CNN and Country Living magazine are among the companies that the Society of American Florists has reached out to recently, asking them to nix negative floral references in Valentine’s Day stories and promotions.
“Ditch the flowers and gift your Valentine one of these creative bouquets instead,” was the headline CNN used for a story that encouraged readers to choose bouquets of breadsticks, bacon and doughnuts rather than flowers.
“SAF supports respected marketing principles that suggest promoting a product based on its own merits rather than making unjustified negative comparisons to other industries,” wrote Jennifer McNally, SAF’s director of marketing and communications in her response to the news outlet. “Taking the time to identify and promote a product’s unique advantages often results in more creative and effective advertising.”
As the voice of the floral industry, SAF responds to these negative references, which cast flowers in a negative light during one of the industry’s busiest seasons.
“SAF asks companies to promote products on their own merits,” noted McNally, who also pointed to the emotional and health benefits of flowers in her response to CNN. “As the industry’s national trade association, SAF contacts companies making disparaging comments about flowers, and explains that their gift suggestions should stand on their own merits without the unnecessary and unfair remarks about flowers.”
SAF also asked Country Living to reconsider its approach in calling a Tennessee animal shelter’s plan to deliver “puppergrams”— puppies delivered to offices for a quick cuddle — “SO much better than roses.”
Among the other companies recently contacted by SAF:
- Express Clothing ran an email campaign saying they offered “something better than roses.”
- Lunya, a sleepwear company, ran an ad on social media saying “Roses die. Sleepwear is forever.”
- BandsInTown.com, a platform promoting live music, sent an email to subscribers with upcoming event dates titled “Roses won’t last, but your concert memories will.”
Spot a harmful ad or article about flowers? Forward them to email@example.com.
Read about other responses during this year’s holiday season and get tips on how to effectively respond to negative ads yourself — using your leverage as an SAF member — here.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management magazine.