- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 8, 2013

An advocacy group filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday, decrying toy-makers and baby product manufacturers, like Fisher-Price, that claim new mobile apps help boost baby’s brain power. They don’t work as promised, the group said.

Specifically, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is targeting Fisher-Price’s “Laugh & Learn” app in its complaint, The New York Times reported. But it’s also named several apps for baby-brain development that are marketed by the software developer, Open Solutions.

The advocacy group already has a track record of wins on this matter. Members previously convinced The Walt Disney Company to back off its educational claims about it’s “Baby Einstein” videos and admit the product was more entertainment.

The group said it’s main thrust with the complaint was to instill honesty in advertising.

“The baby genius industry is notorious for marketing products as educational, when in fact there is no evidence that they are,” said Susan Linn, the director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, based in Boston, in The Times. “Parents deserve honest information about the educational value of the activities they choose for their children, and they are not getting it from these companies.”

The group further complains that the apps “may be detrimental to very young children,” who are taken from more creative play in favor of videos and games involving apps, The Times reported.

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