FTC says “your baby can’t read” with this scam

This is an update to an earlier story of how this “learn to read” company was put out of business by the high cost of complaints. Now the FTC is checking them out for false claims.

‘Your Baby Can Read’ Charged With False Advertising Because It Didn’t Prove Your Baby Can Actually Read.

Since 2008, the makers of the Your Baby Can Read! learning system have made $185 million from parents who hoped that the product could indeed help their infant get a head start on becoming a voracious reader. Now the company has to forfeit all that money (well, sort of) after the FTC filed false advertising charges against it, its former CEO and its creator.

The company stated in its ads that these claims were backed up by scientific studies.

While the company and its former CEO have agreed to a settlement that would turn over what little remains of the aforementioned $185 million, the FTC says it is initiating litigation against the creator of the product, Robert Titzer, Ph.D., whose name is touted on the packaging for Your Baby Can Read.

Source: The Consumerist

You can read the FTC’s complaint here [PDF]. They allege that the defendants failed to provide competent and reliable scientific evidence that babies can learn to read using the program.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  1 comment for “FTC says “your baby can’t read” with this scam

  1. Kitty
    September 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    As a preschool teacher, I never GOT how that scam worked. I kept trying to find a sort of Clever Hans out for the creators. I knew it was that or a flat out scam. As for reading, early readers tend to even out with later readers by 2nd grade. Very few early readers go on to become geniuses. The good part is an early reader will find entertainment earlier (and give mom and dad a break!). But the rule in school is before 2nd grade you “learn to read” and after you “read to learn”. Some very bright children have learning issues…which are addressed and thank goodness for technology for those that can’t read well because of a disability. As for others, everyone pretty much evens out by age 9. Unless you have a true genius who probably didn’t need a program. Will give kudos out to parents that teach their children sign language…as it is a fun method of interaction between parent and child. Probably far less stressful than trying to teach your child to read at age 6 months..

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