Kids say a lot of random, unsolicited, or just plain personal things to their toys while playing. When that toy is stuffed with just fluff and beans, it doesn’t matter what the kid says: their toy is a safe sounding board. When their playtime companion is an internet-connected recording device that ships off audio files to a remote server without even notifying parents — that’s a whole other kind of problem. [More]
Many of us will be out shopping (or at least rolling over in bed to shop on our phones) this holiday weekend, and more than a few of us will be picking up toys for the youngsters we love (or are obligated to be near at least twice each year). In advance of this retail rush, the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood has put out its list of kids’ toys that will warm the cockles of marketing executives around the world, and make other folks long for the days of wooden trains on pull strings. [More]
Last week, Niantic, the company behind the wildly popular Pokémon Go app, unveiled its first sponsored partnership with McDonald’s in Japan, turning the country’s fast food restaurants into PokéStops where players can purchase items for their characters. While there currently aren’t any sponsored stops stateside, one group is trying to get ahead of the Poké-ball, urging the game maker not to deliver personalized ads to kids based on PokéStops and gyms at retail locations. [More]
Group Accuses ‘Your Baby Can Read’ Creators Of Violating False Advertising Settlement With ‘Your Baby Can Learn’
Nearly two years ago, the creators of the popular Your Baby Can Read! series of videos put an end to a Federal Trade Commission deceptive advertising complaint by agreeing to cease making unsubstantiated claims about any product that purports to teach kids how to read. But the advocacy group that first spurred the FTC into action says that the creators of this program are violating that 2014 deal. [More]
A year after the combination potty/iPad stand took home an award for Worst Toy of the Year, an app from BabyFirst and AT&T U-Verse that your youngsters could use while pottying on last year’s winner has been crowned the worst for 2014. [More]
Is it possible to separate a world-famous brand mascot from the products that mascot has spent decades shilling for? Can you look at Joe Camel and not associate him with Camel cigarettes, or stare deep into the terrifying unblinking eyes of second-tier human-baseball Mr. Met and not immediately think of the NY Mets? McDonald’s apparently thinks so, telling consumer advocates that Ronald McDonald isn’t pushing Big Macs and McNuggets on kids when he visits schools to talk about bike safety and other non-greasy topics. [More]
Not so long ago, people would have laughed at the idea that elementary school kids would have smartphones, or that every member of a family would have a TV in his/her room, or that potty-training toilets would be designed to hold a computer screen to placate the defecating infant. In an effort to remind people that there is life outside of the LCD screens they hold in their hands, one group is asking parents to go screen-free next week. [More]
Child Protection Advocacy Group Rejects Facebook Privacy Lawsuit Settlement, Asks Court To Reconsider
Facebook is notorious at this stage for playing fast and loose with users’ privacy. In 2013, the social sharing behemoth faced and settled a class-action lawsuit regarding its privacy practices. Today, one of the advocacy groups awarded a share of the settlement has reversed their stance, refused the payment, and is asking the court to reconsider the deal.
Do your kids feel that board games are ho-hum without advertising from some of the world’s biggest brands? Maybe your girls and boys are bored with the virtual tooth fairy they already have (yes, this exists) and the only way to make them happy is to pay more to unlock a VIP edition? Or does your potty-training youngster cry because he or she has to take their eyes away from the iPad for a few seconds while they do their digestive duty? Then we have some toys for you! [More]
It’s the holiday season, which for many parents means it’s toy-buying time. It also means it’s time for Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood to unveil its selection of the toys that it believes embody the worst the marketplace has to offer. [More]
While toy makers around the world are hoping they’ll be considered among the best toys of the year, the folks at the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood are calling out a handful of toys as nominees in their worst-of 2011 contest.