WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against the man behind the ‘‘Your Baby Can Read’’ program, Robert Titzer, accusing him of false and deceptive advertising for promoting his program in ads and product packaging as a tool to teach infants as young as nine months to read.
The ‘‘Your Baby Can Read’’ program used a combination of videos, flash cards, and pop-up books and was advertised extensively on television, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. It cost about $200 and was sold nationwide at retail stores.
The company Your Baby Can and its chief executive until March 2010, Hugh Penton Jr., also were named in the complaint. Both have agreed to settle the charges, the FTC said. The settlement imposes a $185 million judgment — equal to the company’s gross sales since 2008 — but most of it would be suspended because of the company’s failing financial condition.
The company, based in Carlsbad, Calif., said earlier this year that it was going out of business. It cited the high cost of fighting complaints alleging that its ads were false.