If you’ve purchased Baby Einstein products, your tot is probably somehow—inexplicably—still not a genius. But you may be eligible for a refund of the purchase price, due to overzealous claims made about the products.
See, Baby Einstein products were marketed to parents as beneficial to children’s brain development….even though research indicates that the videos may be, um, the opposite of that.
Last year, lawyers threatened a class-action lawsuit for unfair and deceptive practices unless Disney agreed to refund the full purchase price to all who bought the videos since 2004. “The Walt Disney Company’s entire Baby Einstein marketing regime is based on express and implied claims that their videos are educational and beneficial for early childhood development,” a letter from the lawyers said, calling those claims “false because research shows that television viewing is potentially harmful for very young children.”
The letter cited estimates from The Washington Post and Business Week that Baby Einstein controlled 90 percent of the baby media market, and sold $200 million worth of products annually.
I am not a parent, it’s true, but am I the only person who finds the existence of a “baby media market” incredibly creepy?
Disney and Baby Einstein fired back, insisting that they make no claims that their products are educational, and this is all the result of a propaganda campaign by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
Unfortunately, with [CCFC Director] Susan Linn’s latest stunt, we cannot be silent any longer. Linn’s obvious dislike for Baby Einstein has now turned into a sensational, headline-grabbing publicity campaign that seeks to twist and spin a simple, customer satisfaction action into a false admission of guilt. This is clearly not the case.
Linn’s moves are carefully crafted to prey on parental guilt and uncertainty. This time, she began by asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to go after Baby Einstein because, she said, we claimed that Baby Einstein was educational. But we do not make any such claim – and the FTC brought no action.
Baby Einstein products and videos are extremely common in American homes, even though pediatricians recommend that children under 2 should watch no television at all, and early TV exposure may be linked to attention problems later in life.
If you have videos and would like to take part in the program, visit the company’s Guarantee/Upgrade Offer page.
No Einstein in Your Crib? Get a Refund [NY Times]
The Baby Einstein™ DVD Upgrade / Moneyback Guarantee [Official Site]
Baby Einstein Sets The Record Straight On Refund [Official Site]
Do Baby Einstein Products Make Your Child Stupid? Well, The Lead Tainted Blocks Don’t Help
“Baby Einstein” Videos Probably Don’t Work, Might Even Hurt
University Of Washington Stands Up To Disney, Will Not Retract “Baby Einstein” Press Release