Advertisers of men’s clothing, plants and home fragrances, Brooks Brothers, are among the companies alleging consumers are tired of flowers, they should forget flowers, flowers die, and their products make better Valentine’s Day gifts than flowers.
As the voice of the floral industry, the Society of American Florists contacts these companies to bring attention to the negative floral reference and ask them to promote their products on their own merits in future promotions.
Among the companies recently contacted by SAF: Brooks Brothers, the oldest men’s clothier in the United States, sent an email promotion on Feb. 5 with the subject line, “Forget flowers & chocolates. Go Brooks for Valentine’s Day.”
SAF also has contacted:
- Easton Press, a retailer of leather-bound books and a sister company of the Danbury Mint, posted on Facebook: “Tired of flowers and candy every year? Try this (she’ll love it!)” Two hours later, Roseann Gagliardo, Associate Manager of Customer Service at Easton Press, replied: “It was certainly not our intent to convey a negative statement towards flowers, but rather to present our product as a less traditional option for Valentine’s Day. Again, our apologies for any misunderstanding.”
- Gilbert H. Wild and Son’s email promotion for rose bushes included: “Don’t spend money giving cut flowers that wilt and die after only a few days.”
- MojiLife promotes home fragrance devices with a picture of roses crossed out with: “Go with the flowers? Scent for couple of days. Dies within a week. Go with the Flow!”
- The New York Times published on Feb. 3: “These ideas from our Valentine’s Day gift guide are better” than flowers.
- The Sill, a New York City retailer of indoor plants, posted a blog that reads: “Why not skip roses and celebrate it with our Sweetheart Hoya this year?! … (And let’s be honest here, why would you want flowers – something that will die in a week – to represent your undying love?)” A Facebook video includes: “Plants last longer than flowers — give a living gift that lasts a lifetime.”
Several florists took matters in their own hands — with success. WestJet, the second-largest Canadian air carrier behind Air Canada, posted on its Facebook Wall: “This Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a gift better than flowers. Send that special someone the new #WestJet gift card.” After receiving several comments from florists, WestJet edited the post to read: “This Valentine’s Day, send that special someone the new #WestJet gift card.”
As reported in the Jan. 31 E-brief, SAF had already responded to AutoMaxx, ThinkGeek and Victoria’s Secret for their Valentine’s Day promotions. In the Jan. 24 E-brief, SAF outlined its responses to the Danbury Mint and WineShop At Home.
Forward harmful floral publicity to Scala at firstname.lastname@example.org.