Disney No Longer Marketing Baby Einstein Videos as Educational

As a result of CCFC’s Federal Trade Commission complaint, Baby Einstein has completely redesigned its website and is no longer making educational claims about its DVDs and videos.  In 2006, CCFC filed an FTC complaint against Baby Einstein for making false and deceptive claims about the educational value of their products.  In December, the FTC decided not to take enforceable action against Baby Einstein when the company promised to “take appropriate steps to ensure that any future advertising claims of educational and/or developmental benefit for children are adequately substantiated.”  Since no substantiation exists, Disney will not be able to claim that the videos have educational value.

We are deeply troubled that the FTC failed to hold Disney accountable for years of deceptive marketing; essentially, the FTC is telling corporations that it’s okay to lie to parents because if you get caught there will be no consequences as long as you promise not to do it again.  At the same time, we are proud that CCFC’s complaint spurred substantive changes to the Baby Einstein website.  Gone are claims such as the description of Baby Wordsworth as a “rich and interactive learning experience that … fosters the development of your toddler’s speech and language skills,” or that Numbers Nursery will “help develop your baby’s understanding of what numbers mean.”

Thanks to all of you who urged the FTC to act on our complaint and shared your experiences with Baby Einstein with the Commission.

The FTC’s response to CCFC is available here.

The FTC’s response to Baby Einstein is available here.

On May 1, 2006, CCFC filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, two of the leading producers of videos for infants and toddlers, for false and deceptive advertising.  On June 13, CCFC added BabyFirstTV, the first television channel for infants and toddlers, to their complaint.  Links to CCFC's complaint and supporting documentation are below.  Please note: You will need Adobe Acrobat (version 6.0 or higher) in order to view these documents.

CCFC's Complaint Against Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby

Attachments for Baby Einstein/Brainy Baby Complaint

1.   Front of Baby Einstein box showing the “bonus learning” sticker

2.   About us section of Baby Einstein website

3.   Baby Einstein website descriptions of videos, (1) Baby Wordsworth, (2) Baby da Vinci, (3) Numbers Nursery

4.   Baby Einstein headings to testimonials

5.   Baby Einstein advertisement photocopy from Pregnancy magazine buyers guide 2005

6.   Baby Einstein history section of website

7.   Baby Einstein DVD insert photocopy – mention of parent interaction

8.   Baby Einstein testimonials about videos as babysitter

9.   Brainy Baby back of DVD box

10. Brainy Baby infant learning pack front of box

11. Brainy Baby front of Left Brain DVD box

12. Brainy Baby front page

13. Brainy Baby About Us section

14. Brainy Baby Product descriptions

15. Brainy Baby advertisement photocopy from Pregnancy magazine buyers guide 2005

16. Baby Einstein Amazon testimonials

17. Brainy Baby Amazon testimonials

 

CCFC's Complaint Against BabyFirstTV

Attachments for BabyFirstTV Complaint

Attachment 1

Attachment 2

Attachment 3

Attachment 3b

Attachment 4

Attachment 5

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Attachment 7

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