Commercializing Babyhood

Help Us Stop the Deceptive Advertising of Baby Apps

Update: August 15 -- Just five days after being cited in CCFC’s complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, Open Solutions stopped making educational claims about its apps for babies. The company eliminated all claims that their apps teach babies language, math, logic, and reading skills from their product promotions. As a result of Open Solutions' changes to their marketing, we’ve withdrawn our FTC complaint against them.

No Purchase Necessary

by: 

CCFC Member Bethany Stewart

I recently attended the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood summit.  Interestingly enough, Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids, opened the event by talking not about marketing to kids, but instead about the effects of marketing and media on parents.  While marketers know that sex sells nearly everything, they also know fear and insecurity sell just about everything else.  They know how to get our attention - make us think for a second that our children might not be living to their full potential or heaven fo

Gender identification begins…

by: 

Mary L. Rothschild

“The consumer embryo begins to develop in the first year of existence…Children begin their consumer journey in infancy…and they certainly deserve consideration as consumers at that time.”  - James U. McNeal, Pioneering Youth Marketer (From “Consuming Kids”)

My new role as grandparent gave me a bird’s eye view of how the seeds of consumerism, especially gender-specific marketing, are sown early in the lives of expectant and new parents and their baby.

Stuffed Monkey with an iPhone Belly Wins Worst Toy of the Year; Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey Takes Home the 2012 TOADY

Date of Release: 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Contact: Josh Golin (617-896-9369; josh@commercialfreechildhood.org)

For Immediate Release

Stuffed Monkey with an iPhone Belly Wins Worst Toy of the Year;
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey Takes Home the 2012 TOADY

Marketing to Babies and Toddlers

In a commercialized culture fraught with troubling trends, among the most pernicious is the all out effort to brand infants and toddlers.  Baby paraphernalia is routinely festooned with licensed characters like Elmo and Winnie the Pooh-the same icons that will sell them toys, foods, and other products throughout childhood. Equally troubling is the escalation of "educational" baby media on the market-videos, software, and digital books-which get babies and toddlers dependent on screens and electronic gizmos for soothing and stimulation.

We Did It! FTC Takes Decisive Action Against "Your Baby Can Read"

We've got great news about our ongoing efforts to hold the so-called "genius baby" industry accountable for its false and deceptive marketing. Today, the Federal Trade Commission filed false advertising charges against the marketers of "Your Baby Can Read," a video series which retailed for as much as $200.

FTC Files False Advertising Charges Against Your Baby Can Read; Commission's Action Is Important Milestone in CCFC's Ongoing Efforts to Hold "Genius Baby" Industry Accountable

Date of Release: 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28, 2012
Contact: Josh Golin (617-896-9368; josh@commercialfreechildhood.org)
For Immediate Release

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