Does anybody really want a reading baby? No more leaving that copy of "Fifty Shades" on the coffee table, huh? Well, don't worry because the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a false advertising complaint against the marketers of the highly hyped and expensive "Your Baby Can Read!" program.
p>In TV infomercials and on the Internet, marketers of the "Your Baby Can Read!" program claimed that by using its videos, flash cards, and pop-up books, parents could teach their babies as young as nine months old how to read - for about $250.
But teaching baby to read was just for starters. The marketers of "Your Baby Can Read!" also claimed that "scientific studies" proved that kids who had been exposed to the program as babies did better in school and were thus more successful in adult life than those who learned to read the old fashioned way.
When the "scientific studies" proved not to exist, the FTC stepped in and stepped up for consumers.
According to the FTC's complaint, in January 2008, Your Baby Can, LLC started selling its "Your Baby Can Read!" program on its own and other websites, through TV infomercials and in dozens of major stores, racking up $185 million in sales.
Under the court settlement, Your Baby Can, LLC and its subsidiary are banned from further use of the term "Your Baby Can Read" and ordered to pay a $185 million fine, the same amount the company made on sales since January 2008.
In the court proceedings, Your Baby Can, LLC stated that due to a "failing financial condition," it was going out of business and could only pay $500,000 of the $185 million fine. The court ruled that upon Your Baby Can's payment of $500,000, the remainder of the judgment will be suspended. However, if it is later determined that the financial information the company gave the FTC is as false as its advertising, the full amount of the judgment will become due.