Hotel Collection, an upscale fragrance and lifestyle brand which sells hotel-inspired home products such as candles and diffusers, apologized after The Society of American Florists reached out about the company’s Valentine’s Day promotional email.
Hotel Collection is just one of the many businesses that bash flowers in their marketing during the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. To advertise their “romantic scented” diffusers as the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, Hotel Collection sent a promotional email with the subject line “WAY better than flowers.”
A company representative offered an apology to florists negatively affected by their email.
“Thank you for sharing your honest feedback with us. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the information shared. This feedback has been shared with the team on your behalf for future consideration.”
As the voice of the floral industry, the Society of American Florists responds to media stories and businesses that promote Valentine’s Day products and gifts by disparaging flowers. SAF contacts the media outlets and businesses that make these negative claims to request that they promote products on their own merits. In the outreach, SAF emphasizes that there are many positive ways to advertise Valentine’s Day offerings, and that companies should focus on the benefits and key selling points of their products instead of making unnecessary and unfair remarks about flowers.
This week SAF also reached out to:
- Popular clothing retailer Bombas which sent a promotional email with the subject line “Flowers Are So Last Year” and a text saying, “Forget the Flowers”.
- Caroline County, MD Parks and Recreation department, which used Facebook to promote tickets for its Valentine’s Day charcuterie board workshop. The post states “Flowers & chocolates are SO old school; give your beloved what they REALLY want this Valentine’s Day… a made-with-love charcuterie board!”
- Beauty brand Farmasi posted an image on Facebook and Instagram with text that reads “Why waste money on flowers that won’t last a week. Make her smile every day. Makeup lasts so much longer.”
- Online coffee retailer, Bones Coffee, posted an ad on Twitter saying, “Roses are dead, violets are blue, buy coffee instead. 🥀 🖤”.
- Be objective, diplomatic, and reasonable. Describe why you find the story or advertisement offensive or unfair. Explain that you believe in the effectiveness of stories or advertisements that promote products based on their own merits.
- Don’t sound defensive—that will only make it seem as though the “attack” on flowers was justified.
- Don’t make unreasonable demands. Unless a story contains a factual error, don’t demand that it be retracted.
- Suggest a middle-ground approach that the story or ad could take in the future. Point out that instead of the phrase, “Don’t buy flowers,” the message could be, “In addition to flowers, add a gift of (insert company product) …”
Elizabeth Daly is the marketing and communications manager for the Society of American Florists.