Over the last couple of weeks we’ve reported on two new children’s seats for the iPad. First there was the CTA 2-in-1 Potty with Activity Seat for iPad to help toilet train your child. Then came the Fisher Price Newborn-to-Infant iPad Apptivity Seat. Our reporting raised a skeptical eye about both. Turns out parents and parent groups are more than skeptical about the iPad Potty and the Newborn-to-Infant iPad Apptivity Seat and they aren’t taking the news of either sitting down.
According to reports in the Washington Post and elsewhere a child advocacy group, The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is mounting letter writing campaigns aiming for a recall of both products. To say the makers of these iPad supporting child seats, Fisher-Price and CTA, have their fannies in the fire would be putting it mildly. If you can’t get parents and parent/child advocacy groups on your side, you’re in for a bit of trouble in the market place. CTA has had success in the past with its campaigns, succeeding in urging the Federal Trade Commission to issue a settlement against the developer of an App to teach young children to read, Your Baby Can Read. That company went out of business.
The director of CCFC, Susan Linn, said regarding the Newborn-to-Infant iPad Apptivity Seat, “The seat is the ultimate electronic babysitter. Its very existence suggests it’s fine to leave babies all alone with an iPad inches from their face. Babies thrive when they are talked to, played with and cuddled, not when they are alone with a screen.”
As for the CTA 2-in-1 Potty with Activity Seat for iPad it garnered a harsher response as the CCFC named it the winner of this year’s TOADY Award for Worst Toy of the Year. The acronym TOADY stands for Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young Children. Yeesh.
Linn is quoted as saying, “The iPotty is a perfect example of marketers trying to create a need where none exists. In fact, the last thing children need is a screen for every single occasion.” This happens to be the third year in a row that the TOADY has gone to a screen based toy.
Just remember that at both Fisher Price and CTA someone not only came up with these ideas but signed off on the products and the marketing campaigns.