Great news! Your Baby Can, the producers of the video series Your Baby Can Read!, will no longer be deceiving families. The company, which falsely claimed its product taught babies to read, has shut down.
Last year, CCFC petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to stop Your Baby Can, LLC and Dr. Robert Titzer, its founder and spokesperson, from marketing Your Baby Can Read! as educational for babies. The extensive television advertising for the $200 product, targeted mainly to parents of disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, claimed that a “short window of opportunity” for reading begins in infancy—yet there is no evidence that any such “window” exists. Nor is there evidence to support any of the company’s pseudoscientific claims. Just five months after CCFC filed its FTC complaint, television advertising for Your Baby Can Read! ceased completely.
This is an important victory for families. Research links infant screen time to sleep disturbances, attention problems, and delayed language acquisition, as well as problems in later childhood such as poor school performance and childhood obesity. The American Academy of Pediatrics, and other public health organizations, recommend no screen time for infants and toddlers. But if parents followed Your Baby Can Read!’s viewing instructions, their baby would have watched more than 200 hours by the age of nine months.
A notice at www.yourbabycanread.com informs visitors that, “the cost of fighting recent legal issues has left us with no option but to cease business operations.” In addition to CCFC’s petition, the company had been battling class action suits and was the subject of this incriminating Today Show piece. A follow-up segment featured CCFC’s FTC petition.
The FTC is still investigating Your Baby Can, and we are urging the Commission to take action. But for now, let’s celebrate on behalf of all the parents who won’t be scammed out of $200 and the babies who won’t be robbed of all those precious hours of childhood.
Susan, Josh and Shara
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
P.S., If you like CCFC’s campaign to stop the deceptive marketing of baby media as educational, please consider a contribution to our Action Fund. Your gift will support our efforts to keep companies honest and babyhood screen-free.