A few years ago, CCFC exposed a huckster named Robert Titzer, who falsely claimed that his video series could teach babies to read. Thanks to our work, the Federal Trade Commission ordered him to stop. It was a huge victory and a milestone in our ongoing campaign to support parents’ efforts to raise healthy babies by stopping the false and deceptive marketing of “educational” baby videos.
Incredibly, Robert Titzer is at it again. He’s changed the name of his videos from “Your Baby Can Read” to “Your Baby Can Learn,” and he’s marketing the series with the same deceptive claims. Today, we asked the FTC to take action against Titzer and his Infant Learning Company (ILC) for clearly violating a Consent Order that prohibits them from making false or deceptive claims in marketing baby videos. Will you take a moment to urge the FTC to protect babies and hold Robert Titzer accountable?
CCFC originally brought Titzer to the FTC’s attention in 2012. His promotion of Your Baby Can Read, on television and online, was designed to take advantage of parents’ natural inclinations to give their children every possible advantage. Much of the marketing was targeted to parents of disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, for whom Your Baby Can Read’s hefty price tag represented a significant sacrifice. The marketing urged parents to seize a “short window of opportunity” for reading that begins in infancy. But there is no evidence that any such “window” exists—or to support any of Your Baby Can Read’s pseudoscientific claims.
We were gratified when, as a result of CCFC’s complaint, the FTC took decisive action against Titzer and ILC. The Commission prohibited Titzer and ILC from using the name Your Baby Can Read, or making any claims that their videos had educational benefits unless they produced clear, scientific proof. The FTC also fined Titzer and ILC $186.4 million, most of which was suspended because they were bankrupt.
But now Titzer is back, once again peddling digital snake oil and putting babies at risk. There is no evidence that babies learn anything—let alone how to read—by watching videos. And time spent watching videos takes babies away from activities proven to be beneficial, like interacting with caring adults and exploring their surroundings with all their senses.
Will you join us in asking the FTC to permanently pull the plug on the Your Baby Can series? We need your help to ensure that the FTC will hold Titzer and ILC accountable for blatantly disregarding the FTC’s order and deceiving parents on something as important as their children’s development.
Please take a moment to urge the FTC to stop Titzer and ILC from selling and marketing these products, and to compensate families deceived by this marketing. And please urge your friends and family to weigh in as well.