Should babies use apps? The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Fisher-Price and Open Solutions.
The complaint challenges these companies on the claim that “apps for tablets and cell phones are educational for babies.” Laura Moy of the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown Law is working on the complaint with the advocacy organization. She offered this statement in the release:
These companies are violating federal laws that protect consumers by making totally unsupported and unsubstantiated claims about the educational value of their products … And not only are they breaking the law, they are unfairly taking advantage of well-meaning parents who want nothing more than to help their babies get ahead of the curve. The Commission should stop these practices and make crystal clear that if companies want to market apps as educational for babies, they must have evidence to back up their claims.
The New York Times got a statement from Fisher-Price, the company arguing that they do research these educational claims. Here’s more from the article:
Kathleen Alfano, the senior director of child research at Fisher-Price, which is owned by Mattel, said that the company conducts extensive research “to create appropriate toys for the ways children play, discover and grow.” She added that the company had “appropriately extended these well researched play patterns into the digital space.”