Watchdog Group Calls for Baby Einstein to Change Name

After winning a major battle against Baby Einstein, the watchdog group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is pushing its case further, calling for the Disney brand to change its name.

The CCFC was the catalyst for a decision by Disney to offer $15.99 to anyone who bought a Baby Einstein video between June 5, 2004 and Sept. 4, 2009.

The offer came after the CCFC filed a complaint about Baby Einstein’s educational claims with the Federal Trade Commission in 2006. Disney dropped the word “educational” soon after the complaint. According to reports, lawyers then threatened a class-action suit unless a refund was made available.

On Sept. 4, the company began announced an upgrade offer which included a full refund. Still, the CCFC said it isn’t enough. “Disney should change the name of Baby Einstein because it still has a strong implication that it makes your child or baby smarter,” said Allen Kanner, a psychologist who is on the steering committee for the CCFC. “They should change it to a name that does not imply that it could improve a child’s cognitive capacity or that it is any way educational for children under the age of two.”

A Baby Einstein rep did not return messages.

It would be a mistake to abandon the equity of the brand name, said James Gregory, CEO, of the marketing consultancy CoreBrand. “I don’t think Baby Einstein should change its name. It’s a great name and gets to the heart of the concept in the brand.”

Disney has also spent a significant amount of media dollars to build the brand. Between 2004 and August 2009, Disney has spent $40 million on advertising behind Baby Einstein, per the Nielsen Co.

Publish date: October 26, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT