The world’s largest software maker and magazine and news editors promoting food gifts are among the companies making disparaging remarks about Valentine’s Day flowers this year. As the voice of the floral industry, the Society of American Florists responds to these ads and others that disparage florists and flowers or cast floral gifts in a negative light.
“The main point of SAF’s response is to bring attention to the disparaging floral statements and ask advertisers to promote products on their own merits,” said SAF’s Jenny Scala, director of marketing and communications. “When reaching out to the media, SAF explains that their gift suggestions should stand on their own merits without the unnecessary and unfair remarks about flowers.”
Among the companies recently contacted by SAF:
- Chick-fil-A posted a blog that reads: “Anyone can give a dozen red roses for Valentine’s Day. Candy hearts? So last year. If you’re looking for something unique for that special someone in your life, swing by a participating Chick-fil-A …” WUSA 9, a CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., promoted the Chick-fil-A offering with a Facebook post that reads: “Candy hearts and flowers are out, chicken is in.”
- Cooking Light and My Recipes posted the article: “Who Needs Flowers When You Can Have a PICKLE BOUQUET?!
- Articles on cosmopolitan.com, delish.com and yahoo.com promoting the Harry & David Donut Bouquet include headlines and stories with the following verbiage: “You Can Buy a Donut Bouquet for Valentine’s Day, So It’s Officially Time to Ditch Flowers Forever”; and “Flowers on Valentine’s Day are…kinda lame. Disagree with me all you want, but the V-Day bouquet is just kind of overdone, OK!?”
- DISCOVERY, the loyalty program for Omni Hotels & Resorts, posed the question “What’s better than flowers and chocolate?” in an email to customers.
- Hudson Jewelers in Edwardsville, Illinois posted a video on Facebook showing wilted roses alongside content that read, “The gift that never fades.”
- Miami Herald ran an article headlined, “Roses are for suckers. Here’s how to send croquetas for a truly Miami Valentine’s Day.” The story goes on to read: “Roses are boring.”
- Microsoft emailed: “These gifts last longer than flowers.”
- Perfectly Posh, a seller of skin-care products, posted the following on Facebook: “Flowers Die / Chocolates Melt” and “Why buy Posh for Valentine’s Day? Rose look and smell great for 4 days and ‘decent’ for about a week before being thrown away.”
Spot a harmful ad or article about flowers? Forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor for the Society of American Florists.