don’t need to be a crook or a swindler to get sued for false advertising in this day and age!