Friday, March 14, 2008

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 at

The FTC’s response to Baby Einstein is available at

CCFC’s original complaint against Brainy Baby and Baby Einstein is available at

Saturday, March 08, 2008

High school musical and commercial

Many people seem to think that my children are not aware of the TV world because we are not watching TV. Well, don’t forget merchandising :-)
They know about Dora as there are many Dora products everywhere and they did even read one or two stories of Dora. (I cite Dora as it seems to be the favorite character of K student)
They know Superman and Spiderman as well, thanks to their leap pad.

And since yesterday they know about High School Musical!
They were lucky enough to see the play! On stage! And the cast was all kids!
I felt they were so lucky to live this experience.
Plus because we were there really early, they go a chance to see some of the rehearsal! How the kids had to warm up their voice, to remember where they will have to stand at this specific moment of the play… How they were themselves joking around, very instructive.

Then, when the musical started, they were all playing their part. My kids were fascinated.
I am happy that they could see everything involved: the musician playing the music on our right, the light beings turn on and off, the set being changed over and over following the story, the cast changing costumes from one scene to another…
The story was going on, but everything was changing in just one place, not like in real life and must faster than in real life. Little concept that need to be assimilated in order to make the difference between real and not real.

As I said before we are not watching TV and therefore we are not watching commercial. But I did explain to them what a commercial is: well, people trying to make you spend your money buying things you do not need but they need to sell you because they want your money.
So, we decide to shoot our own commercial :-)

Hands-on, isn’t’ that the best way to apprehend things, to understand how that works?