The Walt Disney Company is offering refunds of $15.99 each for up to four Baby Einstein videos purchased between June 5, 2004 and September 5, 2009 when returned to the company.

This announcement comes after years of pressure from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, including their filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against the Baby Einstein videos for classifying their videos as educational. As a result of that complaint, company removed the word “educational” from their marketing.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2-years-old not be exposed to television at all, and studies have shown that exposure to television between ages 1 and 3 can cause attention problems by age 7.

In the official press release below, from the Walt Disney Company, Susan McLain
general manager of The Baby Einstein Company explains:

“For the past several years, Baby Einstein has been under attack by propaganda groups taking extreme positions that try to dictate what parents should do, say and buy. Our philosophy has always been to focus on creating products that parents and babies love, and to not get sidetracked and pulled down into their street fight.

Unfortunately, with Susan Linn’s latest stunt, we cannot be silent any longer. Linn’s obvious dislike for Baby Einstein has now turned into a sensational, headline-grabbing publicity campaign that seeks to twist and spin a simple, customer satisfaction action into a false admission of guilt. This is clearly not the case.

Linn’s moves are carefully crafted to prey on parental guilt and uncertainty. This time, she began by asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to go after Baby Einstein because, she said, we claimed that Baby Einstein was educational. But we do not make any such claim – and the FTC brought no action.

Not content to rely on the judgment of the federal government, her attacks continued and escalated despite the fact that her assertions have no merit.

That’s where we are today. However, we took a very different approach. We strongly believe that, unlike Linn, our consumers find value in our product, and rather than continue to fight with her, we decided it to leave it up to those consumers. That is why we extended a refund policy that was already in place. Although she would like to claim otherwise, there is nothing extraordinary about a company’s willingness to stand behind its product. To the contrary, it is the strongest possible show of confidence in it.

Baby Einstein announced this offer in a press release issued on September 4, 2009, which was largely ignored by the media. Linn’s latest public relations blitz simply distorts the facts and misleads the public. In the end, this smear campaign has everything to do with Linn trying to generate ink and funding for her cause, and not about the value that consumers find in our product.

Thank you for letting us set the record straight.”

Source: The Examiner/Disney Press Release