Nascent BabyFirstTV taps PainePR

LOS ANGELES: Infant- and toddler-oriented television network BabyFirstTV has selected PainePR as its AOR, according to the Irvine, CA-based firm.

LOS ANGELES: Infant- and toddler-oriented television network BabyFirstTV has selected PainePR as its AOR, according to the Irvine, CA-based firm.

The Los Angeles-based network – still in its own infancy – came to Paine "for our experience in the 'Mommy'" category, said Linda Landers, PainePR managing partner and account lead. The agency currently handles work for similarly targeted accounts including Pampers' Kandoo products and Dreft detergent.

The initial effort, which launched with a May 11 event at New York's Union Square Barnes & Noble, has generated media placement in over 650 outlets, Landers said, including the Reuters, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, MSNBC, and The London Times.

"The brand even transcended into pop culture," she added, as the basis of a Saturday Night Live sketch.

In preparing for the launch, Paine assisted the client with everything from strategic media observation to crisis-communications preparation.

As the first network dedicated to the very youngest of the diaper and pacifier set, BabyFirstTV has drawn criticism from organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, which asserts TV can hinder the mental and social development of children under two.

But according to Landers, "our biggest advocates have turned out to be the parents."

Paine, she explained, invited parents to preview BabyFirstTV prior to its launch, "so they could provide real feedback" regarding the network's 24-hour programming lineup.

Overseen by an advisory board of pediatricians and child-development professionals, the network’s program offerings, which it calls "positive, educational,” will consist mostly of original content, as well as established brands including "Brainy Baby" and "First Impressions." This summer, BabyFirstTV plans to introduce an hour of daily tot-tips programming, aimed specifically at new parents.

BabyFirstTV is "not meant to be used as a baby sitter," Landers noted, but "to engage children's senses … take a passive experience and make it interactive. The parent and baby are in that together."

"Ultimately, it comes down to responsible parenting," she added.

The network, currently available only on DirecTV – will expand to other carriers "in the near future," Landers said. Next steps for the brand, which may include a blog and additional events, are still in "informal planning stages."

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