FTC Files False Advertising Charges Against Your Baby Can Read; Commission's Action Is Important Milestone in CCFC's Ongoing Efforts to Hold "Genius Baby" Industry Accountable

Date of Release: 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28, 2012
Contact: Josh Golin (617-896-9368; josh@commercialfreechildhood.org)
For Immediate Release

FTC Files False Advertising Charges Against Your Baby Can Read
Commission's Action Is Important Milestone in CCFC's Ongoing Efforts to Hold "Genius Baby" Industry Accountable

BOSTON -- August 28 -- Today, the Federal Trade Commission filed false advertising charges against the marketers of Your Baby Can Read, a video series which retailed for as much as $200. The FTC's action is an important milestone in the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood's ongoing efforts to hold the so-called "genius baby" industry accountable for its false and deceptive marketing. In April 2011, CCFC filed an FTC complaint against Your Baby Can, LLC and its spokesperson and founder, Dr. Robert Titzer. Today's FTC action is a direct result of CCFC's efforts.

Your Baby Can and former CEO Hugh Penton have agreed to settle the FTC's charges. The settlement bars the defendants from further use of the phrase "Your Baby Can Read" and imposes a $185 million judgment - equal to the company's gross sales since 2008 - against the company. The FTC has also initiated litigation against Dr. Titzer in federal court.

Below is the statement of CCFC's director, Dr. Susan Linn:

"We are so pleased that the FTC agreed with the charges in our complaint and commend the Commission for taking such decisive action against Your Baby Can. Today's decision is an important victory for children and families and for anyone who believes that advertisers should be held accountable for deceiving consumers. There is simply no evidence that screen media is beneficial for babies. 

We are particularly pleased that the FTC has barred the defendants from using the product name 'Your Baby Can Read.' The Commission's action sends a strong message to media marketers who falsely hype the educational benefits of their products and exploit parents' natural tendency to want the best for their children. We urge the producers of other screen media marketed for babies to take note of today's landmark decision."

The FTC's decision can be found here.

CCFC's complaint to the FTC is here.

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