Refund: Disney Offers Money Back for Baby Einstein Videos

Filed under: In The News, Alerts & Recalls

The Walt Disney Company is offering up refunds to parents who bought the popular Baby Einstein videos and the move may be an admission that the products did not help boost babies' intelligence, as the company once claimed.

Disney is offering a refund of up to $15.99 for four "Baby Einstein" DVDs per household if the items were purchased between June 5, 2004 and Sept. 5, 2009, The New York Times reported. The move may be a response to the threat of a class-action lawsuit for unfair and deceptive marketing practices.

According to the Times, a letter from the lawyers threatening the suit states that: "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." The letter also states that the claims are "false because research shows that television viewing is potentially harmful for very young children."The lawyers cited studies showing that children who are exposed to television between the ages of 1 and 3 develop attention problems by the age of 7.

Baby Einstein was founded in 1997, according to the Times, and was acquired by Disney in 2001. A 2003 study showed that a third of all American babies from 6 months to 2 years of age have had at least one "Baby Einstein" video. The movies feature orchestral music, bright colors and animated toys.

"My impression is that parents really believe these videos are good for their children, or at the very least, not really bad for them," Vicky Rideout, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation told the newspaper. "To me, the most important thing is reminding parents that getting down on the floor to play with children is the most educational thing they can do."

Will you return your "Baby Einstein" DVDs for a refund?

Related: TV and Video Games Benefit Preschoolers

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