For parents who were suckered into Disney’s Baby Einstein concept, the company has announced they will give full refunds on up to four videos. The basis of the refund is to compensate parents who actually believed the videos would make their children smarter. UPI reports:
The move comes after Disney’s Baby Einstein Co. last month announced “enhanced consumer satisfaction guarantees” after lawyers had threatened a class-action suit for false advertising. “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 reportedly said.
Disney responded to pressure from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood regarding false advertising by issuing the refunds. We’ve never been fans of Baby Einstein here on Eco Child’s Play, and in fact wrote in January 2008:
Of course, the marketing of Baby Einstein is genius, appealing to every parent’s desire to have a smart child, however, pre[K] now, an early childhood education advocacy group, has given the makers of Baby Einstein the stooge award for 2007… So how do young children learn? It is not from passively watching videos, but from interacting with their environment and loved ones. Playing with open-ended toys, such as blocks, exploring nature, reading books, etc. benefit children in ways a Baby Einstein product never can. In fact, a research study reported on in Time magazine states,
…with every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants learned six to eight fewer new vocabulary words than babies who never watched the videos. These products had the strongest detrimental effect on babies 8 to 16 months old, the age at which language skills are starting to form.
Come on parents: send those Baby Einstein videos back to Disney and give them a message loud and clear we won’t be fooled by slick marketing campaigns!